Once again, Reds and Wolves, The Barker brings you a few examples of carnival lingo to drop into casual conversation! Got a gal or a fella you're trying to lay it on thick with? Well, nothing's more impressive than a mouth filled with slang from times past! They'll think you're "eccentric" and "intriguing" and maybe even "insane!" In any event, this is the language we're dropping all around the Tilt-A-Whirl!
Dark Ride - Know those haunted "train" rides you took through tattered curtain flaps at the county fair? Or the "Haunted House" with bowls of eyeballs and creepy crawlies hiding under the table ready to grab your leg as you stroll past? Well, that's called a "Dark Ride" here at Thimbleton's Circus and Oddities...actually, everything is a dark ride here at Thimbleton's. The animatronic ghouls which caress the nape of your neck as you pass are called "gags."
Gig —This is when a game runner gets greedy, and snatches all a mark's money all at once instead of letting the mark believe he'll win big if he just gives it one more shot. Most carnies look down on this type of trick, as it usually leads to a fight with the mark, or beef with the cops.
The guys running these types of games are usually green and unskilled, and are called Gig Artists.
Hanky-Pank — "Every player wins a prize!" Ever heard that as you walked around crunching your caramel apple? That's what this term means, games with crummy worthless "prizes" which cost about a tenth of the game ticket purchased. You give a prize worth 15 cents for every dollar play, you make 85 cents profit. Hanky-Pank!
The next time you exit a dark ride down at Thimbleton's, be sure to avoid all the Gig artists and head for the Hanky-Pank instead - at least you'll leave with something in your pocket besides lint!