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 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 1:50 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

(Remark: this is Olivier-- you know, the Donald Duck avatar; I can't log back as "Olivier", as I can't find the password)

I'll be doing some reading comprehension with a class using a short story from issue 39 of The Haunt of Fear (October-November, 1954), "Showstopper!"

Here is an excerpt from the second half (emphasis mine):

Slipping in among the hayseeds, Grendat moved quickly toward the flying-ring concession… a plan already taking shape in his mind. They'll be sure to find the body soon, Grendat thought. I gotta make sure there are a lot of witnesses to testify I was hamming it up at the time of the killing. Gotta attract attention with a real eye-catching stunt. A sensational showstopper!
Grabbing hold of a flying-ring, Grendat waved gaily to the crowd as the big platform began to accelerate. The crowd chuckled as the clown swung his legs up over his head and slipped his feet into the metal circles. Balancing himself by the pressure of his insteps against the rings, Grendat let his hands slide free.. and smirked to the delighted onlookers as he hung upside-down.


I see what "flying-ring" refers to, but have not been able to find a single picture on the Net.
Eventually, I found in my books a Mickey Mouse drawing of which I am including a detail below.


Is there another word for this contraption, accounting for my not finding anything about it on the Web?

Thanks!

smile


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(Here's the whole story, for your enjoyment)


This carney, the man in the comic baggy pants thought to himself, was a set-up for a gee who was fast with his hands. In the crowd of rubes thronging the midway, a pickpocket had his choice of targets for a quick killing. As "Grendat the Clown", no one would suspect that jostling the customers was anything more than part of his act.

At the ticket booth in front of the Ferris wheel, he spotted an old man counting the change of a ten-spot. Grendat slapped a near-by woman across the back with a chalk-filled sock and, while the gawkers howled appreciatively at his antics, sauntered slowly to the spot where the old man would soon exit from the ride.

In a few minutes the big wheel completed its circuit and Grendat saw his victim step from one of the cages. The old geezer shambled toward the long dark alley between the popcorn stand and the fortune teller's booth. Grendat sidled in the same direction, his eyes searching the crowd to make certain no one was watching him.

The scheme went wrong, right from the start. The old rube was suspicious of finding himself alone in the narrow alley with the ludicrously dressed clown…. or Grendat's fingers performed without their customary agility. Whatever the reason, the old man began to yell as soon as Grendat had lunged against him. The clown snarled, slid his switch-blade knife from his pocket and hurled the old man backwards. Grendat slashed outward, again and again. In another moment it was all over: Grendat fled toward the crowded midway. He looked back just once at the sprawled body of the old man… the blood was still gushing from the jagged hole torn in the dead man's throat.

Slipping in among the hayseeds, Grendat moved quickly toward the flying-ring concession… a plan already taking shape in his mind. They'll be sure to find the body soon, Grendat thought. I gotta make sure there are a lot of witnesses to testify I was hamming it up at the time of the killing. Gotta attract attention with a real eye-catching stunt. A sensational showstopper!

Grabbing hold of a flying-ring, Grendat waved gaily to the crowd as the big platform began to accelerate. The crowd chuckled as the clown swung his legs up over his head and slipped his feet into the metal circles. Balancing himself by the pressure of his insteps against the rings, Grendat let his hands slide free.. and smirked to the delighted onlookers as he hung upside-down.

The platform whirled faster and the rings whipped outwards so that they were almost horizontal. Grendat groped to pull himself back into a normal position, aware of the brick wall coming ever-closer to his head as he hurtled around the speeding circle… aware that one more burst of speed and he'd never be able to slide out of his perilous predicament.

The shock of hitting the wall was an anticlimax: Grendat was already moaning with fear when his head slammed into the bricks. There was a blinding jar… a momentary realization of horrible disaster. Grendat felt blood pouring over his staring eyes… felt the bones of his skull shattering… felt his breath chocked off in a spasm of raw agony. His mutilated body flopped from the rings a moment later.

Most of the chattering onlookers said the act was "terrif!" A real showstopper!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 1:56 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

It would seem to be just a swing based on a maypole design. But I have no idea what, if any, name it's been given. Maypole swing?

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 2:05 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

It would seem to be just a swing based on a maypole design. But I have no idea what, if any, name it's been given. Maypole swing?


Hey, that was fast! Thanks!

Exactly. I have searched maypole as well, just in case there would be a variation on it, but have not found anything related; in any case, the maypole has no moving parts.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 2:05 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

Sorry for the duplciate replies.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

Sorry for the duplciate replies.

... and the typo

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

:\

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 3:45 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Hey, that was fast! Thanks!


I live to give.
big grin

 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 4:11 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I believe this has gone by several names, but "Strider" is one. It was manufactured for 1950s playgrounds by the "Giant Stride" company.

It was often used in conjunction with May Day celebrations. The chains would be removed and pastel-colored ribbons would be affixed to the top rotating piece. These ribbons would be as long as the pole...children would weave the ribbons around the pole in a pattern.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 4:36 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

I believe this has gone by several names, but "Strider" is one. It was manufactured for 1950s playgrounds by the "Giant Stride" company.

It was often used in conjunction with May Day celebrations. The chains would be removed and pastel-colored ribbons would be affixed to the top rotating piece. These ribbons would be as long as the pole...children would weave the ribbons around the pole in a pattern.


Excellent! Thanks, Ron!
I will look for this.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 4:40 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

I believe this has gone by several names, but "Strider" is one. It was manufactured for 1950s playgrounds by the "Giant Stride" company.

It was often used in conjunction with May Day celebrations. The chains would be removed and pastel-colored ribbons would be affixed to the top rotating piece. These ribbons would be as long as the pole...children would weave the ribbons around the pole in a pattern.


Excellent! Thanks, Ron!
I will look for this.

 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 4:49 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)


Is there another word for this contraption, accounting for my not finding anything about it on the Web?

Thanks!

smile




My first thought, Olivier, is that it was a "witch's hat"



But you seem to have found a better answer.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2014 - 6:28 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

My first thought, Olivier, is that it was a "witch's hat"
But you seem to have found a better answer.


Thanks nonetheless, David: I didn't know that, so I've learnt something else.
smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2014 - 12:20 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

Ron, the first three results of the image search for "Giant Stride Company" feature great pictures of the object.


from http://preservationinpink.wordpress.com/tag/giant-stride/
Several pictures; one of them looks like a witch's hat, David
Though its origins remain uncertain, primitive versions appear in publications from late nineteenth century England. In the United States, its ubiquitous use on playgrounds is well documented in 1909-1929 issues of the periodical, The Playground, and its development thoroughly illustrated by United States Patents from 1904-1928


from http://voiceofthemonkey.com/universal-giant-stride/
I particularly like this ad.


from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20294/20294-h/20294-h.htm

Since in the text it is called "flying-ring" and specifies it has "metal circles", the Mickey Mouse pin-up is the closest; the whole thing (as depicted in the text) must have been larger, to accomodate several people and be operated more easily, with a motor, I suppose.
Still, I will show the other images as well.

People don't imagine the amount of work a single sentence or word may require for preparing a class or writing an article. razz
Ideally, since it's a reading comprehension exercise, I would like to give them a choice between several illulstrations and find the right apparatus; I can use the witch's hat, for one. Maybe a flying trapeze as well, or flying rings (of the gymnasium sort); probably this, too:


Thanks again for you helpflul replies, Octoberman, Ron and David!

smile

 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2014 - 5:18 PM   
 By:   edwzoomom   (Member)



I have seen it referred to as a "roundabout". Hope this helps.

 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2014 - 5:47 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

It's not a 'strider', gents: the machine's platform is clearly motorised, and not powered by the runners. That's the evil clown's whole problem. He has no input in its deceleration.

It seems to be describing some sort of powered roundabout that the participant clings onto.

I can't imagine this thing being allowed today. Health & Safety. I mean, even if the clown had used his hands instead of his feet, he'd've hits his FEET against the wall and broken his ankles!


.... a narrative flaw, dearies.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2014 - 2:30 PM   
 By:   mouse-ducks   (Member)

It's not a 'strider', gents: the machine's platform is clearly motorised, and not powered by the runners. That's the evil clown's whole problem. He has no input in its deceleration.
It seems to be describing some sort of powered roundabout that the participant clings onto.


That's what I noted, but the strider is still the basic apparatus, so the pictures will help explain what it is, with the remark that the one in the text is motorized.


I can't imagine this thing being allowed today. Health & Safety. I mean, even if the clown had used his hands instead of his feet, he'd've hits his FEET against the wall and broken his ankles!
.... a narrative flaw, dearies.


My thought as well, but one of the pictures I linked to is that of a strider that's still standing somewhere, ready to be used.

In the story, I suppose no one exected Grendat to do that, everybody found it funny, included the man operating the machine, and nobody saw it coming, however stupid that was.
More than a narrative flaw (though I would grant you that), it can be seen as a human flaw.
As a matter of fact, the audience is ecstatic: "terrif!", it's a real showstopper!

Many would still react the exact same way nowadays.

Thanks for your input!

 
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