writing on his well-worn pad
then guessing out loud all day
birthdays, weights, ages
at 10 dollars – 40 dollars to play
he was a winner each and every time
amazing and flattering his crowd
even when he gave away a toy
what did the guesser have to lose?
“guessing a thing ain’t knowing a thing.”
when you go to the carnival
and have finally grown enough
the spectacular rides level
that is winning.
“the determination to win is the better part of winning.”
driving down the highway
i came upon this truck filled with fun
and wondered where exactly it was headed.
“i was sure that somewhere a grandiose carnival
was going on in the sky,
and I was missing it.”
what a birthday for grandie j
on an afternoon spent with family and friends at
imagine a mash-up of
barnum and bailey
guiness book of records memorabilia
carnivals, cotton candy, prize tickets
coin-operated animatronics, mechanical games
collections of very imaginable oddity
along with some
you could never imagine.
it was a boy’s dream come true.
“once a person has all the things they need to live, everything else is entertainment.”
15 excellent bits of carnival slang to add to your vocabulary
even if you’ve never worked on a midway, you can still pepper your speech with delightfully authentic carnival jargon. start slipping these terms into conversation and watch as your friends bally about how great talking to you is.
1. Annie Oakley (noun): A meal ticket.
2. Bally (verb): To attract a crowd by making a great commotion about how terrific a show is.
3. Brodie (noun): A clumsy and spectacular fall. Named for Steve Brodie, a man who claimed to have survived a fall from the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886.
4. Charivari (noun): A cacophonous and chaotic entrance of clowns.
5. Charley (verb): To toss a stack of posters or playbills in the trash rather than giving them away as ordered.
6. Cherry pie (noun): Outside work performed by carnival employees for extra cash.
7. Clem (noun): A fight between carnival employees.
8. Duke (noun): A box lunch distributed to carnival staff.
9. Kinker (noun): Any performer, but originally intended for acrobats.
10. G-top (noun): Private employee tent for gambling.
11. Larry (adjective): Poorly made, worthless, bad (of items or souvenirs).
12. Lead joint (noun): Shooting gallery.
13. Reuben (noun): A rube or a gullible sap.
14. Scram-bag (noun): A bag packed for immediate use in case a quick departure is required.
15. Waxie (noun): A repairman
“carnies built this country, the carnival part of it anyway.”
– homer simpson
credits: carnival – broadway 1961, mentalfloss.com