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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 20 12:19 AM

June 20, 2010: Helter Skelter

When I get to the bottom
I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and turn
and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Catchy, but what the hell are they talking about?



Quote:
An almost exclusively British term for a spiral fairground slide, helter skelter is known in the US from songs by the Beatles, Oasis and Genesis, and from the association with Charles Manson. In the UK its one of those things that every child can recognize, but which when you really look at, becomes strangely unfamiliar and weird - an architectural naked lunch. The taste of this naked lunch combines hints of jousting, medieval pageants and overtones of Paganesque Englishness, from Morris Dancing to the Wicker Man. Its principal flavor, however, is of the English seaside: damp and Victorian.
OK, building towers where tourists will pay to climb up for a better view, is a long standing tradition... look at the Eiffel Tower. One of the things I've noticed climbing things like The Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument and the Empire State Building, is when people get up to the top, they want to stay there. That tends to slow down the traffic (revenue flow).
These Helter Skelter builders found an ingenious way to entice people to keep moving... and peek at petticoats.

link


toranokaze  Sunday Jun 20 02:24 AM

It is from an old movie about some sailor who meets his wife after the Great war, they meet at the lonely hearts club, and the main character says how helter skelter things where getting.


However, it is neat to know what a helter skelter is.



Crimson Ghost  Sunday Jun 20 03:33 AM

The Cellar: You only realize life is all helter skelter once it has gone all pear-shaped.



Sundae  Sunday Jun 20 06:01 AM

Tora - Helter Skelters were around long before talkies.
The phrase meaning things going badly might have gained popularity from a film, but the British meaning has always been rgis type of spiral slide.

I loved helter skelters as a child. They're your first experience of the throll that adults get from rollercoasters. I have an early memory of being on holiday and going down on my Dad's lap, followed by my sister going down on Mum's lap. Mum had to slow them down because Laura was frightened. I was encouraging my Dad to go faster! faster! I would have been 4 at the most, as my brother was not yet born.

You go down on a mat btw, not just sitting on the slide. It's not smooth either, like one in a playground. It had treads on it, like a wooden escalator. I assume this speeds you up. And you used to pay by mat, hence our doubling up.

Helter skelters aren't just for kids either. Certainly when I was younger a lot of adults went on. This might have changed now that fairground/ theme park rides have moved on.

There was one in Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach that went down into a huge wooden underground bowl. We stood for what seemed like hours just watching the riders spill out into it. We didn't have the money to go on it ourselves, but I remember just watching seemed eventful enough.



Griff  Sunday Jun 20 06:30 PM

Neat, I wonder where the oldest one is and for that matter where the first was?



Trilby  Sunday Jun 20 06:37 PM

Mmmmmmmmmmmm...phallic.



Cloud  Sunday Jun 20 06:59 PM

how odd. I have never heard of or seen that. I just thought it meant all--chaotic.



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 20 08:55 PM

Quote:
I've checked my copy of "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable", as well as some online sites, but none of them really seem to know exactly how the phrase originated. It was saddled with its current meaning sometime before 1600s, but according to some sources may have been used even before that with a slightly different meaning. One of the first appearances of the phrase with its modern meaning was in "Four letters confuted", written by Thomas Nashe in 1592:

"Helter skelter, feare no colours, course him, trounce him."
link


Coign  Monday Jun 21 01:34 PM

While doing added research, here is a modern indoor helter skelter.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...n-seconds.html



Sundae  Monday Jun 21 01:44 PM

Trust the Hate Mail to inject a completely pointless dig into the article

Quote:
It will inevitably give the health and safety police palpitations
Why? Is it unsafe? Is it not anchored properly? Will it kill people?
No. It's fantastic. Having a Slippery Slip in your own office. I'd work there for free.


xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jun 21 02:55 PM

Quote:
The new Electric Works in Sheffield with the UK's first office helter skelter for workers
Would that make it an....









Electric Slide?


TheMercenary  Monday Jun 21 03:01 PM

Pretty interesting. Common people separated by a language or something like that...



Cicero  Monday Jun 21 05:54 PM

This is fantastic Bruce! Thank you for clearing up this mystery for me. Now I must clearly repost!



Undertoad  Monday Jun 21 07:05 PM

A helter skelter could have saved the people on 9/11

But then again if you skelted down 100 floors, you'd be going so fast by the bottom that your ass would be on fire.

Aiyyo, don't wear polyester down the tube thing, man, it melts. Yeah man yesterday some guy burned his nads on that thing.



Clodfobble  Monday Jun 21 08:36 PM

It's not truly a helter skelter, but there's an old elementary school here that still has emergency exit slides coming down from most rooms on the second floor. Never seen anything like it on any other building.



SPUCK  Wednesday Jun 23 05:56 AM

Never seen one of these before. Wouldn't you know it, last night watching the tube, there was a show about US beaches. They trotted out some movies of Venice Beach before LA annexed and ruined it,(like everything else), and there in the background was exactly one of these helter skelters!!

IotD does it again!



ZenGum  Wednesday Jun 23 09:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
A helter skelter could have saved the people on 9/11

But then again if you skelted down 100 floors, you'd be going so fast by the bottom that your ass would be on fire.

Aiyyo, don't wear polyester down the tube thing, man, it melts. Yeah man yesterday some guy burned his nads on that thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
It's not truly a helter skelter, but there's an old elementary school here that still has emergency exit slides coming down from most rooms on the second floor. Never seen anything like it on any other building.
In japan, I worked in a building that had something like one of these. It sits in a big box bolted down inside the window, in an emergency you open the window, hurl the tube out, and slide down.

This one is from Korea. It is mounted to the firetruck platform but the principle is the same. I guess with a bit of extra length and some maypole dancing you could make a good helter skelter from it.

Attachment 28441


glatt  Wednesday Jun 23 09:29 AM

I'd seen films of those cloth escape tubes. Do you have to go one at a time, or can it hold multiple people? Like links of a sausage.



ZenGum  Wednesday Jun 23 09:38 AM

Well they never let me go on it so I can't say, but I think it would have to be one at a time.
On the other hand, this was Japan, so they are probably pushed down in a solid mass that takes on self-organising structures as it goes and automatically directs itself to the officially designated assembly area.



Clodfobble  Wednesday Jun 23 09:46 AM

On this particular elementary school, they are permanent and hard-sided, just like a playground slide. I think there must be a grate and lock system at the bottom to keep people from climbing up it the wrong direction.



HungLikeJesus  Wednesday Jun 23 03:44 PM

But they are probably sized for Japanese people, not you big Australians. Wouldn't that be embarrassing?


I wonder if you would have flashbacks to being born.



Shawnee123  Friday Jun 25 02:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by HungLikeJesus View Post


I wonder if you would have flashbacks to being born.
Not unless they cut a big hole on the top and yanked me out that way.


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