Monday, September 10, 2007

The Camera Never Lies

Ever since I can remember, I have NEVER, EVER been a fan of amusement park rides.

I was a natural-born chicken-shit, right out of the womb, to be honest. I was the child who couldn't stand in a foot of water without pseudo drowning. I couldn't ride the see saw because it was "too high" and I was afraid that the asshole kid on the other end would jump off of it, letting it slam down and throwing me off in the process. I was afraid of heights, things that went fast, and, well, I was afraid of pretty much damn everything.

I have gotten over most of my fears as an adult. I ski, I swim, I ride my bike real fast. Although you'll never see me jumping out of a plane, nor will I get on the back of a motorcycle, for the most part I have overcome most of my issues with all things fast and scary.

Except for amusement park rides!

The one and only time I went on a rollercoaster was in college, at Rye playland. I am quite certain I was on one of the kiddy ones. I am also quite certain that I may have soiled myself midway. I got off that thing in complete shock, and knew that I was never, ever going to do that again.

I am the girl that went to Great Adventure on a work retreat, sat in one of the virtual reality booths, and almost vomited just from watching a 3d screen, my chair rocking back and forth. One of my coworkers leaned over and whispered, "Cheese, what the fuck?" and all I could do was moan.

Yea. That is me.

I didn't think anything of these things when I suggested to Beehive that we head over to Coney Island for one last fling before summer ended {and, well, before Thor Equities gets rid of everything}. To me, Coney Island is so much more than rides. It's greasy food, and freaks, and people watching, and drinking beer on the boardwalk, and smelling the ocean, and winning cheesy prizes via shooting water into a clown's mouth, and taking pictures in the photo booth.

I don't do the Cyclone, or the Wonder Wheel. I'm a total voyeur, taking it all in as if I were peeking at two people fucking behind closed doors...feeling totally thrilled by it, knowing I can't join in but kind of wishing I could.

We passed the giant Wonder Wheel, and Beehive mentioned that he had been on it a few years ago. He asked if I'd like to try it. I wanted to. I wanted to be the kind of girl that was like "fuck yea, I'm so on that Wonder Wheel." I wanted to be cooler than the person that he took on the Wonder Wheel a few years back. I kept looking up at it, assessing it, trying to determine if I could handle the height and the swinging cars that slid back and forth. My pounding heart told me to keep walking. I said I'd think about it.

I agreed to go in one of the haunted houses, which barely passes as a ride, but I figured it would warm me up and get me in the mood to perhaps try something bigger and scarier. As predicted, I was more afraid of the fact that I couldn't see anything in the pitch black dark tunnel that we traveled through, than of the ride itself.

We walked around some more, I beat Beehive in Steeplechase and won a stuffed devil, and then we walked by the Thunderbolt.

Last summer we went to the Dutchess County Fair, and somehow Beehive talked me into getting on the Thunderbolt, which up there was called "Flying Bob's". I hated that motherfucking ride. It doesn't go high, but it goes fast, and dips and bobs, turming side to side. If you close your eyes, as I did when I rode it, you can imagine that you're experiencing a high speed car crash, sound effects and all. I remember feeling really shaky and horrid after getting off of Flying Bobs, but at least I'd been on it once and I knew what to expect.

I was NOT going to be the annoying, un-fun girlfriend. I was going to be the cool fun ride-going girlfriend. I was going to get on the Thunderbolt.

We got in the car and were barricaded in, my stuffed devil at my feet. We started to move and I immediately shut my eyes.
Everytime I tried to open them, I would scream.

I seem to remember feeling vomity and laughing hysterically, yet crying, all at once. I recall repeating over and over again "you're so mean. You're so mean." to no one in particular. Sometimes I replaced it with "Evil. EVIL." Beehive, his arm casually draped around me, laughed and laughed.

I remember thinking that this was the most awful feeling I've ever felt in all of my life, and if I could stop feeling it for just five minutes, I'd be happy forever.

After shifting into backward gear, it started to slow down, teasing me into thinking it was over. The ride "dj" shrieked out "Who wants more?"


All the other bastards, my boyfriend included, shouted out "YEAAAAAAA."


So we went around backwards a few more times, and surprisingly by then, I was almost used to the weird, abnormal jerking movements. I couldn't very well admit that though, so I continued to scream and curse throughout the remainder of the ride.

FInally, it was over. Beehive helped me out, and I wobbled to the exit and found my way to solid ground.

"That sucked! That sucked that sucked!" I no longer cared about being the cool girlfriend.

Beehive smiled, took out his camera, and showed me what he'd been doing for the past five minutes.

Not only did he have several pictures of me smiling BIG and laughing, he had VIDEO.

I wasn't scared! I was having an amazing time! Holy shit, who was that laughing, giggling girl in that video? It looked like me, it sounded like me, how the hell was that me?

I AM the cool girl after all!!!

We found ourselves in front of the Wonder Wheel once again, and I stood for a long time, staring up at it, thinking to myself that I could do anything now.

And then I saw one of the cars slide across a skinny cable 5O stories in the air, and I thought better of it.

Next year. If it's still there.


r k said...

1. Remember our gay stickers from the photo booth thing in front of the Wonder Wheel? I still have a bunch of them. They're rad.

2. I love the Wonder Wheel! Although I hate the assholes who rock their cars when they get to the top. Maybe next summer we all can go on it - but you'll have to convince my fraidy cat bf to get on it because he HATES ferris wheels as a result of our being on a shitty one at the Ohio State Fair (and it was not NEARLY as big as the Wonder Wheel, although it was an open gondola, which, I have to say, is a tad scary.)

Lori Mocha said...

I rode the Wonder Wheel once. I hid on the bottom of the car, crying with my eyes shut.


brookLyn gaL said...

I am the same way! (minus your happy ending) Nothing brings me more pain or terror than roller coaster rides (and airplanes and elevators and escalators... I'm basically a 2 year old).

i like cheese said...

RK: I love those gay stickers. They rock.
And the blue and red cars on the Wonder Wheel swing by themselves. This is why the Wonder Wheel sucks ass crack.

Lormo: You are clearly as cool as I am. Let's never ride the Wonder Wheel together.

BG: I'm actually scared to death of flying, but I'm ok on elevators and escalators :)

5 of 9er said...

I sure do miss the Wonder Wheel. Coney is a wonderful place... yep, for sketchy rides and people watching for sure. :)

david hayes said...

I also was scared of amusement part rides, but got over it. Mushrooms still scare me though.

The Brooklyn Boy said...

Coney Island is the shit. I once threw up while riding the Centurion. I'll save you the story, but if you know the ride, I'll admit the physics involved resulted in the only time I've ever vomited backwards. Yeah.

Ha Ha Sound said...

Good for you for going, and how cool that you were laughing the whole time (even if you didn't realize it). I once went to Great Adventure with a girl I was pursuing and I think the fact that I wouldn't go on any rides that went upside down made her think I was a total wuss.

Kontessa Krunk, Esq. said...

I'm the opposite: I LOVE rides, the faster and scarier, the better.

That being said, when Southern was in NY, we took a trip to Coney Island where I stupidly let him talk me into going on that ride where you're hauled to the top of a very high pole then dropped into free fall, what's it called? the Deathtrap 9000 or something like that? I screamed the entire way down because I was convinced that a cable was going to snap. Naturally, Southern thought it was hilarious.

Buttons said...

Good choice on not riding the wonder wheel. My brother forced me on it this summer and I cursed him over and over. It's nauseating. When I think about it, it still nauseates me. It wouldn't have been so bad if it was on one of the nonmoving ones. =O)