I worked a carney show for a day
I had the dreams many do. But I also needed money, so I didn’t have much choice.
I don’t remember how I got the job, just that I went to a site in Toronto where there were rides, food places, and game booths.
I worked a ride. Yes, there were perks: I got to keep the money that fell out of the rubes pockets. I got to chat up the chicks that came to the ride. And if I did well, I could go with the company as it moved along its circuit about the country.
But when the ride stuck, I was told to climb up, high, to unstick something. It was dangerous! And it wasn’t worth the bare minimum wage that
was paid. There was one boy who did it, though. He was crazy! He really was. He didn’t fall. I would have.
And the people. All day long they walked around and around. It was neverending. We couldn’t leave our posts. Not to get a drink. Not to go to the bathroom. Not to escape the noise.
Later in the day, some kind soul offered me something to drink. My partner on the ride didn’t accept. I did. He said people sometimes put stuff into what they offer
the carnies. I don’t know if the innocent-looking person who offered me the drink did--but I felt kind of queasy the rest of the day.
Maybe it was my need for money--though I think not--that make me jump for this dream. It could never have worked out. I hadn’t thought it through.
This was a lesson I have never forgotten.
Look Hard! Look Deep!