Thursday, June 14, 2007


I don't know when it happened. Was there a magic age? Turning 30? Was it from a blow to the head, I've had plenty. Or did my natural equilibrium drain out of me that last time I "accidentally" drank too many glasses of wine topped with the strongest Vodka cranberry cocktails known to man and I ended up barfing every last drop of moisture from my body until my eyeballs popped out of my head and rolled across the floor like 2 dried prunes.

I can't ride roller coasters any more.

Now, you might be thinking, oh yes, that is the biggest tragedy of the year, but hell, I like roller coasters and I'd like to be able to go to an amusement park and not have to bring a fucking book to read (yes, I've actually done this) while my crew stands in line and enjoys losing consciousness without me. And it's almost summer and that's prime coaster riding time, yo but I can't participate. In fact, I can hardly ride anything anymore. And it sucks.

I loves me some Disneyland and luckily I can still ride the ones they have there, so I think, but I can put money on it that I'd never survive the rides they have next door at California Adventure. And just about everyone I know tells me Space Mountain and the Matterhorn aren't real roller coasters and I'm still a pussy. But I'm not a pussy, I say! It's not my fault!

It's not my fault that my heart stops when I lean over too far and it feels like my head is going to explode. It's not my fault that I get dizzy when I go over a speed bump. And I'm not to blame that I nearly have a myocardial infarction when things get a little out of control in the boudoir, if you know what I mean. It's my brain or something. Or my pancreas. That damn moody pancreas. It's all his fault.

The last time I rode a real coaster I almost died. Seriously. At least I felt like I was dying. We were at Six Flags and my x-boyfriend thought it would be oh so much fun to go on the old-fashioned wooden coaster. I was trying to be brave and all good girlfriendy and agreed with a smile. After the initial click click clicks of the ascent I held on tight and off we went into what I can only describe as a chiropractors dream and one of my worst nightmares.

We were thrown and jarred and my bones crunched and popped and every descent stopped my heart cold. I don't like the feeling of my stomach dropping because I'm absolutely positive it means my blood has turned to mud and my organs are being squeezed into my nasal passages anyway, but this shit was beyond brutal. Loop-d-loos are one thing, 100 story drops are another. Mix those with a pile of rickety old wooden slats and a car covered in lead paint and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

I barely made it and regretted every second. And to this very day I have a reoccuring nightmare that I'm on a roller coaster and it flies off the track a la Final Destination 17 or whatever. So not worth it but what the hell happened to me?

I used to love going on all other varieties of death-defying state fair-type rides put together by toothless carnies nursing wicked cough syrup hangovers and carrying bad attitudes against stupid rich kids who can afford to spend $20 trying to win a purple tiger stuffed with sawdust and the broken souls of homeless drifters by shooting rancid water into the mouth of a maniacal plastic clown.

I would get all excited whenever there was a local fair or a Halloween festival or a school function with a rented pony, I was riding something that would spin me in a circle fast enough to cause a snot line sideways across my face. I remember one time, at some rodeo ho-down carnival thing in our pseudo-shit kicker town, that I talked my bff at the time (April Gonzales) into going on The Zipper. I was stoked and jumped in ready to rock and roll. (Ha ha, roll. Get it? The wit, it kills me.)

If you've never had the pleasure there's a lever on the inside of the cage that allows you to somewhat control the flippage of your own car, since the whole damn thing goes up and around then your individual cage also flips around. After our door was firmly locked with a used toothpick from the corner of the carnies mouth we were off.

I wrapped my stubby fingers around the controller and pulled all the way back causing us to spin backwards at warp speed approximately 250 times a minute which could or could not be an exaggeration. Little did I know April was a giant chickenshit who didn't even like the ride and proceeded to scream in my ear for the entirety we were on it.

She tried to get me to stop the bonus flipping I was in control of but being the devil child that I am was I ignored her desperate shrieks and hysterical wails and spun away. Flip. Flip. Flip. Scream. Cry. Flip. Until she managed to peel her head from the backrest, lean over towards me and sink her crooked teeth a good inch into the soft flesh of my upper arm. That damn April.

After it was my turn to let out a scream I eased up on the damn flipping and the ride was over. We poured our dizzy, Ditto'd asses onto the ground where she promptly barfed red snow cone all over a hay bail. Guess I didn't consider the possibility that she could have vomited inside the rolling cage where it would have slapped me in the face repeatedly until the ride came to a stop. Suppose I'll take a bite over that.

Not all of my experiences have been good ones like that, heh. There was another time in junior high when the whole 7th grade went to a semi-local theme park and I was lucky enough to get a seat in the very first car of a coaster that basically just shoots you forwards and backwards with a loop in the middle. After one successful round we pressed our luck and ran around for another go but this time was different.

We shot forward and instead of losing speed after the first loop and gently coasting towards the stopper at the top we slammed into it then went rocketing backwards crashing into the emergency stopper in the back then whizzed through the launching area and halfway back up the loop where we were stopped on a dime causing everyone's pencil necks to snap. Something similar to what happened to these poor saps who got stuck upside down the other day.

Or else I've remembered it in an incorrect and dramatic fashion for all of these years and it was a simple matter of the ride malfunctioning for a second but it scared the piss out of me and I never went on it again.

I was also enjoying Splash Mountain sometime in my 20's when all of a sudden our log, along with 3 others, came to a bobbing halt as we all knocked into each other stacking up like a quad of giant turds in a stream. Something had broken in such a way that it was necessary to shut the whole shabang down and prevent the rest of the passengers from plunging to their death or whatever we were ultimately headed for.

We were in log number 3 and I could see up ahead that log number 1 was resting against a set of bracing doors. After a few minutes of wondering WTF and listening to Zipadeedodah blasting in our faces the lights came up, the music went off and a voice from somewhere instructed us to get out of our logs and walk behind us to a door.

Everyone chuckled nervously since we still didn't know what the hell was going on but we did as we were told and hoisted ourselves up and out and carefully walked around and over the whirring and whiz-popping animatronic animals that were still moving around to silent music.

A door opened and a Disney person in costume motioned us over to her and we were led down a scaffold-type set of metal stairs and onto the back lot. We all followed her to another door that she opened and the small group of us were deposited back into Frontierland amid the throngs of Disneygoers.

When I turned around the door we just came through was gone, disappeared into the fake logs of a fake fort wall. It was like going from a psychedelic color movie to a black and white back to a color. Surreal to say the least and we never did find out what the hub bub was all about in the first place but we got to cut in line when the ride was fixed about an hour later and I (obviously) survived the big plunge so hey, I have that going for me. Which is nice.

But alas, I fear these days I couldn't withstand a Ferris wheel let alone a mild coaster. Just the thought makes me swoon. Our county fair is going on right now and we're going on Sunday (to see one of my photos that was chosen for display in the photo contest, my very first one ever thankyouverymuch) and we won't be venturing over to the Fun Zone. I'll just have to be happy watching the pig races with some deep fried Coke and giant pickle on stick.


NouveauBlogger said...

No WONDER you're afraid of rides. Your luck on them sucks, lol.

Note to self: No amusement park rides with Betty.

C.Flicken said...

Hey, thanks! We're going to Orlando in two weeks, so the kids can enjoy (or: get mangled on) the rides!

I guess if they have a pickle on a stick, though, everything else will be fine.

Joan said...

I barfed my way through many fairs in my time. Now I can't even look at a ferris wheel without feeling whoozy.

Glad to hear your photo was chosen for display at the photo contest. You take a mean picture. Serious, they are the best.

Lisa said...

Deej! How was the fair? Didja see lots of people oohing and ahhhing over your fotoe?

Hope you had a great weekend! :-)

Anonymous said...

Good thing I have a young'un so I have an excuse to go on the kiddy rides. I just can't do big coasters like I used to. And besides, I think the big rides have been designed to kill humans but the park authorities figured that might not be good for business so they turned it down a notch.

Bitter Betty said...

I know, nouveau! I'm scared of myself!

chicken - I'm sure you'll all be fine. Just don't eat the pickle before you go on the rides.

Thanks, barb. I'm having massive anxiety over all of it.

That was one of the hard parts, lisa. I think people were looking at my fo toe and saying "ew".

Ha, trish! You're so right!

Dharma said...

I've never been a roller coaster girl, but I noticed my ability to cope with rides did really change. I won't go into the details, but I was very green on a ride that should have not touched me. Damn.