Behind closed locked garage-style doors, all’s quiet in Funland, been quiet since the end of last tourist season, the amusement park closed up tight to hibernate through autumn, winter, early spring.
The rides sleeping the deep sleep of gears and pistons. The horses on the carousel lightly snoring. The dragons on the ship loudly snoring. The Paratrooper and teacups and helicopters turning a little side to side. The bumper cars sliding on the slick floor, then returning to position. The haunted house rumbling.
All dream of summer’s return, flashing colorful lights, kids laughing and shrieking and wide toothy grins while riding the boats and swings and motorcycles, hurrying from one ride to another, parents trying to keep up, thrills of pretending to steer your very own plane for a time, hopped up on pizza and ice cream and cotton candy, some kids crying because they didn’t win the big stuffed monkey, who is also hibernating and dreaming of being hugged by a kid who mashes her face against it and cries out, “You’re perfect!” and carries it to the hotel room and sits next to it on the car ride (not nearly fast or colorful enough of a ride, c’mon you boring parents) to home and introduced to the other stuffed animals and joining the family.
The rides gather energy during the long hibernation, patient for the day they will wake and be launched into motion, the rides beaming with delight as the kids and grown-ups enjoy them. The rides joshing each other for which is the most fun for the humans, but they’re not nearly as competitive as the horses in the horse racing game, for they take that race over the plastic green track very seriously.
Funland is an amusement park on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware — where I grew up.