Saturday, July 31, 2004

Things that go zoom

I meant to blog about my day at Very Big Amusement Park (tm) last weekend when it happened, but then politics ate my brain and the blog and you all never got to hear about my day at the park. So, yes, last Sunday, I treated my cousin -- 18-year old male -- to a day of fun under the sun. And when I say 'sun', I don't mean that golden orb that smiles down on you benevolently à la The Teletubbies, but more of an insidious "let's burn you and your 80 million gallons of 45 SPF sun block to a crisp."

People who say you can't melt in the sun are wrong, wrong, wrong. They have obviously never been south of the North Pole. I'm just sayin'. You know it's all going terribly wrong when you look down and see rivers of blue-white lotion just running down your legs. It's like the sunblock is jumping ship. It's saying, "Baby, it's so hot out, you're on your own and we're getting a beer." So there I was, with blue-white streaks all over my legs and arms, shiny sheen of perspiration on my face, and my 18-year old cousin was pointing at Yet Another Ride That Goes in Circles Endlessly (tm).

I'd like to also say at this point that when an 18-year old kid who has a genuinely good heart and is very good in general says, "Oh it's not so bad," you have no earthly reason to doubt him. Because he's a good kid. However. Once you're in a Very Big Amusement Park, the "good kid equals insta-trust" corollory no longer exists. In fact, the same genuinely good-hearted kid suddenly turns into one of those people, who, when asked, will always tell you that you look terrific in that pair of black pants, which could also double as a parachute in case you should ever have need of a parachute. But I digress.

Genuinely Good Kid (tm) kept pointing out various rides and saying, "It's not so bad." And then we stood in the hot sun for forty-five minutes and as we got closer to the front of the line, I could hear the screaming and I realized it wasn't screaming from fun, no. This was that other kind of screaming, the Oh my God, my 18-year old cousin just lied to me and I'm so going to be wearing the contents of my stomach on the outside of my t-shirt kind of screaming.

I tried to distract myself from the Spinning Rolling Plunging Fast Moving Ride (tm) by concentrating on my feet, which had now roasted themselves into what one line-waiter helpfully termed 'well done.' He also added that he liked his meat well-done and by the way he was licking his lips, I got the impression that after 45 minutes in line, the sun had addled his brain, and he now had perverse designs on my feet. Given that I wanted to get away from the Feet Eater (tm), my brain and I parted company when I made a flying leap into the car for the Spinning Rolling Plunging Fast Moving Ride (tm).

Things got bad when the ride operator came by and shoved the harness - a nice plastic metal thingy - right into my gut. She wasn't smiling. In fact, she was wearing an apron and a face mask. I looked back at the line but Feet Eater was still grinning madly at me. I clutched the harness tightly. I looked at my cousin. "You better be right about this," I told him. Genuinely Good Kid (tm) smiled cherubically and said, "It's not that bad." Ha.

Then the ride started. Backwards. And suddenly we were being shot up a lift. I glared at my cousin. He was smiling. I said, "You didn't tell me about this shooting up to a top of a Very High Mountain (tm) thing." And he said, "It's not so bad." And then before I could answer, we plunged down. When I say down, I don't mean a gentle slope like Kilamanjaro or Everest. No, no, this was a straight down vertical drop. The track raced up at me, my stomach was in my throat. And suddenly, we were at the bottom and I let out a sigh of relief until we started spinning. Upside down, sideways, and still hurtling at the Speed God Never Intend Human Beings To Travel At (tm). And then, not only we were we still upside down, the stupid cannon thing had come back and we were being shot back up the not-Everest/Kilamanjaro slope, except this time, we were doing it backwards. You think going forwards is bad, going backwards? Gah. It's 80 gazillion times worse.

I got off the ride with wobbly legs and my stomach mostly intact. I retrieved my brain from non-smiling Ride Operator (tm). Feet Eater was grinning at me and said, "How was it?" And I just smiled at him and said, "It's not so bad."

We were at the park from 10 until 3, when we got rained out, while waiting for Another Ride That Goes Violently Fast. By then, I was already this close to losing my stomach as it was dreadfully hot, and we'd been on those silly swings which went round and round and round and round and round and round. And just when I thought the Smiley Water Fritzing Ride Operator was going to let us off, she said, in her cheerful voice, "Let's go again!" And I wanted to scream, at the top of my lungs, "Get me off!" But she couldn't hear me because we were going round and round and higher up off the ground than God Ever Intended. I couldn't help but regret that I'd left my parachute pants at home.

No comments: