…with a side of fried Snickers bars

I’m not much of an amusement park person.  When I say I don’t mind sitting on the bench to watch all of my friends’ personal belongings, I mean it.  I truly, honestly, no-lie mean it.  So don’t feel bad because it gives me something to do.  I keep an eye on the stuff and I can people-watch.  That’s fun to me. But getting stuck sitting around is the sole reason why I refuse to spend $70.00+ on admission to most places.  A few parks are worth the cost, at least once, I believe.  Sea World and Epcot are on my list to return to with my kid.  Pretty much any other place is not.  If I’ve even ever been there.

When I lived in Maryland, my high school friends took a few day trips to Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.  Back then, anything that cost more than a movie ticket was too much money for me to spend if I was just going to sit around.   No Hershey Park, either. But if I’d known how much chocolate was actually available to visitors you can bet I’d have been there with a season pass.

I did go to Busch Gardens Williamsburg once with my family and remember nothing other than watching my younger brother get talked into a roller coaster ride with my dad in which a lot of screeching and tears were involved.  From my brother, of course.  The screams apparently translated into “Let’s do it again! I’ve got enough room in my pants for one more accident! Woooo!”  I think my brother might have been eight years old then and he was turned into an instant roller coaster junkie.

Me?  I rode the Woody Woodpecker at Universal Studios Orlando.  It was my first coaster and I was already in my twenties.  While it wasn’t an entirely horrible experience for me, I’m sure the little kid in front of me would have said differently.  It’s very possible I blew out his eardrum with my blood-curdling screams.  All the five-year olds who were sharing the thrill of the Woody coaster were laughing at me.  I couldn’t get out of my seat quickly enough.  Even now I can’t tell you if I was more embarrassed by my reaction to the ride or to my reaction to the five-year olds laughing at me.   However, to be fair to myself, I had just been stuck inside the King Kong ride, my feet dangling above the fire rockets below, and again stuck inside the E.T. ride with, again, my feet dangling above…well, who knows.  I was riding Elliot’s bicycle and wishing they’d give me my money back.

I wasn’t always like this.  My mom and I could ride the hell out of the Big Swing long before I started riding the bench. I’d lost many a flip-flop on the roof of nearby buildings thanks to the Swing.  And the Scrambler? Oh, and the Tilt-A-Whirl?   Those were my weaknesses when the carnival came to town.  Funnel cakes, a blue raspberry slushee, and a toss around Ye Olde Scramblah!  It’s a recipe for fun.  And nausea.  But mostly fun. 

To be honest with you, I don’t know what happened to me.  I got old.  I got set in my ways.  I got motion sickness way too easily.  Even nowadays, I get woozy just from driving down a circular highway exit ramp. 

Poor me.  Stuck all alone riding the bench with your belongings and my very own funnel cake. 

Poor, poor, me.


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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