5.21 What is a Helter Skelter?

In "The One" (Strange Times) the lyric, "Sliding down on a helter skelter ride into yesterday" refers to an amusement ride. It is described as a big, twisty slide-type thingie, which, before the era of lunch-losing, upside-down-looping, state-of-the-art rides that we now take for granted, was the scariest thing at the fun-fair. It was so much bigger, scarier and friction-producing than an ordinary slide that the potential victim...er...customer was given a little mat to sit on as he hurtled to his doom at an extraordinary speed. Hence also the expression to go at or do something "helter-skelter", ie, fast, out of control. There is a photo of one from the Beatles "Free as a Bird" video at phaseshift.com/beatles/faab/index.html about halfway down the page.

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