Friday, October 15, 2010

Rebel Yell

I used to love going to amusement parks, but somewhere during my metamorphosis into adulthood, I lost the desire.

Maybe a spell was cast over me one night, by the evil Wicked Witch of the West, whose sister, the Wicked Witch of the East had been killed, falling out (or pushed out) of a roller coaster.

Maybe not.

Maybe childbirth had something to do with it. Something happens to your equilibrium during that process.

Very likely.

While I am convinced that explains why I do not care for the rides that spin you around in circles, what about the roller coasters?

I used to love roller coaster.

Back to the "Wicked Witch of the West" theory.

Or, maybe it is just that they do not make roller coasters like they used to.

In the quest to make them bigger, badder, faster.............................they have simply (in my opinion) become "less fun" .

I think I am onto something, here.

I remember, years ago, when I went on one of the new, wooden roller coasters. My head was not high enough to rest comfortably in the "head rest", and the entire ride, my head was being jerked around like some politician making promises left and right, that he knows he can't keep.

Like trying to follow a politician, the ride was not "fun", and I had a horrible head-ache, afterward.

Since then, I am simply not impressed by any of the shiny, new roller coasters.

I am, however, still devoted to my three favorite roller coasters of all time:

Rebel Yell (Kings Dominion), Lochness Monster (Busch Gardens), and Space Mountain (Disney World).

Like a faithful pet, they never let me down.

My boys and I were recently at Kings Dominion.

While my kids tried to tempt me to ride such roller coasters as the Ricochet, the Dominator,
and the Intimidator,

the only roller coaster that I was interested in riding was my old friend the Rebel Yell.

As we stood in line, the anticipation was building. I could feel my nerves, like I was riding it for the very first time.

I could see the expressions of fear and excitement on the faces of the people in front of us, as they loaded into the roller coaster cars and strapped themselves in.

Then, the sounds of the claps and cheers as they approached the gate at the end of the ride - wind blown hair, rose colored cheeks, and eyes widened with exhilaration.

"That was awesome!" was a commonly heard statement.

Finally, it was our turn.

We stepped into our seats, buckled our safety belts, and pulled the shoulder harness over our heads.

As we ascended up to the top of the first, big hill, I said to my friend, who was sitting next to me,

"The only thing that would make this roller coaster better, is if they played Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" song along with it."

That would be "totally awesome". 

Just then, we reached the top of the sky, curved over the top of the hill and....................................................................................STRAIGHT DOWN, baby!

FAST, STEEP, SCREAMING WITH FEAR AND UNBRIDLED DELIGHT, SPEED.......................................................................... ELATION.

The man sitting in front of me had a permanent smile on his face during the entire ride, as did I - one continuous thrilling hill after another.

Pulling out of the final tunnel, and up to the exit area, we were clapping and cheering, with our wind blown hair, rose colored cheeks, and eyes wide with exhilaration.

My son and his friend both said in unison, "THAT WAS AWESOME!"

How thrilled I was that my 11 year old and his friend were just as impressed by the old Rebel Yell as I was at their age, and still am.

We moved onto the next roller coaster, and as I stood in the waiting area near the exit, I overheard some teenagers discussing their next ride.

"We HAVE to go on the Rebel Yell. That is my mom's favorite roller coaster."

I stood there and smiled.

Warning:  The following video contains profanity.  But THIS guy is funny! 

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