Wednesday, July 9, 2008

24 Hour Carnie People

I work in an interesting little intersection of Dallas. I work where the West End meets Victory Park. Where one made-up upscale family entertainment district of today meets the abandoned made-up upscale family entertainment district of yesteryear. West End today is kind of like that part in Back to the Future II where Marty buys that sports scores book in the future but Doc makes him throw it away. But Future Old Biff finds it and somehow Future Old Biff (FOB) figures out how to work a DeLorean time machine and borrow it for long enough to go back to 1955 to give the book to a 1955 version of himself previously referenced as being rather block-headed then explain how this would lead to riches down the line, get back in the time machine and come back to the future (we've got a franchise, boys). That of course messed up the Space Time continuum and leads to Marty being dropped back off in a shitty, pockmarked, dilapidated and graffitti-covered Hill Valley 1985. Only the West End has a Chipotle.

The low water mark for what was at one point in time the place where families could take the womb-spawn for a Planet Hollywood souvenir and salt water taffy buying spree is usually Taste of Dallas. It was probably pretty exciting at some point. I have my own personal "exciting" story about Taste of Dallas. When I was 19, I really liked Gene Loves Jezebel. One problem. I was 19 in the Year of our Lord 2000. The bad news for Gene Loves Jezebel was that in 2000, they were well past their heyday and needed any gig they could get. The good news for me was that in 2000, Gene Loves Jezebel were well past their prime and needed any gig they could get. Enter Taste of Dallas 2000. Lucky for me, Gene Loves Jezebel would be appearing on the main stage on opening night at a very special 6pm slot. I was lucky enough to get a spot near the stage though I must admit that the 11 or so middle-aged goths in PVC pants in the July sun didn't seem to mind acquiescing to me much. I should mention now that Gene Loves Jezebel was comprised of Welsh twin brothers Jay and Michael Aston who since their heyday have had a nasty falling out and now tour separately each under the Gene Loves Jezebel name. I got the Michael Aston (second tier) version at Taste of Dallas. I should have probably suspected that when he came out in leather pants whose zipper was being held up with a safety pin which did not strike me as a fashion statement. The nadir of the evening? As he builds into the chorus of "Gorgeous", he hands the microphone to me to sing. I don't do karaoke. I don't come to shows to do other people's jobs. I don't come to shows to work the light board or sell merch or sweep up after everyone leaves. So I don't sing into the mic if you put it in front of my face. I was later told by Mr. Aston that "was the first time in 20 years that I have given the mic to a girl to sing 'Gorgeous.'" So better luck in the next twenty, sir.

Which brings me to the current issue that plagues my little work 'burg. Someone decided that West End needed another sort of event to class the place up in the same vein as Taste of Dallas. So on July 3, the carnies flooded in like the blood flows to a newly revealed cold sore. It's a July 4th carnival, y'all! Thankfully, I was not around to witness if this carnival was much of a success or not.

But come Monday morning, there the carnival was. Still. I mean it was still there but also I mean it was inanimate. Like some sort of sit-in carnival protest. Then sometime after lunch we all see some police cars and some commotion downstairs. As I'm leaving work on Monday afternoon, I am greeted by a large sign on the main door downstairs warning us that there was an altercation between carnival workers and in the scuffle, some of the fryers and other miscellaneous lubricants (nope, Cheerios aren't staying down this morning) from the trucks have spilled all over our parking lot and the adjacent parking lots. One car in our parking lot has already slid into another parked car. As we walk out, we are greeted by the smell of the corpse of the State Fair floating on the Ganges. The Tilt-a-Whirl is like half packed up and the coupon booths are on a trailer and all the rides are still there but there is chaos everywhere. Rumors start floating around the office that as many as 20 carnies were involved in what can only be described as a "cageless carnie cage match" in the parking lot. Speculation is rampant as to what could have instigated the melee. I gently slip and slide my way over a decades worth of corn dog grease and towards home.

Day 2

Everything's still there. The carnies that didn't get taken in by the po-po have been sitting calmly on lawn chairs under the bridge apparently having the time of their lives. It's 100 degrees outside and they are sitting at what I would conservatively estimate to be the epicenter of the dried mustard smell that has taken over a three block radius. Maybe there is something to this whole carnie life. I have decided I would start to document this whole thing with my cell phone.

No word as yet on a Carnie Defense Fund or Free the Carnie Twenty Concert.


No Funnel Cakes, No Justice

Seriously guys, this is getting creepy. I don't like driving through an abandoned amusement park on my way into the office every day. Just like I wouldn't enjoy eating lunch with my friends at a collapsed coal mine-themed restaurant. The well-behaved carnies are still sitting in lawn chairs under the bridge. And if it is at all possible, MORE trucks of carnival accoutrement have showed up like a bizarre sideshow of solidarity. I feel like there's about to be some sort of Tilt-a-Whirl Attica.

And so it continues with no end in sight. Will keep you posted...


grady said...

no carnie street bowling? lawnchairs? these are some uppity carnie folk.

amandacobra said...

i did mention that we are on the edge of victory park, right? technically, i believe this carnie encampment is visible from Ghostbar.

kellydwyer said...

That was incredibly funny.