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Monday, April 17, 2017

Bumper Cars

Bumper Cars
As a kid, at the Jersey shore, I loved the amusement park.  Just about every large boardwalk on the shore has a small amusement park.   They have ski ball, pinball machines, a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl and other rides.  The ride I liked the best was bumper cars.

Bumper cars was the most expensive ride at the park I went to.  Fifty cents!  When you consider you could get into a double feature movie for thirty-five cents, or buy a pack of gum for a nickel, fifty cents was a big investment for a three-minute ride.
But for a kid too young to drive a car, it was worth fifty cents to speed around a track and bang into other cars, driven by people you generally didn’t even know.  If there was a cute young lady in another car all the boys would gang up on that car.  Clearly blasting one’s bumper car into another again and again would be the catalyst to an exciting romantic relationship.
Well that never worked out, but it was great fun blasting another car, spinning it around and banging it head on and not allowing it to move.
A few years ago I took my then very young son for a bumper car ride.  While waiting in line for an open car, I read the “Bumper Car Rules.”
My reaction was “Bumper car rules?  There are no rules in bumper cars!”  But oh, yes there are now. 
Some of the rules made sense:
Stay in the car until the ride stops
Keep the bar down at all times
Keep your hands and feet inside the car
Do not hit another car head on
You must be over 43 inches tall…
Bumper cars is all about hitting the other cars, and head on is the best way to hit them.  The name of the ride is BUMPER CAR, and they don’t want you to bump other cars?
Oh, you can tap them, give them a glancing blow, even push them a little, but “DO not hit another car head on!” And they were serious.  While we were waiting, they stopped a ride and warned someone about bumping head on.
My son enjoyed the ride.  He thought avoiding collisions was fun.  Me, I’ll never waste another fifty cents on this ride (five dollars now). 
A bumper car ride where you can’t bump other cars?
What’s next, no tag at school recess?


  1. I'm with you on this one, no bumping kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing.

  2. That's preposterous! It's like not allowing a book about coffee tables on a coffee table!

  3. I always seemed to get into some tangled up mess that I couldn't get myself out of with lots of cars around me; didn't do much bumping any which way, especially not heads on. I preferred the gentler rides like the carousel :)


  4. Not much fun, then! Why the heck don't they change the name if bumping isn't allowed?

  5. Come on joeh; it's only head on bumping you can't do. You can still bump from behind and bump sideways.
    I never got a chance on the bumper cars, the crowd of boys waiting for them was just too big to fight through.

  6. Actually, they have banned tag at some schools, it's damaging to the children's psyche to be "it". Also, some kids tag others too hard.

    Bumper cars were fun unless someone ruined your ride by making sure you couldn't move at all. Then it became boring.

  7. My most hated ride! I guess we are opposites. I didn't see the fun of whiplash.

  8. More like no recess. I worked for a school board who considered 15 minutes of silent reading a day a total waste of instructional time. Read at home if you must, but certainly not in school, We will not pay teachers to watch children read. Or, heaven forbid, model that be reading themselves.

    I loved bumper cars. Bumper cars in a pool at a water park -- the best!

  9. I've never had the pleasure (or displeasure) my preferred ride was the tilt-o-whirl.

  10. I loved bumper cars. I rode them a lot and I did all the head on crashes I could do. That's why they call it bumpers cars. Kids aren't allowed to have good old fashioned fun like we did. They might get hurt.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  11. At least they didn't make you wear a seat belt & a helmet, did they?

  12. They are going to have to change the name to 'glancing blow' cars. I can sort of see it though...I mean, good jolt and you've got whiplash.

  13. Gee that was a fun ride wasn't it? Not sure about the nudging version today. Guess too many lawyers got in the mix.

  14. You can't hit another car head on AND it costs $5.00? They should't be allowed to call them bumper cars.

  15. I know these are a lt of fun but when I was in a bumper car at Seaside, Oregon, a kid rammed me good, hurting my back for a few weeks. Now I stay away from them.

  16. But don't you now feel kinder, gentler, and much more politically correct? ;)

  17. When I was younger I love pin pals. One thing I wasn't good at is operating the bumber boats.
    Coffee is on

  18. No headon collisions? That's not right.

  19. Five bucks for bumper cars? That's what's wrong with the world!!!


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