With Bloomin' Temple Festival less than a month away, it gets me thinking of all the fun I had as a kid at carnivals.  It also gets me thinking about how I can no longer handle those rides like I once did.  There's no shame in admitting defeat.  There IS shame in losing your lunch on the Tea-Cups because you were too big of a man to admit you couldn't handle it.

Their weakness? Sweet treats! I'll spend every dollar in my wallet and hit the ATM 10 times before I ride on a carnival ride. Photo by Jamie Garrett

My troubles at the carnival actually began far, far away from the carnival.  My troubles began when I decided to take my then-five-year old son, Tyler, on a flight on an authentic B-24 bomber.  It was a windy day, and let's just say being in the back of that plane facing backward was more than I could handle.  I didn't get the "bag" open in time, and my Sonic double-cheeseburger was shared with everyone else on the plane.  My son being there to witness this scene was bad enough.  The fact that he brings it up every time we're at the carnival or any time the subject of an airplane comes up doesn't help matters.

Ever since that fateful flight, I've been unable to do more than 2-3 rides at the carnival.  With Bloomin' Temple Festival coming up May 10th & 11th, I know I'll be asked to take one (or both) of my sons on some questionable rides.  The last time I went on the ferris wheel at Bloomin' Temple Festival my son decided to make sure I remembered the airplane ride by asking, "Hey dad, you remember when you threw up on the airplane and it went everywhere?".  Of course I remember.  He knows I remember.  He's doing it to bring shame back upon me.  It also makes me a little queezy every time I think about it.  That ferris wheel ride couldn't come to an end soon enough.

What my boys need to remember is that I have these pictures, and I'm not afraid to share them with the world if they keep bringing up that fateful flight. Photo by Jamie Garrett

What happens now that he's even older and wants to go on the bigger rides.  I took him on his first roller coaster ride at Six Flags in December, but it was one of the little coasters so there was no danger.  The coasters don't do it to me.  It's the rides that go round and round and round and round and.... Hold on, I'm getting sick.  OK, I'm better now.  I can't just let him do the ride by himself.  How bad would I feel if one of these carnie-rigged rides fails and I wasn't there with him?  Not bad enough to actually do it, which is why I've devised a strategy.  My sons' weaknesses are sugar and carnival games.  I'll go through $200 trying to throw a baseball at some old milk jugs if it means I don't have to go on those rides.  Money isn't everything.  Nobody's going to remember the stuffed animal that cost me $60 to win.  EVERYBODY will remember the guy that threw up on a 12-year old on a carnival ride.

Swallow your pride, guys.  Don't give in to the taunts of your children and ride a ride you know you can't handle at your age.  Looking back, that fateful airplane ride was probably one of the first times my son remembers seeing his dad as imperfect.  I blame it on the wind.  He just thinks I'm weak.  He can "think" all he wants.  I can just smile and move along with my day because I "know" I'm not paying for his college if he keeps bringing up my moment of weakness.

An option that might make the carnival rides Friday & Saturday a little easier to deal with might be the Rotary 5K & Fun Run Saturday morning, May 11th at 8am.  Register online and join us for some morning fun in downtown Temple.  The 5K starts at 8am and the Fun Run starts at 9am.