When I was but a Wee-One…. I was terribly afraid of the certain rides at amusement parks. Oh, there were the usual suspects. Any roller coaster, or log ride… or anything that was high up in the air, and dropped quickly to the ground. These things scared the holy-smacker-oly right out of me.
But nothing, I’ll tell you….. NOTHING…. scared me more than the dreaded, and horrifying…. Merry-Go-Round.
Creepy through and through. I would not get on one. For ANY amount of Salt-Water-Taffy-Bribery.
Those horse characters were creepy. Their little horsey faces seemed frozen in horror. The music was creepy. And the fact that it just went around and around… in endless counter-clockwise circles… I think there is something terribly wrong with that.
The Merry-Go-Round…or rather… Carousel… got its start rather early in history. The first known instance of one… is in a Byzantine painting… dating back to about 500 A.D. It shows riders… in a bunch of baskets…. suspended from a center pole. The visual I get of this….. is…. creepy.
The word carousel originates from the Italian and the
Spanish. Both languages have words which describe a game. It was sort of a battle preparation game. Played on horseback, it helped with combat training… with swords and such. Off with their heads.
And… it was also a training device for something called the ring-tilt. They used these wooden horses suspended from “arms” and these arms branched out from a central pole. They aimed spears at rings as they went round and round. This disturbs me too.
As things evolved in history… the old Carousel shifted away from being about swords and spears… to more of an entertainment venue. They became… well… if you can picture it…. “Horse Ballets.” Quite popular at court festivities for special occasions…. such as royal weddings. They adding music to the deal. And fake horsey characters.
For some reason… all of this still gives me the heebie-jeebies. Even as I write.
So. By the early 18th century carousels were being built and operated at various fairs and gatherings in central Europe and England. And there you have it.
Now we have them at amusement parks, and city parks, and festivals and fairs. When I shot this photo… I got all queasy inside.
I rode one. Once. In Montana. As an adult. I tried not to let on to anyone that I was scared witless on the inside. Yeah. I didn’t sleep that night. I kept hearing the music. And seeing the screaming horse faces.
Nothing “merry” about these things. No way.
A lot of people like a Carousel Ride. But it is just not for me. And I’m not horsing around about this one.