I’m a big, yellow-bellied, lily-livered, boneless chicken. (I blame my cousin for making me watch black-and-white horror movies when I was little, while the adults visited and he had to keep me from getting bored. For the record: I was never bored. Ever.) So this is a big deal:
Tonight, for the first time ever, I stepped in line to ride the KingCoaster*, one of – if not THE – world’s most frightening rides. And I’m about to pee my pants in anticipation.
You know the sitch: That heart-pumping, sweaty-palm suspense of what’s to come; hearing the terrified, electrifying screams of those who’ve gone before you; bearing witness to the blanched yet exhilarated countenances of individuals exiting the ride. You wanna do it. You don’t wanna do it. You love the fear of the unknown. You hate the fear of the unknown. You’re intrigued by what others have said about it. You’re horrified by what others have said about it. The longer the wait, the more intense the anxiety. The closer you get to the front of the line, the more you want to slip under the metal bars into the sparsely populated fast-track lane and hoof it the other way. But you don’t. You stay in line. You wipe your palms on your cut-offs. You take deliberate, meditative (but completely ineffectual) breaths. You repeat to yourself that it won’t be as petrifying as you think it will be. And you hold your pee.
Step forward: I remember the contented ride of the Toews-Go-Round.
Step forward: And the giddy buzz of racing down Riordan River Rapids.
Step forward: The Gardner-A-Whirl was fully enjoyable from line up to landing and, although somewhat intense,
Step forward: The Tower of Collins was a thrilling plunge.
Step forward: Even experiencing The Tunnel of Gaiman wasn’t half as distressing as what I’m feeling now.
Step forward: I’m convinced I’ve made a mistake.
But this understanding comes a second too late, at the sound of the harness being locked into place: I’ve just been downloaded into the seat. And the furtive thumbs up have been given.
There’s no turning back. The ascent has begun.
I’m now fully committed.
To be continued …
*AKA: THE SHINING.