Carnival & Midway Games: The Science Of The Scam, And How To Win

‘Tis the season for local carnivals, fairs, festivals and lots of other events that, at least in the U.S., usually includes soft ice cream, corn dogs, kettle corn, funnel cake, fried stuff on a stick, and “spin and puke” rides. Probably in that order. 😉

When I was a kid, the things I loved the most at the carnival were the games of chance. Whether it was squirting water into a clown’s mouth, aiming a wiffle ball to land in a red cup or trying to break balloons with darts, I was positive that I could beat the odds and win that 3’ plush Snoopy I had my eye on. Unfortunately, although I spent a whole lot of money trying, I never did win that Snoopy. But I did win a working kid-sized blender on a carnival roulette wheel once, when I was about seven.

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Getting Around Chicago Without A Rental Car

When visiting a big city, I hardly ever rent a car anymore. It’s just too expensive when you consider the cost of the rental, gas, parking at the hotel, parking at the locations you plan on visiting, and tolls. I’ve gotten around just fine during trips to San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City without a rental car so I decided to not rent a car for our trip to Chicago (besides all the other reason I just mentioned, the hotel where we were staying charged $60 a night for parking!!!!)

I always look at two different scenarios when thinking about traveling without a car – getting from the airport to our hotel and then getting around town to see the things we are going to see.

Here’s how we did in Chicago:

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