Today we took the boys to Kiddieland. I can only describe it as a semipermanent carnival that came to Melrose Park a hundred years ago (okay, really 79) and then never left.

It’s ancient.

No really, Bethany’s grandma rode the same rides when she was young. Not new versions of the old rides, but the same exact rides.

But the great thing about Kiddieland is that the kids don’t realize they’re riding ancient instruments of destruction. Here’s an unofficial official list of requirements for these rides:

  • No harnesses. – These only restrict thrill (a.k.a. “death”) seekers. A rope that loosely drapes over your lap should suffice. For all rides.
  • Paint it once. – The structural integrity of these things can bear the load of precisely one coat of paint. Anymore and chaos will unfold.
  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. – Every ride does the same thing. Go in a circle in a random, cheaply made vehicle.
  • Have undertrained, underpaid, underenthusiastic, unresponsible people operate everything in the park. Concerned parent: “Isn’t that kid too small for this ride?” Worker: “Meh…” (just so I don’t sued, this didn’t actually happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me…)

I made some other observations today about amusement park life in general:

  • Why does every park have to have a “train ride”?
  • Why do the people who ride the train ride think they’re in some sort of parade or are so important that they have to wave at everyone? Does anyone care? “Hey, look at me. I’m so important because they let me on this exclusive train ride.”
  • The Latin root of “Amusement park” is sweat.
  • Why do they still sell fanny packs? Who buys them? I saw a lady today who looked like she was going on a survival hike with her ultra-delux bag around her hips.
  • Apparently at Kiddieland, the normal park rules like, “no line jumping” don’t apply.

To top the day off, we went to my favorite place for hot dogs: Gene’s and Jude’s. They’re the best hands down. Next time you’re in the Chicagoland area, go there.

Author: erik

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  1. Don’t knock “fanny-packs” until you’ve tried them!

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