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Coin-Op Kiddie Rides, by Jacob Slichter

horseyHaving walked past various coin-op kiddie rides in the neighborhood, I sometimes wonder if these contraptions provide a child’s first experience of being underwhelmed. Toddlers eagerly climb atop the plastic horses as their exhausted parents fish out the coins and drop them into the slot. Then, as soon as the canned music starts and the plastic horsey begins its slow, barely discernable rocking, I look at the expressions on the little faces and see them waiting for the galloping adventure they had in mind only seconds earlier. It never comes.

Then they look at their parents, whose expressions seem to say, “Guess what kiddo? I was disappointed when I rode these things. You can damn well be disappointed too.”

Jacob Slichter

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