Monday, June 11, 2007

It's got a nice view, but it's a little cramped

One of my favorite things to do in the world for fun is go to amusement parks. I LOVE to ride roller coasters. When I was a kid, even the merry go round terrified me, but literally one day, I went to a park and couldn't get enough. I'm hooked. The faster and crazier the ride, the better. I would love to live near a park to get to go regularly.

That said, if something like this happened to me, everything would change:

I know that half of you will be too lazy to click on the link, so I'll give you the gist. It's an article on about a dozen people who, when the electricity went out at Magic Springs amusement park in Hot Springs, were stuck on a roller coaster. Upside down. 15 stories up. FOR HALF AN HOUR. If you want to see the picture, you have to click on the link--it's worth it if you want to get a full grasp of how terrifying this would be.

Can you imagine? You're riding a roller coaster, approaching the largest loop--likely going pretty fast. You head up, and start slowing down. Huh? You come to a stop upside down. Funny, this has never happened before. You don't move. After about 10 seconds you start to panic. People are screaming. It's probably quite painful, because, whether you like to think about it or not, gravity and centrifugal force (or something physics-y like that) are actually what keep you in that seat--the harness is there mainly to make you feel better, and to keep you from doing anything stupid. All your blood is in your head, which is probably pounding. Then you start wondering if the coaster can hang on to the track, or if the whole thing will eventually fall. Finally, someone gets word to you and your fellow passengers that the fire truck is on its way to rescue you. While you wait, you tell everyone around you what messages to give your family should you not make it, though it's likely if you don't, they won't either. To keep from going crazy, you all start to sing the Gilligan's Island theme song together, and talk about what you're going to do with all the settlement money you'll surely get from the amusement park--assuming you survive.

The truck arrives, and you finally start to feel like you might make it. Then you realize that to get you down, the coaster will not actually be put right side up--a fireman will UNBUCKLE you and presumably CATCH you before you fall and lower you to safety. Now, I trust rescue persons as much as the next girl, but seriously. Amazingly, it happens the way it is supposed to, and you end up safely on the ground, right side up. You immediately pass out.

Let me be clear. I adore roller coasters, and understand on a logical level that the chances of this happening twice to a person are astronomical. But if it happened to me, I would never, ever, EVER step foot on a coaster again. I wouldn't even look at one. I'd probably think twice about an elevator.


Anonymous said...

Nancy- we really are so much alike. That is my favorite thing as about matt...chris loves it too!

Anonymous said...

I love coasters!! Can't get enough!!! Billy, not so much...he'll stay with the kids so I can ride! Gabe, some are okay, but not all!! Sydney will be my counterpart...when she is tall enough, she'll ride them all with me! I have been stuck before, not quite upside down, but several stories off the ground. I survived and road again!! Love the picture!!!


Outnumbered said...

Holy Roller Coasters, Batman!!! That would cure me of EVER wanting to get on another roller coaster. Can you imagine if that would have been on something like Space Mountain or any of the other inside and dark roller coasters across the nation?