Aug 152007

I was pretty excited when Kevin Cowherd of the Baltimore Sun Newspaper contacted me after reading my two Carnival Midway Game Secrets Revealed posts (Part One / Part Two). Unfortunately, like most things having to do with mainstream media, it was rather disappointing in reality. I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with Mr. Cowherd on one day and another 20 minutes or so a week later. Basically I was just repeating the same information as in the articles, though I did manage to remember a few things that I had neglected to mention and was able to clarify a few things for him. He informed me when the article would be posted and thanked me for my time.

The appointed day came and I noticed absolutely zero increase in traffic. Checking my web stats I saw no hits coming from the Sun’s website. Confused, I visited his column archives there and discovered that instead of the carnival midway article being published Mr. Cowherd had a cover story on the Baltimore Orioles stadium. Well, good for him.

Just last night I was going over my web stats again and noticed several incoming hits from a carnival trade site’s forums. Curious how they found me I headed over and found a thread talking about the article in the Baltimore Sun! Luckily a link directly to the article was included so I was able to find it after all.

The reason for the lack of referral traffic was clearly evident. He didn’t bother to link to my site. Not even a nofollow link! He did include the name of the site, but that was it. Well, that and he got my name wrong as well as the name of my hometown. he also claimed I was an “expert” which is something I never claimed. I’m just a guy who spent a few years working the carnival circuit over a decade ago. ::sigh:: I have no complaints about the article itself. Mr. Cowherd is a fine writer. It was just a bit disappointing. It is a major peeve of mine, though, when people write things on the web and DON’T hyperlink. The whole point of the web is hyperlinking to source material.

Apparently the article hit a nerve with someone though. The sole comment on the article as of last night:

Who are the 2 kooks with the “tips” anyway. They seem like really pompus self inflated guys with a need to put others down to pump themselves up. THe article is nicely written, but no more press for those books.
– SJ Gleason of Muskego, WI

Not sure what, exactly, SJ is so upset about, but my assumption would have to be that he/she is one of the carnies from the forums. This assumption is based on a few things: the comment was posted on Monday, after the thread appeared at the forum; otherwise I don’t know why someone from Michigan would be browsing through the Baltimore Sun website; most of the people on the forums took issue with the article as well. SJ obviously arrived with an attitude since they didn’t even read the article well enough to realize that there is only one book mentioned. There’s also no pomposity evident within the article. Here are some of the comments from the forum-

Talk about BS. What they forgot to tell you is rimshots dont count and when I see people using body fluids, spit, on coins I call them out telling them I don’t want to handle thier germs from thier nasty mouth. They also forgot to tell you these are all hanky panks, legal and work on average.

All of which is covered in my original posts, though Mr. Cowherd decided to leave it out of the article for reasons of his own. In fact, I repeatedly stress the legality and “work on average” points in both of my posts as well as in both interviews.

Some comments on the dart game–

Come on you guys don’t sit around with a file making the darts dull? Alot of BS.

Right, the marks throwing them and hitting everything but the board makes them dull….Or the dumbass kids that try to stick them into the counter….

Nowhere in the Sun article or my posts was ther even an implication that the carnies intentionally dulled the darts. Regardless of how they got that way, they do tend to be dull, however.

One more comment from the forums:

quote:Aahz’s tip is to observe some games beforehand to see which guns have better water flow than others, because carnival owners aren’t known for maintaining their game equipment, and there could be noticeable differences. /quote

yeah i see bobby cassatas and lotmans groupgames looking run down all the time. specially those guys with the 250k double decker water gun joints. they never take care of them…..

I’ve never worked for Cassatas or Lotmans, nor have I played on one of their midways (to my knowledge), or ever seen a “double decker water gun joint”, though it sounds cool and I’d like to play on one. On the other hand, I’ve also never seen a watergun game at a traveling carnival that was fully functional. Maybe it’s a coastal thing.

I did apply for an account on the forums in order to reply and clarify a few things, but they don’t seem interested in new members as my activation email has yet to arrive.

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