Monday, October 27, 2008

I guess it doesn't take that long to cut 120,000 zip ties.

I am always leery of rides at the Fair. These rides are put together by individuals who, on their best day couldn't pass a GED* exam. I'm just saying is all. Not to be a snob, but...oh who am I kidding? I am a snob. I like rides in amusement parks. They are put together by engineers and welders. The rides at the Fair are portable. How many of us have moved that old bookshelf or futon I don't know how many times and this last time it was set up suddenly we were missing a couple screws when we went to put it together. Huh? Who's with me on this? Alright then. Do you mean to tell me that by the time these rides get to the North Carolina State Fair these ex-junkies still have in their possession all of the little ziploc baggies labeled with all of the screws they should have? I don't think so.

On the Saturday I went to the Fair, my friends wanted to ride the Ferris wheel. The really big one. The closer we got, the more my stomach hurt. That's long way to fall.

I agreed to go with them. The majority of the time we were in the round seat thingy (what do you call that?), the Ferris wheel wasn't moving. We were just swinging back and forth like a bird feeder in a stiff wind. Oh, did I mention there only supposed to be six people to a seat and we had eight? Um, yeah. As we're going up, I see zip ties. Lots of zip ties. You know, those little black plastic things you have holding all the cords behind the television set. The ever optimistic Kat tries to reassure me that they're only holding the lights on to the ride, but I'm not buying it. To be honest, once the ride actually started moving in the manner in which a Ferris wheel ride is expected to move, it was kinda fun. Like I said, I like rides. When built by engineers and welders. I'd totally ride a Ferris wheel at Six Flags. If they had such a thing. One of my favorite rides are the Bavarian Swings. At least that's what I think they're called.

You know, that thing. My point here, peoples, is that I ain't skeered. Okay? It's just the notion of the "portable pocket sized roller coaster" that makes the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up. And not in a good way.

Why do I bring all this up? I'll tell you why. When I went to work this morning, I passed the fairgrounds. The Ferris wheel I rode was up and most of the lights were on, as were the other two Ferris wheels present at the Fair this year. On my way home tonight, there were no Ferris wheels. Plural. As in all three had been dismantled. Expertly, no doubt, by the Certified Ride Technicians, I am sure. In the span of my work day, they took these three rides apart. Yes, yes, I am sure they have many people working on this, but it somehow doesn't seem right. And with any luck, they still have all of the Sharpie marker labeled baggies with all of the screws present and accounted for, before they move onto the next state fair.

*GED, for my non American readers, in case you don't have such a an exam one can take rather than completing high school and getting a diploma. It stands for General Something Something, I don't know what.

EDIT: Go here for info on the history of the Ferris Wheel.


FoxyMoron said...

One thing - why is it called a Ferris Wheel? And who is Ferris?
And also I will never ride on one again. Ever. I had my suspicions earlier but since reading your post, no, no, no. Never again.
Heights scare the shit out of me, but now.........if I want a gorgeous view of Sydney Harbour I'll buy a freaking postcard.

Meg said...

I've added a link at the end of the post on the history of the Ferris Wheel. I was having trouble adding the link here.

Emily said...

Oh I can never ride those rides. A) I get nauseous, and B) just like you said....they scare the crap out of me. You make a very good point...I try and put a shelf together straight out of a box and I have parts left over. I can't imagine putting the same shelf together every week in 50 different cities.

John said...

when my son was putting together his nifty new lego star wars cruiser ship thing the other day, i saw that there were a bunch of little pieces left over. he tells me there are ALWAYS pieces left over. here's hoping that's not the case with ferris wheel assembly or the poor bastards at the final stop on the 2008 North American Ferris Wheel Tour are in trouble!