Carnivorous Carnivals and Ruthless Rodeos // the baran family crazies go to the fair

“Guys, lets go to a rodeo,” I said to my family one day. “Bullriding is a sport where people almost get trampled, and I want to see it.”

My family is well schooled in the ways of a writer and didn’t bother raising their eyebrows. They even humored me, finding a nearby rodeo and the fair/carnival it was part of.

I was excited to see enraged murder-beasts and witness near-death experiences.

Anna, on the other hand, was more interested in my death.

But we’ll get to that later.

I’d never been to a carnival before, and was under the impression that they were overblown fiascoes where rebellious teenagers show off and get drunk. I’m still not convinced they aren’t, but small-town carnivals are a brand all their own. There were families, not just teenagers. The place was clean. (Sort of.) A nice little old man offered to drive us around in his golf-cart. They even had mounted police directing traffic.

(Mom was fascinated by these equine-riding individuals, and being herself, tried taking their picture.)


(An unsuspecting Sarah somehow got in the way.)

I’m not sure when the idea that we should try some of the rides was birthed, but Anna is an enthusiastic supporter of adventurous, thrilling, and possibly dangerous recreational activities. As for me, I have an underdeveloped fear complex and for once in my life didn’t object to her wild ideas.


Anyway, what could possibly be threatening about a ferris wheel? I’ve always wanted to go on one, and here was my chance.

“If you die on that thing, I’m going to kill you,” said mom, who has a fear of heights. “You won’t find me bobbling around in one of those creepy little carriages!”

Two minutes later:


Seeing an opportunity, Anna proceeded to make it worse.



During this ride, I discovered an invaluable fact about myself: I’m not scared of heights. Not in the slightest bit. In fact, after our cloud soaring was done, I was totally game when Anna suggested we do another one. This time, we found a big swingy thing that takes you way up into the sky and spins you around until up seems down and discombobulation becomes reality.

This one was my favorite… I felt like I was in How to Train Your Dragon.

“I’m REALLY not going on this one, and you can’t make me,” declared a passionate mom.

When Anna & I reached the height of our ascent and were in the process of being spun like a wet dish-rag, I glanced at the seat behind me. Lo and behold, there was mom, hunched in the chair like a beleaguered capybara as dad sat grinning beside her.

The poor woman just can’t get what she wants.


We let her off the hook with this one. It’s one of those centrifugal force contraptions where you spin at the speed of light with nary a seat belt or safety bar in sight. I used to scoff at people who got on these things because… no seat belts… how stupid and unsafe… duh.

I was pleasantly shocked to learn firsthand that science does, in fact, work.

The weirdest experience in life is when you’re so glued down by inertia that even your pudgy little cheeks are trying to stick themselves to the wall behind you.

After this, Anna decided we should be a little more daring. “Let’s do that over there!” she yelled, and before I could get my bearings, grabbed my hand and dragged me toward…


Oh my.

How about no.

Like I said earlier, I have an underdeveloped fear instinct when it comes to these kinds of thrill rides. Maybe because I’m an INTJ or maybe because I’m just plain stupid, but I can compartmentalize the frightening aspects of being whirled around through unmentionable heights at illegal speeds. These things simply don’t bother me. I find them fun.

But this… this was a class all it’s own. This takes you upside down and then STOPS, leaving you hanging there. Being prone to both headaches and carsickness, I was like, yeah, no, we’re not doing that.

I tried to resist.

Anna taught me that resistance is futile.



After only thirty seconds on this thing, I dubbed it the Demon Wheel of Doom and Death. The seatbelts weren’t quiiiiiite tight enough, so every time it took you upside down, we’d drop — not very far, but just enough to trick our brains into thinking we were falling.

Eternity became real to me. In that two minute ride, I learned things about prayer eighteen years of life couldn’t teach me. The phrase, “WHY DID YOU MAKE ME DO THIS???” was bellowed at Anna 327 times in rapid succession

Miraculously, we survived.

And I promptly excommunicated my sister from my life.


From that point on, everything else seemed like a kiddie ride in comparison.

Anna’s thirst for thrills was finally satisfied, and we made our way to where the rodeo was being held. This was by far the main attraction for me; all my life I’d had a compelling desire to see people willingly cast themselves in the path of death by a rampaging, 2,000 lbs. beast, and at long last, the dream was becoming reality.

I was not, however, prepared for the amount of country music I’d have to listen to in the process.

It was a small price to pay, however, for at long last the event began. I waited with baited breath as the first rider was announced, the chute opened, and out thundered…




…that be a horse.

I voiced my complaint in demure, sophisticated tones:


We sat through two hours of sickeningly twangy country music and inept barrel-racers as we waited for those stupid bulls. They came at the VERY END of the rodeo. But despite the wait, I was not disappointed. Thirteen people (yes, I counted) met a sad fate of colliding with dirt. It was epic.

(The dude wearing hot-pink lasted all of 0.003 seconds, and never have I taken more joy in someone else’s failure than at that moment.)

The sun had set by this point and the place was coated in enough lights to give me a headache. Before we left, we decided to take one last swing through all the rides (minus the Spherical Bringer of Doom) and convinced dad to get on the centrifugal force thingy with us.

And I must say, despite being able to compartmentalize how strange a situation your body is in, there’s a certain part of your brain that can never quite dismiss the fact that if those rides broke down, you’d be flung to an immediate death. This knowledge haunts you when you’re on them. And though you know it probably won’t happen, you still can’t help thinking… what if…

Halfway into our (seatbeltless) ride, the lights flickered and went out.

This resulted in instantaneous panic.

Half a second later backup lamps went on and the ride proceeded like nothing had happened, but I have never been so happy to get off a machine in my entire life.

Let it be known that if I’d died, it would’ve been Anna’s fault for dragging me onto those things.

Also, I found the animal representation of my life:


This foal understands me.

And THAT, my friends, concludes yet another adventure. Have you guys been to a rodeo before? Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s mildly fascinated by the concept of near-death experiences for the sake of entertainment. It’s like the Hunger Games, except with bulls instead of scientifically mutated Gollum creatures.

Fun stuff, amiright??

*coughs into sleeve*



24 thoughts on “Carnivorous Carnivals and Ruthless Rodeos // the baran family crazies go to the fair

  1. Okay, that was awesome.
    I have also been on the centripetal (yes, centripetal) ride. When I first saw it I thought we had seat belts. When I realized that the only thing keeping me from plummeting to my death was a rope, I was pretty convinced I was about to die. Fortunately I had gone on another centripetal ride beforehand (the one where you don’t tilt but your feet leave the ground) and connected the dots. This the ride was much more pleasant than I thought it would be.


  2. (Oh come on, you dumb computer.)
    AS I WAS SAYING, the Spherical Bringer of Doom is one of my favorite rides I’ve ever been on. ☺️ I’m happy that you got to experience the exhilaration!
    10/10 post. πŸ˜ƒ


    1. Okay, so I looked it up because you made me curious, and it actually is centrifugal. Centripetal force pushes an object toward the center (or axis) of rotation, whereas centrifugal pushes the object away from the axis. Which is demonstrated in that ride, because instead of getting sucked toward the center, we’re pushed back against the wall.

      Wow, I sound so smart saying that, but I literally got it off Wikipedia. XD

      Anyway. I applaud you for actually enjoying the Demon Spinny Thing. You must be superhuman. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Centripetal force is basically the same as centrifugal force. In fact centrifugal force technically doesn’t exist. Centripetal force doesn’t push the object toward the center, as this is mathematically and physically impossible. The object (in this case, the person on the ride) is pushed outward. Centripetal force EQUALS mass TIMES velocity squared DIVIDED BY radius, which means the heavier the person, the faster he is moving in the circle and the larger the radius of the ride, the more outward force he feels.
        The “inward” force you are referring to is probably the tension between the center of the ride and the rider. It’s like a lasso (to carry on the rodeo theme). When you swing a lasso, the tension of the rope as you swing it on one end is a key reason the loopy end says airborne. So depending on how you look at it the force could be going in either direction, but math says that the riders experience outward force.
        Sorry about spamming your comment section with science stuff. πŸ˜› *pats physics textbook affectionately*


            1. I tend to not debate things I don’t know much about anyway, so that gives you an automatic win. πŸ˜‰ Did you spout all of that off the top of your head…? When I took physics, I couldn’t remember those things if my life depended on it.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Naw, I had to refer to my textbook for all the facts. I don’t remember the majority of what I learned from that class, but I remembered that centrifugal force is just centripetal force in disguise. 😝 It was a good class.


  3. “Let it be known that if I’d died, it would’ve been Anna’s fault for dragging me onto those things.”

    Sarah, you absolutely wonderful human being.
    Also, I’m so dragging my sister onto one of those rides. y’know. to strengthen her senses.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. *takes a deep breath* *tries not to be offended*
    How can you not like country music????? I HAVE GROWN UP (partially) ON COUNTRY MUSIC AND RODEOS! And… inept barrel racers?? What do you mean? Did they knock over barrels a lot? If so, than they are totally inept… but if there were several who made clean runs through the pattern, then I would not call them inept. I AM a barrel racer, after all. πŸ˜‰

    *wipes sweat off brow* Okay, there, I’m done. And just so you know, I’m not truly offended or angry… just slightly… shocked, defensive, etc.

    Sounds like you had fun, overall! THAT FOAL IS ADORABLE. <33

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But it’s so twaaaaaangy…. *whines*

      You are truly a country girl. XD I figured you’d have something to say about the barrel-racing, and yes, they knocked over quite a lot of barrels. Some of the riders were really good (and so fast 😲), but most of them didn’t seem to be in very good control of their horses.

      I apologize for my poor opinion of twangy country music… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I can understand. Country music certainly isn’t for everybody. πŸ™‚ I am a true country girl (my dad is a farmer, for one thing) and so I can hardly bear to hear anybody speak ill of rodeos, barrel racers, country music, etc., but hey! We all have different preferences, backgrounds, heritages, interests. We went to a rodeo last month, and we’re going to another on August 14th, so… we’re pretty fond of rodeos. I love how much of God they bring into it. The announcer of the rodeo we go to every July (he does his announcing from horseback, which is cool) is clearly a Christian, and he always prays and pretty much shares the gospel with everyone there.

        It’s okay, I understand how some people might not like it. πŸ˜€ MiddleEarthMusician and I are friends in real life, and I know better than to recommend any country song to her because… she’s not going to listen to it. πŸ˜›


  5. I AGREE ABOUT COUNTRY MUSIC. I do not love it. XD AND YES FOR RAMPAGING BULLS. That is the only reason I really have enjoyed rodeos in the past-although I do like horses. XP And those videos of the rides are A+. πŸ˜€

    I’m glad you had a fun time though!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. RODEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *dons cowgirl hat and chaps*
    What’s wrong with barrel racing?????
    Did they do a calf-roping competition? I always loved those. πŸ˜€
    Cool rides… *shudders*
    Okay, I’m fine with amusement park rides, but not so much fair/carnival rides. Mainly because the fair rides are built to be transported and moved, and thus are not nearly as secure as the permanent amusement park rides. My mom is the same way, partially because she saw a carnival ride break right before she would have gotten on it.
    And, once again, your family is absolutely amazing. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Anna, on the other hand, was more interested in my death.”

    I can relate. XD

    At the Christian camp/conference we go to almost every year it has a lot of woodsy areas where there’s nothing but brush and all. And this one time, while we were out bicycling around the camp at night, my brothers thought it was a great idea to go down a pitch black road that’s pretty much hidden from all other areas of society. There were no lamps, only the merciless pitch black and creaking branches of the surrounding forest. And farther down that road, it randomly drops off in a sharp downward slope worthy only of the most murderous of roller coasters.
    “I don’t think we should do this” I said, “it’s probably not safe,” I said. “WE CAN’T SEE ANYTHING” I said.

    They were not dissuaded. Of course.

    “We’re going to die” I said, as we emerged into the black, “a gollum-cougar thing is going to leap from the branches ahead and CONSUME US” I said, “We’ll be like those dumb people on all the movies who go down a dark street and are never heard from again” I said.

    Nobody listened to me. Naturally.

    Of course, none of THAT happened. Oh no, instead, we nearly got ran over by a murderous monster car that literally appeared out of nowhere only to vanish back into the black from wince it came only moments after nearly ending our meager lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Literally my favorite thing about this post is the tags. (Particularly all those about fellows wearing pink.) Good gravy, that’s the best bunch of tags you’ve ever come up with. And for once ‘crabby cows’ actually applied. XD

    Thrill rides are not for me, oh help. To be fair pretty much the only thing like that I’ve ever done was a water park, and I loved that, so it sounds ridiculous for me to say. -_- (I think the water has a cushioning effect that makes it feel less brutal or something…) But oh no. Things like roller coasters and horror rides of the sort you went on…being prone to both headaches and motion sickness, I would die (or at least what little is left of my internal balance would leave me), and I don’t know how you didn’t agghhh you poor human. >_<

    Your poor mother.



  9. So, what’s this about the kid who won the rodeo? *Winks*

    And fear of heights is NOT an irrational fear.

    Mop, I commiserate with you on the ferris wheel ordeal. Same thing happened to me.

    Anna, take it easy on your mother. They have ways of getting even. Mop might be too nice to take advantage of them.



  10. I like amusement parks with all the rides and stuff, but I totally agree: in the back of my mind, there’s always the thought that maybe, just maybe, it will break down and I will die πŸ˜‚


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