Saturday, July 26, 2008

Where's My Sense of Adventure?

Somewhere along the way, I changed. Well into my thirties, roller coasters couldn't go fast enough and spinning rides caused me to laugh continuously. This was, of course, in times before coasters could pull G forces sufficient to get you away from the Earth's atmosphere and on your way to the moon. Today's roller coasters no longer roll or coast, rather they test the outer limits of the endurance of the human body.
Sometime after the birth of my daughters, I noticed that spinning rides made me quite queasy, and I was ashamed of my new found weakness. My sense of balance or something changed, and I no longer enjoyed being centrifuged to a wall of a circular room with a floor that dropped away. Rather, I pondered while spinning around if I threw up if it would just drop to the floor, come back on my own face, or worse yet, hit the person across from me.
Sadly, I shake my head when my son asks me to take him on fair rides, and send my older daughter to ride with him. I stand below and pray that the "carnies" put the ride together well and had taken all their medication that day. You think I over-react?
While at this particular county fair, we stood in line to ride a "kiddie" roller coaster in which a sea serpent train traversed a tubular track. The ride operator walked over to a track support and as I watched, he hand tightened a nut on a bolt that had come loose.
"Alright, we're not going to be riding this ride," I told the boy as I dragged him away. "How about the nice slide?"
"Why can't I ride this ride. Why?"
I checked back later, and the nut was again at the end of the 3 inch bolt, ready to fall out. Several moms looked in panic at their kids on the ride as I pointed out the bolt to the kids. "See, this ride is still falling apart. You can't ride it." To my knowledge, the ride is still operating with the man still hand tightening the bolt when he thinks of it.
I bravely climbed aboard the Ferris wheel, figuring it doesn't really spin and I can still handle drops, just not spins. Sitting high in the air, I noticed that large cables hold it together, and I thought of the girl that had her feet severed at a local amusement park on a ride when a cable broke. A ride that my girls rode two $^&$%& weeks before the accident! I did manage to finish my ride and keep my lunch down.
Not so two poor souls that will forever remember the summer they, after a ride, threw up in front of their girlfriends. Not cool. Two young teen boys (at least I think they were both boys, the jury is still out on one of them) could not take the spinning either. Perhaps it's not just a sign of my aging. Perhaps it is a sign of un-coolness.
More on the county fair tomorrow.


Flock Fold Kids said...

I am right there with you, yet my "I'm too old for this ride and my stomach churns and spins" moment was captured by my mother's camera as she laughed knowingly.


Junosmom said...

@ flock fold kids - I remember as a kid, and even a teen, not understanding why my mom didn't want to ride these rides! So much fun she was missing! Why wasn't she more daring? Even when my girls were little, I was like this. Now, poor young son, has this mom that can't ride :-( I am my mom.

Travis Erwin said...

I can't ride spinning rids either without hurling.

Arby said...

Yep, puking on your date is still considered bad form!

Jean N. said...

i used to love major roller coasters, but I think it was having babies that forever changed my equilibrium and now I no longer can ride them. Either they give me a major headache or vertigo afterwards, neither of which is very fun. There must be some hormonal reason why we become 'ride averse' once we are mothers.

Chris said...

My lovely wife's father is an insurance defense attorney; he's seen waaaaaay too many cases involving injuries / deaths from carnival rides. As a result, she NEVER was allowed to ride those rides. Our philosophy with our kids: if it leaves the ground at any point, it's a no-go. Professional, non-mobile amusement parks are one thing, but "break 'em down - set 'em up" carnivals are a whole 'nother subject.

That said, you should have seen Tink's face after we rode the Mind Bender (roller coaster with three upside-down loops)last week at Six Flags. Yikes!!! Fortunately, no puking.



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