Back when Dino Drac was still a baby, I wrote about a traveling carnival that’s made my city one of its annual stops.
Well, it’s back this week, and better than ever! Or at least better than it’s been during certain years. Maybe it’s just as okay as ever. I don’t know. They had cotton candy.
The carnival sets up in the parking lot of the Staten Island Mall, guaranteeing both lots of foot traffic and the high probability that I’ll run into some forgotten enemy from fifteen years ago. There are pretty lights, interesting noises, and barkers who will insist that I’m not a man until I win Ms. X a Rastafarian banana doll. It’s no Wildwood boardwalk, but I enjoy it.
Here are some of this year’s highlights!
The Haunted Mansion:
I was happy to see the return of this dark ride, which you may remember from last year’s post. I thought they’d added some new decorations to the front, but comparing this year and last year’s photos proves that they did nothing of the sort. I think I just told myself that so I’d have an excuse to take 20 more pictures of the thing.
Remember, this carnival isn’t “ours.” It travels from town to town, crossing an unknown number of state borders. It’s fun to imagine what the Haunted Mansion might have endured since I last saw it. Dark rides bring out the weirdest in people, right? Has anyone like, done it in there? God, if only this Haunted Mansion could talk. (more…)
What should have been a routine trip home from Philly turned into an absolute nightmare, with the kind of demoralizing traffic normally reserved for setup montages during coffee commercials.
This was yesterday afternoon, and as hellish at it was, the experience came with a major bright side. A desperate attempt to cross bodies of water using only local streets went about as well as you’d suspect, but it did place us squarely in front of this incredible Goodwill store:
Many illegal and dangerous maneuvers were made to get us into that parking lot, because I saw this for what it was. A chance to turn a negative into a positive.
We don’t have Goodwill stores around here. Is this what I’ve been missing? I must have seen over a hundred thrift shops in my life, but never one like this. Never one that was as big as a supermarket. Never one where the customers use shopping carts.
The store was enormous and had everything. Clothes, toys, games, books, movies, glassware, paintings – you name it. That’s not unusual for thrift stores, but the difference here was the sheer volume. I’m used to going to thrift stores where finding even one reasonably priced “cool thing” is like discovering the Ark of the Covenant.
When we first walked in, I chuckled at the sight of everyone using shopping carts, because who needs a shopping cart in a thrift store? Well, ten minutes later, there I was, pushing a cart around and wondering if one was even enough. (more…)
I knew that big hole in my window screen would eventually lead to trouble.
This afternoon, a wasp flew straight through it. Big one, too. He looked pissed.
A funny thing happens to wasps when they come indoors. They just completely lose their grace. Outside, this wasp may have entranced me with its impossible flight patterns. In my office, it acted like a drunkard, smashing into walls and bumping into every obstacle.
I tried to ignore it, but how could I? This was a wasp. A wasp that was growing more and more agitated as it kept crashing into things. I had work to do, but it’s difficult to concentrate when there’s a giant wasp looking to vent its frustrations by way of Ass Needle. Something needed to be done, and fast.
No, this story isn’t about to take a turn for the gory. I try not to kill insects if it’s at all avoidable. Sometimes I think that our passage to Heaven is only granted after we endure the sum of our sins. If you squash a bug in life, a giant bug squashes you in the afterlife. I don’t want to die and then have to deal with a titanic wasp chasing me with comically oversized newspaper. It sounds lousy. And I bet Satan would hire Howard Shore to score it.
Instead, I did that old trick where you trap the offender in a glass, and slide a book under the open end so it can’t escape. Voila, instant wasp prison. (more…)