Archive for May 19th, 2010

Growing up we went to amusement parks I never really enjoyed them.  I didn’t hate them I just don’t like the rides, the noise or the crowds. I distinctly remember my father once saying that out of the four of us children I was the cheapest to take to an amusement park.  All I need is a park bench a greasy slice of pizza and I’m happy. 

Many, (way too many) moons ago the family went to Knott’s Berry Farm in California. I remember two things very distinctly, 1) there were no cows.  What kind of farm has no cows?  Not a very good farm, that’s what kind of farm.  The other thing I remember is the flume.  I hate sudden drops, I don’t like get splashed and I’m not a freak for speed.  Why on earth would I go on a flume?  I get the distinct impression that the choice was not entirely mine.  The memories of being in the log, moving slowly up the tall hill are very vivid.  I remember knowing that we were soon going to be going down…very quickly.  I remember, off to the side just as we were about to crest over the top there was a stop sign.  I don’t know why it was there, but if you ask me stopping would have been a lovely idea but did we?  Nooooo.  Just beyond the stop sign there was a little booth, inside the booth was a lady sitting at some sort of controls.  I remember wanting to get off the ride and I remember they wouldn’t let me.  In fact the lady just waved as we plummeted to my death.  Okay maybe I didn’t die, but the possibility certainly existed.

I have quite a few such memories as we went to many parks,  but nothing compares to the cars at LaRonde, an amusement park in Montreal.  I’m talking about the little kid racing cars, and I was indeed a little kid and my little car was broken!  I know there are some people who will insist that it wasn’t broken but ask those people the following questions;  were they in the car?  Do they know anything about kid racing cars in amusement parks?  The answer to both is ‘no’.  Therefore the only person qualified to know if the car was broken is me because I was the only one in the car and I was the one driving the car.  The car only went to the right and it went in that direction until it wound up against the curb and could no longer move.  The guy in charge of the little cars tried to make it right by turning the steering wheel and pointing the car back on the track.  However the minute I hit the gas pedal the car would turn and end up nose first against the curb.  Why did do this?  Because it was broken.

When I was a little older I wound up on Space Mountain in Disney World, I knew it couldn’t go that high (as it is indoors) so there was no big drop involved, but I was worried about it going upside down. Just before we got on the ride and we could still change our minds my mother asked the attendant if the ride goes upside down.  He promised that we would not go upside down.  So we got in, the safety bar came down over our laps, the car had just started to move when the attendant called out to us.  “But it does go underwater” F’ing asshole.

It is not always the thrill rides.  There was the time, also at LaRonde, with my big sister and my friend Richard. Rich and I were hopelessly lost in the maze of glass.  The walls were all glass so you keep walking into the stupid walls not knowing where the real openings were.  Rich saw my sister on the outside and she decided to take pity on Richard and direct him through the maze.  She wiggled her finger indicating that he should walk forward.  Suddenly there was a loud bang and the entire building shook Richard, not knowing how devious my family can be trusted my sister completely and walked straight and hard into the glass wall.  Better him then me, but I’m smart enough not to put that kind of faith in family.  To this day I’m not sure how Rich escaped without a broken nose.

Then there was the runaway train.  I was terrified the entire time, holding my breath waiting for the sudden drop.  Then I saw the station coming up, the train slowed down to a stop.  I breathed a sigh of relief as the attendants stepped forward.  But it was a ruse, we had been tricked.  It really wasn’t the station, it was a mock station.  Suddenly the attendants were laughing as they stepped back, the train started moving faster, then the screaming as were suddenly  plunging straight down into the endless darkness. F’ing assholes.

After reading this one question stands out.  Why do I put myself in these situations?

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