I have seen that man almost lose his lunch while changing a dirty diaper or trying to comfort me while I was nauseous; and yet he can gut an elk, filet a slimy fish, or eat a pile of mountain oysters, knowing full well where they just came from!
But there is one more thing that will get him that I didn’t mention.
Just ask his older sister Peggy about the little Tilt-A-Whirl ride they took together when they were growing up. She can still visualize Barry’s up-chuck sliding closer and closer to her on the narrow plastic seat with every spin of the metal enclosure.
She had to have therapy.
Peggy again was present when one of the best experiences took place. Along with her two daughters, Holly and Amanda, and me, we were all at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, KS.
“Uncle Barry, will you ride the Double-Ferris Wheel with us?” They pleaded while tugging on his shirt.
“Oh, okay, but I’m not going to ride any stupid roller coasters, ok?” He responded while give them each a hug.
I was a little surprised when Bear agreed to their requests since he is deathly afraid of heights; but off he went like a trooper to purchase the tickets for all of us.
After the uneventful ride was over, I told him that I was proud of him as he never screamed once. However, he did look a little green around the gills.
“Okay now Uncle Barry . . . The Rocket!” The girls said in unison pointing to a spaceship looking contraption that spun while it went up and down in a large circle.
Bear turned a darker shade of green just looking at it moving and gyrating in a fast motion.
“OH, NO! Uncle Barry is NOT getting on THAT! Choose another one ladies!” He says while he is shaking his head and waving both of his hands in a negative way to emphasize just how serious he was.
They looked a little dejected as each adult in the group politely declined to accompany them on that particular thriller.
“Hey, what about The Rainbow?” Amanda inquired while pointing in a direction away from where we were standing.
“Yeah! That shouldn’t make you sick Uncle Barry. It is just like sitting in a church choir!” Holly rang in while she too pointed at the innocent looking ride that was about a half of a city block on the midway away from us .
Before Bear would commit, he decided to watch as one group of the “choir” riders got on. Sure enough, it did look like a choir section in a church with its long rows of benches on a platform that simply rose up to the far right; back down to the center; and then up to the far left; and then back down to repeat the process all over again. No spinning, no twisting , no turning.
“Hmphf. Ok, That looks like it might be fun” Bear agreed and again walked over to the ticket booth to purchase the needed tickets.
Peggy and I decided to sit this one out and just visit with each other while Uncle Barry entertained his nieces.
After a few minutes, our conversation was interrupted by a very familiar voice hollering at the top of his lungs –
“STOP” . . . When the platform was at its peak on the right side of the pendulum.
“THIS” . . . When it came back to the center.
“RIDE” . . . When it swung to the highest point on the left side.
And then some other words promising the ride operator that if he didn’t stop RIGHT NOW and let him off, something ugly was fixin’ to happen.
All over the side of the nearest railing to the ground below where some spectators USED to be standing.
However, everyone on that ride got their FULL ticket price of the time allotted, with my husband getting sick every time it cycled to the right side.
When the ride did finally come to a stop, there was a mad scramble as everyone, including two totally embarrassed nieces, quickly vacated the choir section leaving one lone man hanging his head between the bars on the outside railing.
Peggy and I have tears rolling down our cheeks and our sides are hurting from laughing as the girls come running up to join us.
“Did you see THAT?!” yells Amanda excitably with pride.
“That was GROSS!” adds Holly who wasn’t as impressed as Amada was with her Uncle.
By this time, Bear is weaving towards us like a sailor who has been out to sea for six months. We were all standing in a group by the ticket booth.
“Oh, my gosh Bear! You poor thing!” I feign sympathy as I shake my head in hilarious disbelief.
He doesn’t say a word. His eyes get wide. He grabs his stomach. His color drains from his face . .
The girls scream and run into the nearby restrooms.
Peggy and I turn and run while holding our hands to our faces, not daring to look back.
I stop a safe distance away, turn around and holler loud enough for everyone to hear –
“DO YOU WANT ANOTHER FUNNEL CAKE TO REPLACE THAT ONE?”