Monday, June 12, 2006

This Fair Brought To You Entirely By Monkeys

But First: Rocking the Suburbs, an Addendum:

Remember how I mentioned that Peanut had called with poison ivy? Heh. Yeah, since Peanut and I both can never do anything in even a remotely easy way, and we both have a tendency to end up in hospitals, I should have known this would not end well. Turns out she actually has poison sumac, and it is over most of her person, and a large patch of it on her arm managed to get infected, so we spent five hours in the emergency room yesterday while they pumped her full of steroids and antibiotics and painkillers. She will be fine, but this has proven two things to me:

1. My Demon Vine was by far NOT the deadliest thing in the yard, and perhaps did not deserve all of my contempt, and

2. I think I win this round of “suburbs v. the city”, because nothing on my balcony ever tries to kill me.

Now, back to the monkeys.

A few weeks ago, Peanut and I were talking about how much we liked fairs. Then at work, my supervisor mentioned that there was a fair only about 20 minutes from my house, so I e-mailed Peanut about going. Peanut’s e-mail was down, however, so I never heard back. Instead, I focused Saturday on trying out new recipes from E’s indoor grilling cookbook.

(See, when I woke up on Saturday, um… afternoon, Kate was helping E study for the Bar, and no one was paying any attention to me at all. So I needed an outlet, and that became focusing on dinner. Which was really really good, and I love the lovely indoor grilling cookbook.)

Anyway, Saturday night Peanut came over for dinner, and I mentioned the Fair. Paying absolutely no attention to the fact that yes, I HAD told her about the Fair, Peanut demanded we go to the Fair. Now.

Which was fine, except: I had a massive, giant, nauseating headache.

I almost never get headaches. In fact, I only get headaches for one reason (ok, two reasons, but drunkenly smacking my head against hard things just doesn’t count), and that is a stupid reason, which is that I get myself highly addicted to caffeine and then if I do not have any my head explodes. Which is exactly what happened on Saturday.

But it was my own stupid fault, and I refuse to welcome my caffeine overlords, so we got in Peanuts car to head to the Fair. Which, remember, was 20 minutes or so away. However, Peanut’s car, which is generally wonderful because it will tell you where to go, sometimes likes to fuck with us. There was one week where no matter where we went; the car would not let us make right turns. I mean, we could see on the little map thing that we were driving in circles because it refused to give us directions with a right turn in them. Saturday? The car told us to drive in precisely the wrong direction for 10 miles before turning us around and getting us to the Fair.

We finally made it to the Fair, where I promptly turned four years old. People were walking by with giant monkeys (I swear, 90% of the prizes were monkeys. GIANT monkeys), and I am instantly like, “I want one of those.” Y’all? I don’t even like monkeys. But I wanted one. Luckily, Peanut introduced me to Whack-a-mole, which I won, and got myself a large, (if not giant) white monkey to carry around the Fair. We named him Gilbert. (Kate and E seem to think he is an abominable snowman, and not a monkey. However, having seen the Fair, and the unnatural amount of monkeys at the Fair, I am secure in my knowledge that Gilbert is a monkey.)

Then we decided to ride the Gravitron. We had discussed the Gravitron in detail, as it was both of our favorite rides from childhood. However, there were two problems with the Gravitron:

1. This Gravitron was NOTHING AT ALL like the one I had grown up with, and
2. Did I mention my crippling headache?

So the Gravitron I know and love involves leaning against a wall. Then the room spins fast enough that centrifugal force pins you to the wall, and then the floor drops out from under you. You then spend the rest of the ride desperately trying to make sure every available atom of your surface area is pressed up against said wall, looking in disbelief at the morons who are actually trying to pull away from said wall, and calculating the potential injuries if you were to fall off said wall (and trust me, y’all, if anyone could fall off a wall, even against all the laws of physics, it’s me). Or at least… that’s what I do. But it is fun, and your confidence grows until if you ride it enough times you may actually try to remove a hand from the wall.

The other thing? It is a calm ride. You don’t even really notice the spinning.

This Gravitron? This was nothing like above. Oh, there is still a wall, but the wall has these… padded areas. And the guy was like, “Do not put your arms between the padded areas”. Which… huh? Because, don’t you want to have as much of your body against the wall when the floor drops? And… what about my monkey? No one else had a monkey, and I didn’t know what to do with the monkey. But I just sort of went along with it. So, at the start of the ride, I am:

- Backed up against a padded wall.
- Expecting the floor to drop.
- Holding a monkey.

Apparently, however, in THIS Gravitron, the floor does not drop out. OH NO. That padded thing I was leaning against? Is on a track. And as we speed up and slow down, the pad either flies upwards, crashing at the top of the room, or flies downwards, smashing into the floor. And we begin spinning and I watching the floor waiting for it to slowly start to drop and then all of a sudden “WHOMP” I go flying upwards and then Peanut comes flying up at me and I have no idea what is going on, and there is loud music and then the evil ride man turns off the lights, which seriously in retrospect I don’t know why it bothered me so much because it just meant that I couldn’t see the floor as “WHOMP” I came crashing back down. This happened several more times and Peanut just continued to laugh at me as I begged her between shrieks of utter terror to explain to me what the hell was happening.

Finally, as the ride was ending, I got the hang of it, and it was fun. However, I learned something very, very valuable, namely:

Things That Do Not, In Any Way, Help A Headache:

- Zero gravity.
- Loud music.
- Flashing lights.
- Screaming.
- Flying upwards and smashing into ceiling.
- Falling downwards and crashing into floor.

However, I also discovered Things That Are Surprisingly Comforting When You Have A Headache You Have Just Made Horribly Worse Through The Exercise Of Stunningly Bad Judgment:

- Monkeys.

Anyway, I ended up getting a cup of coffee before bed, and Peanut and I enjoyed the rest of the Fair. There is a large one in her hometown soon, and we are planning on going to that one, too.

And this time, I am SO ready for the Gravitron.