Monday, May 27, 2013

Rollercoaster Memories

memories, rollercoaster

Right-side up.  Upside down.  Twists, twirls, turns, flips and drops.  Oh the fun, and terror, of the rollercoaster ride.  It gets the endorphins rushing through your body and gives you a feeling of exhilaration that's hard to replicate.

I used to love going to Six Flags Over Texas and riding the Judge Roy Scream.  It went fast .... super fast ..... for back in the 80's.  I liked how it felt to have the G-forces lift me up off the seat and press me against the restraining bar as the rollercoaster went hurtling down that first hill.  And then I grew a little older and a new sense came into play ........... the sense of impending death.

My husband and I were newly married and decided to go to Six Flags with another couple.  With a little bit of coaxing they got me on the Shock Wave, a ride with a double loop.  I loved going fast, but going upside down - twice - brought out that new sense.  I sucked it up, signed my Last Will and Testament, and boarded the ride.  We climbed a gigantic hill, went around a curve and then dropped like a rock down the huge hill leading into the double loop.  "Keep your head back" my husband yelled.  Too late.  My head was off the headrest just enough that the G-forces pushed my head so far forward  I could see every piece of gum hidden on the underside of all the seats.  At the end of the ride, my husband convinced me to ride it again with the promise that he'd help hold my head back.  The other couple thought that was a great idea and oh how I'd get to experience the fun of the ride this time.

Not wanting to miss out on anything fun, I agreed and we reboarded the ride.  We climbed the big hill again, rounded the corner and dove down the hill.  The next thing I know I've got my husband's gigantic, muscular, hairy forearm plastered to my forehead pressing my head back against the headrest.  It was at this moment that I realized having your head shoved between your knees far enough to kiss your derriere good bye was actually more entertaining than having a view of sweaty arm hair.  A plus to having your head shoved down is that you are already in the crash position should something dire happen during the ride.  There is no plus to a sweaty arm on your face.

With this coaster under my belt and the fact that I have survived, albeit with a little less dignity, the group coerces me into riding the Cliffhanger.  As we are standing in line and I watch what amounts to a construction elevator free-fall nearly 13 stories, I get a little niggling in the back of my mind that maybe this isn't such a good idea.  As we boarded the ride, they gave us instructions on the do's and don'ts.  Do hold onto the grab bar and sit up straight.  The only don't I remember was "if you're going to throw up, throw out, not down so it doesn't come back on you or the other occupants".  Ummm..... yeah, this isn't looking good.

As this rickety looking contraption started lifting us up, I started to freak out.  My husband's friend pulled out a penny and as the ride reached the tip top and pushed us out over the drop zone, he asked us all which will land first, us or the penny.  We were making our predictions when we suddenly dropped into a 128 foot free fall...... nearly 13 stories.  I opened my mouth to scream but the terror and G-forces were so great that nothing escaped my lips. Sheer unmitigated terror.  That is how I would describe this ride.  My fingers had to be pried off the grab bar to extricate me from the ride.  Someone may have closed my mouth and told me to breathe as well, but I don't remember anything other than the fact that the penny our friend released upon dropping, landed after we did.

My body was shaking so badly I could barely walk and I was led to a bench to regain control of myself.  As my mind slowly became untangled from the web of terror that had ensnared it, I looked at my husband and said "Y-Y-You d-did s-s-s-sign y-your Wi-Will r-r-right?  C-c-cuz I'm g-gonna k-k-kill y-y-you wh-wh-when I q-quit sh-sh-shaking.".  That was the day he learned the lifesaving qualities of chocolate...........

by: Christie Bielss

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