If you take a look at the Keystone Centre grounds from Richmond or 18th Street, you see the trailers. You see the concessions getting ready to feed you. And the rides are being put together as we speak to scare you. Wednesday the fair comes to town. And for another year, we will eat food we should stay away from, spend money on games we likely won’t win and go on rides that are against better judgment.
Every June, thousands flock to the fair grounds for the Manitoba Summer Fair. In light of recent monsoon rains, I’m thinking this year could be the best ever, now that Mother Nature has the garbage weather out of her system. This week we talk rides. For the uninitiated, here’s a quick glossary of terms:
• Airtime: That floating feeling of weightlessness created by negative G forces. This feeling makes your stomach lose track of its place in the Universe. One moment your stomach wants to live up in your throat area, while the very next moment it wishes to leave your body. (Or at least the contents of it anyway.)
• Camel Back: A series of hills — often at the end of a ride — designed to give more airtime. Otherwise known as "Oh my god there’s the roller coaster hurling me toward death", followed by "Oh my god it’s hurling me into the sky", then "into the ground", "into the sky" ... repeat if pant-wetting is desired.
• Cobra Roll or Boomerang: A double inversion where the car twists and goes up and back on the same track. The same physical effect could be achieved by throwing yourself into laundry dryer and while it’s running, tossing the dryer end over end down a hill. However the Coba Roll or Boomerang has seatbelts. Wimps.
• Corkscrew or Barrel Roll: A twisted inversion that looks like … a corkscrew. Panic attack, screaming fit and/or crying once you’ve got on? You’re corkscrewed.
• G-Forces: Negative Gs give you that airtime floating sensation found on top of hills; positive Gs pull riders downward, like during inversions and high-speed turns. For riders 13-25, the higher the G-Force, the better the ride. G-Force of 4? G stands for Great! G-Force of 4 if you’re over 35 stands for Gottabekidding.
• Shuttle Coasters: A coaster that goes forward and reverse on the same track. The Ring of Fire does this at the Fair. I always thought it was ironic that the nachos with jalapeño stand was always set up next to the Ring of Fire ride. Two for one at the Fair.
Now while I am known as the biggest ride baby in the world, I have been on a roller coaster. Last year at Disneyland I went on the Toon Town Roller coaster in Toon Town behind "It’s a Small World". Don’t laugh, it was scary.
My kids loved it and I screamed the whole time. I also screamed when Disney staff had to pry me out of the ride obviously built for small people.
But one of the worst terrors on a coaster is 250 miles away in Las Vegas, atop the Stratosphere hotel. And they’ve added a ride they call "Insanity". I call "just dumb".
Why would anyone what to go on a ride that spins you in open air, high above the strip so you can hurl on onlookers below?
But now, no matter the ride, there are seven "Scream Types." Which category do YOU fall into when you ride? Possibly a combination of more than one?
• "AWESEOME WANT MORESOME" — A type of "Yeah this is fun" yell. Generally this type of rider is a thrill seeking idiot who not only makes use of the "all you can ride wristband" four times over, but cries like a baby only when the carnie’s say "enough buddy, it’s time to go home." This is an expression of pure midway pleasure at its best.
• "DEAD AIR" — This is pure Silence. This type of rider has likely also let something go into their pants. We can only speculate on #1, #2 or possibly both. The pure terror on this person’s face is so intense, the emission so painful that the only thing to come out of the person’s mouth is silence. Not even animals of the four legged variety will hear this. It is also widely believed this type of rider can also produce curly hair from straight, and straight hair turns curly. For some hair actually falls out.
• "MAD MAX" — Angry mid level scream. This rider’s adrenaline is off the chart. If you hear the "Mad Max Angry scream" from someone you’re riding with, immediately take them to the hammer game after the ride. They are so full of juice that one hammer on the button and the sliding bell will rip off the top of the chart. Use their adrenaline for you gain. Walk away with a giant stuffed toy.
• "EAR PIERCER" — This is a will shatter glass with such a high pitch. Unlike "Dead Air" this can actually be heard by four legged animals and they find if very irritating. Many animals are prone to simply lift their leg wherever they are and relieve themselves, so be careful. Also not a good idea to watch this rider while holding your Def Leopard mirror you just won. It may shatter.
• "HYENA HOLLAR" — This rider will laugh, scream, yell and laugh some more. You’ll ask yourself "what’s so funny?" And the answer is terror. This person is a "nervous laugher" and once on a ride that scares them to death, they mix fear with funny and you get the "Hyena Holler". Since these people are both laughing and screaming for the duration of the ride, they are most likely to need bottled oxygen after completing a ride.
• "WEEPING WIMP" — This rider will simply break down. This is sad, but happens more often than you think. Emotion takes over, and it becomes overwhelming. The tough part is mixing any of the above riders with a "weeper". The fun for the other rider usually stops and concern and attention is turned to the person in tears. Do not make fun of this person. They are already in emotional pain. However that pain can be filled with donuts, foot longs, candy apples, cotton candy, french fries, elephant ears and any other midway comfort food. Believe me. I know this.
• "CURSING CARNIE" — OK. This is funny for adults, but worrisome for parents. This rider is so scared they are screaming curse words loudly as the ride goes on. F- this, S- of a B- that and Holy S- all over the place. You can spot this rider in line because he’s the only one with soap on a rope.
Sharla Spaller Griffiths
Kyle Lane Sutton
Georgina Lee Clearsky
JOKE this Weekend
Sammy took his blonde blind date to a seaside carnival.
"What would you like to do first, Kim?" asked Sammy.
"I want to get weighed," she said. They walked over to the weight guesser, who guessed 140 pounds. Kim got on the scale and it read 135 pounds and she won a prize.
Next the couple went on the ferris wheel. When the ride was over, Sammy again asked Kim what she wanted to do next.
"I want to get weighed," she said.
Back to the weight guesser they went and because she'd been there before the man guessed Kim's correct weight and Sammy lost his dollar.
Kim and Sammy walked around the carnival and again he asked, "Where to next?"
Kim responded: "I want to get weighed," but by this time Sammy figured she was really weird and took her home early, dropping her off with a handshake.
Her room mate, Laura, asked Kim about her blind date. "How'd it go?" she asked.
Kim said, "Oh, Waura, it was wousy."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 2, 2012