Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I'm not a nice person

I went to Six Flags today! It was awesome. James and I met at 7:45 to schlep out to New Jersey, which is always a delight in itself, and we hung around the park for half an hour until it actually opened. We went on the following rides: Nitro, the Batman ride, the Superman ride, the Great American Scream Machine (affectionaly known as GASM), Rolling Thunder, and Medusa. As usual, I preferred the twisty ones to the dead-drop-oh-my-god-my-heart-just-imploded ones.

Two important things came out of this day trip: (1) I may be getting too old for this. After the second coaster, which was particularly violent and seizure-inducing, being one of the sleek new modern ones that are made of fiberoptic cables and videogamers' darkest fantasies, I felt like someone had applied an Indian burn to my brain stem. We kind of staggered around and waited for our synapses to reconnect. Meanwhile we watched a wide variety of adolescent social dynamics: the teenage guys who learned all of their cuss words (thug #1: "Fuck this shit!" thug #2: "Bitch!") and the gaggle of ten girls with their sad lonely one male friend who clearly has no guy friends of his own ("Justin, come ooonnnn!" "Oh my God, Mallory, you are so hurting me right now!"). From all of this I ascertained that I may be too old to subject my body to this kind of experience, and that I shouldn't spend my leisure time with teenagers.

(2) We saw at least three overweight people be ejected from the roller coasters they had just boarded after the safety harnesses and lap bars could not contain them because they were too fat. This was embarassing each and every time. Here comes Bobby or Melinda Thunderchunks, waddling up to the car after a thirty or forty minute wait, and they can't get the overhead safety bar to latch into place. Soon Attendant #1 comes over and leans their entire body into the structure, but it won't click. #1 makes a not so subtle hand signal to Attendant #2, and then both of them are straining with all of their mat to displace this poor bastard's body mass enough to strap them into place. Finally they give up, exchange a brief word with the kid, and the kid waddles down and out.

This made me sad for the kids, while at the same time repulsed by them. It was humiliating for them, and everybody waiting saw it happen. A couple of them tried to laugh it off, but nobody else was laughing with them - everybody was disgusted (and, he shamefully admitted, kind of thrilled by it too). Let's face it, extra wide seats on roller coasters are just not a good idea. Slim down or stay home, I guess. It was just so pathetic all around. No wonder the terrorists hate us.

I had never seen this before, and today it happened time after time after time. What is wrong with this country?

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