Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Amusement Park

I have found myself on a collision course with a supposedly fun thing that I have no interest in doing and probably no escape.  It appears that next week I am locked into going to an amusement park.  This would be absolutely awesome if I were 15.  It is supposed to be “fun”, and to most outsiders it would appear on the surface to be a zippity-do-dah type day.  I understand that I probably just come off as cranky, which I am by the way.  It should be noted that the actual facility and the “attractions” I am rather ambivalent about.  Most of my distaste bubbles up from my general avoidance of the general public who generally conduct themselves like barnyard animals.  There is nothing that brings out Wal Mart America quite like an amusement park, unless of course a stock car race or rib burnoff breaks out.

Every time I visualize myself in this “amusement park downward spiral of doom” scenario, I think of my last trip to Cedar Point, which I believe was in 1988.  I can recall with vivid clarity spending 50 minutes next to a hillbilly family as we slowly serpentined through the Bataan Death March of a line.  The dominant male was dressed in a mesh football jersey and smoked two packs of cigarettes upwind of me.  It was odd how the wind shifted in my direction no matter where we stood in the roughly 2-mile line.  The overweight matriarch was whining about being overheated as she fanned herself with a cheap stuffed animal, sweat pouring off her ill-advised pink tube top.  The capper was the hyperactive nine year old that hopped around the railings like an agitated spider monkey.  He had an extremely odd snaggle tooth that jutted straight out of his upper jaw like a minor tusk.  The tooth was also totally encapsulated by a cheap silver tube that almost looked like a spent .22 casing.  It was almost more than I could handle to resist the urge to flick my index finger off the protruding dental experiment and feel a rush of joy wash over me as the boy yelped in pain. 

I stood in line next to these people for almost an hour before getting on the “Dick Scrambler” of whatever the hell the ride was called.  The ride I don’t remember.  The never ending wait trapped next to these irritating people is something burned into my memory now more than 25 years later.  Look, I am at a point in life where I know what I like to do.  I am not going to show up at this amusement park and have a “voila!” moment where I suddenly blurt out “Holy mother of fuck!  What have I been doing these last two decades?  I realize now that I love food on a stick, waiting in lines, and having my photo taken in moldy old timey clothing at Frontier town!”.  I hate it.  All of it.  Sure, if I was heading there after prom with a slight light beer hangover with the allure of copping a feel “outside” on the Ferris wheel?  Well, now you are talking!  But you better be talking about a 15 year old boy, not a middle aged man.  That middle-aged man would need to be locked up and have a special file created by a government agency.

Life is funny how it creates these scenarios.  I know exactly what I want to do, who I want to do it with, and I appear to be further from that than ever.  Instead I am just days away from barfing up a chili dog after a quick ride on The Spine Corrector.  How on earth did I allow this to happen?  How do I get back on track?


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