Things I wish I didn’t overhear at the carnival

imageAs I’ve mentioned, during our town’s annual spring Rhododendron Festival, the carnival sets up across the street from our home.


If it were any closer, I could high-five everyone on the tilt-a-whirl without leaving the couch.  So each night after work, I walk two blocks home and pass through the carnival, enjoying the fact that the sound of screaming teenagers — for once — isn’t coming from any of mine. I take time to watch the interactions of people, the motion of the rides, the flashing lights, and take in the carnival-specific aroma of frying corn dogs and sweet cotton candy mixed with freshly spewed vomit from the squirrel cages.

Being a writer, this is a target-rich environment of atmosphere, character and dialogue that I store in my memory to either draw from later or, as in the case of what I’m about to share with you, eventually discuss with my psychiatrist or lawyer.

For example… 


As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’ve assembled some examples into a short feature for today called “Things you don’t want to overhear while at the carnival.”

Like this…


Speaking of which…


I’ve often wondered where the carnies sleep after the lights go off and the rides come to a stop. Now, I kind of wish I didn’t ask…


And though I never really thought about it until now, I suppose the dating scene is pretty limited…


Without question, this last quote is something the tobacco industry would love to use in it’s next ad campaign…


Needless to say, I won’t be riding anything that doesn’t have wheels or eating anything that could be used as a mattress or is considered an unhealthy alternative to smoking cigarettes. In fact, I may just stay home and high-five people from the safety of my own couch.

Assuming I don’t end up with one of the squirrel cages in my living room…



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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

23 thoughts on “Things I wish I didn’t overhear at the carnival”

      1. I think he ran away every season, usually taking clothes and money from his brothers …later he ran away from two wives and children! Then the internet got invented and he was tracked down!

  1. haha funny ones! My grand-ma worked for years at our local amusement park, selling ride tickets. My cousins, friends, and I would always get free rides, and even get to stay on longer than most. 🙂

    1. It’s definitely a unique experience each year, although this will be our last after 18 years; we’ll have moved before it comes back next May. But after 18 years, there’s plenty of material to carry on for decades!

  2. Going to the County Fair when I was a kid was a highlight I looked forward to every year. It is always there in June and consumes the fair grounds for 8 days. I rode all of the crazy rides because.. you know.. we are immortal after all. LOL! However, when MY daughter got big enough to take her to the fair grounds, I wouldn’t let her on the rides! HA HA! Right?? I know I am a mean mom, but when she got just a little bit older she totally understood and was grateful. Soooo… corn dogs and cotton candy aside, I still love walking the midway and watching people. You never know what you will see, hear, or smell… 😀

No one is watching, I swear...

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