I Was A Pre-Teen Rube

by Simqueen


I think the best part of growing up in the seventies was all the carnivals that would sprout up all around our town, starting every June. The best one of all was the one that would come to the big Atlantic Thrift parking lot, just a few blocks from my house.


The whole family would go and ride the rides and eat funnel cake, at least once while it was there - but NEVER, EVER, would we go into the big tent with all the bright pictures on the outside. There would be a  Bally tape blaring over the loud music, telling us about the wonders to be found on the inside - Alive!


“Mom”, I would ask, “What’s in there?”


“Nothing”, would be the reply.


“There must be something”


“Nothing nice, how about the Ferris Wheel?”


I hated the Ferris wheel. I just knew that whatever was in that tent must be something really fun. The Bally tape said I would be shocked. I wanted to be shocked. So, I pressed the subject.


“Look,” She said “There are poor, sick people in there, and they are being taken advantage of! It’s awful! Nice people don’t go in there - if you pay the money, you just encourage the whole nasty business!”


Well, the Bally tape didn’t say “awful”, it said “amazing”. I just had to see it. Anyway, I knew that I was never allowed to do the most fun stuff , and I was sick of it. Time to take a stand. The next night, mom had to work, so I put my paper route money in my pocket, and met my friend George from down the street. From his front porch, we could hear the music from the rides - Steppenwolf, Argent, Yes (Roundabout for the Roundup!) . We were going to have fun!


“Hey” he said as we walked up the road, ‘did you hear about the girl that got killed at the fair last night?”


“No, what happened?”


“In the Spook House. They still didn’t find her head”


“C’mon!” I didn’t see anything about it in the paper. “That didn’t happen”

“Did too!. My brother’s girlfriend knew her. There are devil worshippers living in there. They drank her blood, and they took her head for a ceremony”


Well, if one of  the older kids said it, it must be true! We walked the rest of the way to the fair thinking it over. As we entered, we could hear that Bally tape…”Bloody Mama! She’s alive! “ Pretty exciting.


“She’s killed a hundred Men!…not for the faint of heart! Enter if you Dare!….” On and on it went, she must be something!


“Let’s go in”


“It’s probably dumb!” He argued


“C’mon, I’m going in - Chicken!”


 “I’m not chicken, it’s dumb!”


“….From the darkest jungle…A terrifying Killer…Keep your hands at your sides!…” I just knew it was Bloody Mama, not some devil cult, that killed that girl in the spook house! I had to see her.


“She’s some kind of jungle savage” I told him “She might be naked!”


In we went. And there she was - a python. Not eating anyone. She was naked, though. Seemed she was sleeping. Next to her was a goat with an extra leg. Nothing awful, no sick people. I knew my mother didn’t know what she was talking about! And it was over, we were back on the midway.


“Wanna go in the Spook House?”




And off we went. That was 30 years ago, and I just recently told my mother. I think I’m grounded.


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