Sep 282021
 

Oh ho ho, if you thought the Indiana Beach posts were all dried up, you were wrong because I’m back with another and it’s nice and MOIST.  That doesn’t even make sense. I just wanted to type “moist” since it’s so triggering.

A few years ago, Chooch learned about the game of Fascination at Knoebels Amusement Park and has been, OK I’m going for it, FASCINATED by it ever since. If you’ve never had the odd experience of playing Fascination, or spectating Fascinators in action, it’s like a cross between Bingo and skeeball. I hear that Fascination parlors are very rare these days, but we have been to FIVE places this year alone that have a parlor: Knoebels, Morey’s Piers (there is a super cool antique arcade hidden in the back of a regular, modern arcade), Sylvan Beach (their parlor was closed though), Indiana Beach, and we didn’t know it at the time we were there but Six Flags Darien Lake also has one. Super random.

So far, Knoebels has the best Fascination parlor. Indiana Beach’s was nice because it was air-conditioned, but it was run by two teen guys who were also playing double-duty behind the prize counter, so the games weren’t being run as efficiently AND no one was on the horn doing play-by-plays and making everyone nervous by spotlighting the table number in the lead. But! Props to those kids were taking it seriously and hustling as best as they could.

Obligatory FAMILY FASCINATION RELFLECTION SELFIE but my phone covered most of my face. PROBS FOR THE BEST.

I really appreciated this relic of the HEAVY PUBLIC SMOKING past. Henry had to show me how it worked and it aroused a long-slumbering slideshow of SMOKING IN RESTAURANTS AND SHOPPING MALLS AND OLIVE GREEN WOOD-PANELED STATION WAGONS AND CIGARETTE MACHINES IN LAUDROMATS.

Whew, time-travel makes me tired.

Just like Fascination makes these two guys tired, I guess. (Side note: Henry said he’s never seen someone yawn for such an extended period of time and now I’m sad that I missed it. Maybe if we had locked eyes, he could have passed a demon onto me. DAMMIT.)

I wonder if Chooch’s next spreadsheet will be one to keep track of all the Fascination parlors he visits in his lifetime.  The only ones left in the US that he hasn’t played are:

  • Looff’s Lite-A-Line in Long Beach, CA
  • Geneva-on-the-Lake in Ohio
  • Funland in Seaside, Oregon

Plus the ones at Sylvan Beach and Darien Lake. Looks like this will be a pretty small spreadsheet, lol.

I wonder if Henry played Fascination with his SERVICE buddies.

He won a round and Chooch was so pissed, but I was happy because Henry’s virtual tickets got scanned onto Chooch’s Indiana Beach arcade card and I HAD MY EYE ON A RING IN THAT PRIZE CASE.

Actually, Chooch was the one who (GRUDGINGLY) cashed in his tickets on this ring (and later, a popsicle ring of my choosing!) and it was the most pathetic moment of my life, watching  my own flesh and blood be annoyed that he had to “waste” 35 tickets on a ring for his MOTHER when he could have used that on a Tootsie pop. Anyway, when I picked out the one I wanted, Yawner actually looked at Chooch and asked, “Is that OK?” like, excuse me but give a bitch her ring. Don’t ask the KID. Yes, it’s OK because I’m his mother and if he says no, I’m ripping that ticket card out of his hands and feeding it to the carp in Lake Shafer! NOW GIVE ME MY FUCKING RING.

Jesus Christ.

So, that’s Fascination. I’m not into it at all because it makes me nervous, but those two love it. I actually went outside and sat by myself on a bench the last time they ducked inside for a round. I felt sad, just sitting there watching families have fun on the bumper cars. It’s OK. Don’t cry for me, Indiana Beach.

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