September 21, 2005

Why you don't take sick kids to the fair.

T1G put up a story about his run in with Carnies. While reading it, it reminded me of something that happened to me when I was younger.

My grandparents on my mother’s side lived in small towns in northern Illinois when I was growing up. At first, it was on a farm they owned and ran just outside of Kirkland, IL. Then when my grandfather wasn’t able to run the farm anymore, they sold it and moved into a neighboring town where he got a job. Every summer on the Fourth of July there would be a family reunion and we would all get together at my Grandparents and drive to Kirkland for their festival. They would have a pork chop dinner, flea market and the usual rides, games and carnival food. During the day, the local sport leagues would get together and play baseball. There was a big parade. In one area, they had truck and tractor pulls and at night, there were fireworks. I remember this fair fondly. We stopped going when I was around 14 and would go camping instead.

It was during one of the last years we went that my incident happens. When I was 12 or 13, we decided to make an entire weekend of it. My parents drove the small RV they owned to my grandparents house so we could sleep in that instead of them having to drive home late at night with my 8 year old sister and myself just to get up and come back early the next day. This year the worst thing that could happen to a kid on the Fourth of July, happened to me. I got sick; I came down with the flu. No one believed me when I was telling them I wasn’t feeling good all day, they didn’t want to miss the fun. I don’t blame them either, I still wanted to go and I felt pretty bad.

Upon arriving, I took off with some money to join up with cousins of mine that lived there. We purchased tickets and got in line for this ride called The Salt and Pepper Shakers. It was basically two cars that spun in an opposite directions in a vertical circle. As we stood in line, this big nasty looking Carnie kept harassing the girls in line, especially the pretty ones, about them getting sick on the ride. Some of the girls got so nervous they actually stepped out of line. I’m not sure if it was what he was saying or if it was the way he smelled. It was one of the most horrid things I had smelt at that time in my life. I have since smelt much worse. It’s one of those smells that get stuck in your memory and you just can’t let it go. Back then I didn’t know what the smell was, today I can. He smelt like stale beer, cigarettes, sweat, urine, feces and sex.

Have you ever had a smell so bad that it is stuck in your nose for hours and no matter what you do, you can’t make it go away? Well, that was what happened to me. When it was my turn to get on the ride I was feeling worse then normal, but I didn’t want to ruin my fun. We were strapped in and the ride started. I was in the rear-facing car, luckily, when all hell broke loose. In the middle of the third loop, it hit me. I’m not sure if it was because of the flu, motion sickness, the smell of the guy stuck in my nose, the half pound of parade candy I had eaten, the guy talking about kids getting sick or all of the above.

From my mouth with enough force to spray through the protective cage came up everything I had eaten in the last 2 years of my life. Well it seemed like it was that much. Apparently, I had timed it just right too, when it flew out of the cage it showered the carnie in all of its foul gastric juice nastiness. Of course, there where other people hit, but the majority of it hit the carnie.

The ride was quickly stopped and we where taken off. The other people in line groaned, as they had to shut it down to clean it off. The carnie was swearing up and down at his much-needed shower. I swear it made him smell better! The most amusing part of it was that surprisingly little of my own vomit was on me. It spewed fourth so hard and with the motion of the car, only a little actually landed on my shoes.

My grandfather quickly took me home. I kept apologizing the whole way for my ruining the day. Grandpa was a great man and told me that it was okay, he was ready to go home for a nap anyways. I knew it wasn’t true, but it made me feel better. He would have spent the whole day watching the truck and tractor pulls.

The next day I didn’t go back to the carnival at all, I was bed ridden and didn’t feel up to it. When the next year came and we went back to the fair, my illogical kid mind was in fear that the same smelly carnie would be back and looking for me to get revenge. Even back then, I had heard stories of carnies. If he was there I never saw him, or I didn’t recognize him.

It was the worse Fourth of July I had ever had.

Posted by Contagion in Stories about me. at September 21, 2005 12:55 PM | TrackBack

Having the flu aside, how is that the worst you've ever had??? You yakked on a carnie... that rules!

Posted by: That 1 Guy at September 21, 2005 10:14 AM

LOL! There were times I wished I had barfed... it would have been nicer.

Posted by: VW Bug at September 21, 2005 11:35 AM

That was YOU?

You BASTARD! You owe me a new shirt!

Posted by: Harvey at September 21, 2005 03:58 PM

Awwwww, you poor thing. But your gramps... that was real nice of him.

Posted by: michele at September 21, 2005 07:34 PM