First journal post, laughing not required...
Well once again I have gone and placed the safety of my life, my children's lives and my beloved wife's into the hands of folk who by and large are not able to function in the real world but can, however, push a button that will send a four ton hunk of flesh filled iron screaming along a track that used to fit together really well. Sounds like a hoot right? It all seems harmless enough, buy the tickets (ouch!), gather up the kids, find a parking spot amid a sea of mini-vans, SUVs and trucks with tires larger than their inflated owners and then endeavor to find the scariest looking ride possible.
I look up at a possible candidate with human guinea pigs pinned helplessly inside, I notice a few "extra" bolts and wires laying suspiciously at the base of the ride, I register the mucky looking mop and bucket stashed behind the control panel, and I say "Hey, wow, this must be the one!".
I press my son and daughter's backs up against a painted wood sign of a child holding her hand out proclaiming "You Must Be This Tall To Ride". Dang, daughter is too short, wait a minute, looks like this thing is made to move around a little, I push down on the top of the sign until the level of her hand is right at the top of my little girl's pony tail. Problem solved.
A stately looking gentleman peering out from under a greasy card dealer's visor, proudly brandishing his single tooth, skulks forward with a four fingered paw outstretched and grunts "Tiggets". I whip out the stack and tear off four of the "tiggets" to hand him. No good, he wants more "Dree tiggets fern dis ride." he pronounces. I hand him the rest of my stack and am motioned to clamber into the steel cage swinging loosely back and forth.
After our assistant secured my son and I into the almost padded bucket with a catch that resembled the "kiddie lock" on our kitchen cabinets, the one my daughter rendered useless with a simple tug, I watched my wife and daughter subjected to the same. Then as if to make sure it still was hanging on, the man gave our bucket a little shove causing it to rock slightly. Apparently satisfied he stumped over to a wobbly stool placed by a dirty panel with a large green and larger red button, sat down and punched down the green button.
It felt like a train had jumped it's track and slammed into the back of our bucket. With a high pitched screech and a lurch the ride began to move, my son and I were grinding upwards along the rotating track. I looked over at him and saw the blissful unawareness he so luckily possessed. I however knew that it was only a single oily bolt, that one right there, that stood between us and a fifty-foot drop of destruction in our capsule.
We slingshotted over the top of the track and raced back down towards the ground, our bucket spinning madly, I heard a distinct "Ugh!" from my son. Then we were heading up again, butt-end first, and all my pocket change decided to make the ride a bit more dangerous and began ricocheting around the inside of our bucket. I could here screams, not all of them sounded gleeful, in fact sound seemed quite terror filled. The ride thrashed about this way for a few more revolutions then slowed to a stop. As my son and I rotated around to right side up we watched our porter walk up, unlatch our door and release us from our punishment.
We both stumbled out onto the landing pad and were ushered to a clinky gate by the operator's highly motivated assistant who, grinning, mumbled to us as we passed "Someday I'm gonna run this ride!".
My wife and daughter joined us, my wife looked quite disheveled but my daughter was positively beaming with happiness.
Such was the course set for the evening, a few more rides, a bunch more money and some tasty items being sold as "food".
As the sun drained behind the mountains and we prepared to leave, I noticed that the crowd had changed quite distinctly, I am not sure where this new hoard came from. I have certainly not seen these folks in town before, at least not in direct sunlight. Oh well, our queue to exit.
Walking away, looking at the joyful looks on my children's faces, feeling the emptiness of my pockets and the queeziness of my stomach, I realized I had had a total blast. Can't wait till next year!