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The Time I Was Terrified of Roller Coasters

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

the_beast_kings_island_roller_coaster

When I was young, few things could reduce me to pants-wetting terror like the prospect of a roller coaster. I had an irrational, animalistic fear towards the things, and thus my childhood passed with me watching from the other side of the fence while my friends whipped around in loops.

When I was still pretty little, perhaps seven years old, I went with my best friend at the time to King’s Island, Cincinnati’s premier (and pretty much only) amusement park. It’s apparently the largest one in the Midwest, and is best known for it’s fake Eiffel Tower and the world’s longest wooden roller coaster (“The Beast,” with a ride through the woods that lasts over four minutes).

In the children’s section of the park, there is miniature wooden roller coaster called “The Beastie” (now the Peanuts-themed “Woodstock Express”). This is not a large coaster by any means, and is designed for little kids. It’s highest drop is only 38 feet or so, and it never goes above 35 mph. However, I was terrified of it, and imagined that a ride on the rickety structure would result in multiple limb amputation. Somehow.

However, my friend this day wanted to ride it, and his older sister (or perhaps his aunt?) decided she was tired of my fearful antics. She said I’d get over this fear and ride the damn thing, come hell or high water. I begged desperately for a way out of this. She couldn’t really force me on it, could she? Finally, she gave me an out – if I could eat an entire Smurf cone while in the short line, I would be exempt from riding.

Now, Smurf cones were these blue and white swirled soft-serve monstrosities that they sold at the park. Each cone was topped with an ice cream tower that was about a foot tall, which meant that unless immediately inhaled, you’d be sporting dessert on your sneakers within minutes. Eating one in a line that lasted only a minute or two was a formidable challenge, but I was willing to take the risk.

She bought cones for me and my friend, and I set upon the ice cream with a ferocity usually reserved for lions bringing down antelope. Only halfway though, my stomach was beginning to protest loudly, and my hands were covered in moist sugar. But I kept on going, determined to not ride the accursed Beastie. Moments before we were to board the cars, I triumphantly held up my empty hands.

My friend and his sister got on the train, and I happily waved them goodbye. My face and chin were smeared with blue syrup up to my eyes, but I was happy and proud. I had done it! I had avoided the roller coaster!

Seconds later, I projectile vomited pale blue slurry all over the waiting area and track. But the cars had already left, so I was safe! The vomiting was totally worth it.

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