not shot or stabbed but weightless

turns out that during the past week there has been one of the largest fairs in the uk happening near KC Stadium here in town. Hull Fair, as it is aptly titled, is a massive sprawling travelling carnival with all of the accountrements that come standard to a life that only a five year old would think glamerous.

though there were plans to go today, the last day of the fair, an election celebration led a group of friends and officials from the International Students Association and myself to take one of the late buses down to the fairgrounds. beto, my roommate, ran for the position of representing the Americas on the ISA Decision Committee and won. we slouched about at the Sanctuary on campus and waited with the other runners and existing officials waiting for the results and by 8:00 everybody had a couple drinks. about ten or twelve of us finally decided that going to the fair might be a good idea.

earlier in the day mentioned to a friend that i was planning on checking out the fair and his response was "ah, that's a good way to get shot and stabbed at the same time." (i had an acid-like-flashback to nick swardson's stabbing routine) i still can't quite figure out if chris was kidding.

kristan and i rode this scary thing first. when you got up to the top, assuming the swiveling seats you sit in weren't whipping about and pitching you upside down, there was an amazing view of hull, the fair, KC and the Humber Bridge. really cool, actually. and then the arms threw you back down towards the platform and it felt as if no amount of restraint was going to keep you from simply melting out through the safety harness. it also creaked the whole time. nice.

then we went on one of those tower freefall contraptions. cleverly titled Big Ben, this tower was the shortest "ride" of the fair but also the most frightening. four sides of seats are rigged to a giant hydraulic press in the center of the tower which pulls the chair platform upwards at slightly more than unnerving speeds. once the chairs are loaded at the bottom there is an indeterminate amount of time before the platform is slung up and, once at the top, one has to wait and wait and wait before freefalling back down. i tried holding onto the metal handles on the ride up but my hands slipped off - the handles were covered, conveniently, in some sort of grease. so for the drop i didn't hold onto anything and this is the closest thing to that feeling you get when you're bungee jumping. there's a moment when after reaching the apex of the parabola on the return trip up you're weightless. this is one of the eeriest feelings i've ever had, it just sinks into your gut and you realize that you will be dead in just a few seconds.

yeah, except this was a carnival ride so i trusted it less than a couple canadien guys rigging naked-me up to a big bouncy rope on a bridge 200 feet up spanning a thin canyon in february.



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