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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Visit an Amusement Park

A few years ago, there was a campaign that implied that, even if you've just won the Super Bowl or other amazing feats, going to Disneyland would be even better.

Now, I'm as big a fan of "The Magic Kingdom" as anyone. In fact, I have a nearly mystic connection: I was born the day the first one opened, in Anaheim, CA.

And how could anyone not love an enterprise that calls itself "The Happiest Place on Earth"?

Anyway, Disneyland and the other big, corporate parks are not what I'm talking about.

I mean those crunky little places that are more like a stationary carnival. In some areas they used to be called "trolley parks," built by the rail companies to increase ridership on weekends.

You know, a place where you can throw a softball at a stack of metal milk bottles, or bust balloons with darts, and win stuffed animals that are bigger than you.

Where you can see "the world's largest bull" or a two-headed lamb.

Where the ride operators are hand-painting the equipment in between rides.

Cotton candy and funnel cakes. Ferris wheels and Tilt-A-Whirl. Pitching ping pong balls into goldfish bowls.

If there are no amusement parks in your area, keep an eye out for county fairs and traveling carnivals.

Take the kids, take your sweetheart, step right up and become one of those suckers born every minute.

You'll be happier.

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