Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bumper Cars

Another one of those childhood memories I don’t understand.
There was a ride at the beach with these little one-seated soapbox derby sized cars that were electrified to the ceiling for power. The ticket holders would scramble for a seat behind the wheel for once the juice was fired up you could get fried if you were standing on the wooden floor. You don’t ask questions in the game of bumper cars.
The purpose of the game, so I thought, was to step on the pedal and circle around a median strip, sort of a race to the finish, but they didn’t tell you this was more like a NASCAR bump and run event.
The joy of the ride was running into each other and knock other drivers into the wall where they are get stuck and can get passed. Some would even turn their cars around to have head on collusions. This was not driver’s education training as I remember.
I suppose this was a training class on how violent people could be against each other with no reason for the purpose of the ride except to use the cars as weapons without causing death. At the same time on the B&W screens was roller derby and wrestling to fan the testosterone and feed the reward of superiority over another through violence.
Today’s video games can be channels for destruction and gore without leaving the bedroom but the physical jostling within a tin toy vehicle being battered by family and friends teaches lessons that will carry on. 

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