COSTA MESA — Like the flashing lights of Las Vegas, those bright booths with giant stuffed animals, basketball jerseys and various other pointless prizes at the Orange County Fair have a way of luring people in to gamble.
That's what it essentially breaks down to in some of those carnival games. How else to explain spending $5, $10, or even $20 to repeatedly trying to toss a ring over a Coke bottle neck, or a ping pong ball into a moving glass bowl four feet away?
It feels like on the most difficult games, it's not about technique or skill as much about luck. Or maybe my ego is just bruised because it took about 30 tries for me to get a ping pong ball into the floating bowl while it took an elementary school-aged girl maybe 10 tries.
No matter how many tickets it costs, if you win though, it can seem to make the whole effort worth it. Especially if you're winning it for a wife, girlfriend or son or daughter. Sure, your wallet's a little lighter. But how cool is that human-sized stuffed monkey!