Pat here, reporting on special assignment from an eighth floor Hilton Hotel room (and, yes, Christian, before you even ask...I WILL tip the cleaning staff!Read Tip-Fusing, folks, to see what a cheap bastard my partner is!) in Santa Clara, California. I’m here because later today I am going to a memorial service to celebrate the 98 years of amazing life lived by my Great Uncle Jim.
And before you start thinking that this post is all about mortality and the onset of the downfall towards old age and ultimately death...it’s not.
See, what I didn’t expect in this impromptu trip was to be treated to a view, directly outside my hotel window, of a place that conjured up visions of fantasy, wonder and amazement when I was a youth--Great America!
Have you ever been there? Or to something like it? (If not, I’m really sorry. Think “Wally World”...but better!) The ribbons of roller coaster tracks creating a giant tangle of entertaining velocity-based fun? The sickly sweet smell of churros and caramel corn and slushy drinks and frozen treats and pretzels with nacho cheese? It is WONDERFUL! The b-rate musicians playing at the smallish amphitheater--can I get a holla’ for my homeboys from the U.K., Squeeze?!!?
When I was younger, I would beg my parents endlessly to take me there when we visited family in the Bay Area, and three times I convinced them (or wore them down) and they conceded and took me. Those trips might have been the highpoints of my youth, if not my life.
So, back to the hotel room. You know what sucks about getting old, Christian? Not the fact that phrases like, “Oh, it’s nothing, just my sciatica flaring” or “Sweetie, I’ve kinda’ got a six-pack, right?” are commonplace...
...it’s that here I am, a professional adult with money in my pocket that I could use to walk across the parking lot and buy myself entry into amusement park heaven, and yet I know that one minute after I lock myself into one of those thrill rides, I will be throwing up all over the place.
Yeah, what really sucks about getting old is that I can’t stomach the very rides that I used to dream about going on when I was old enough to buy my own ticket (which I now am, by the way)!
Can I get some sympathy, brother?
Christian: Yes I hate getting older. It’s probably one of my least favorite things about life, right up there with having to be responsible member of society and styrofoam.
It’s been awhile since I have been on any amusement park rides though. To be honest most of them made me sick to my stomach even when I was a kid. Except roller coasters for some reason. And I do like roller coasters. Although I probably haven’t been on one in more than 10 years so I guess now, thanks to you, I don’t know if I like them anymore.
How do you know you would get sick if you hopped on a thrill ride today? Are you basing this on recent experience or are you just making wild assumptions in hopes of getting some sympathy?
Pat: How would I know? Well, I’d hop on one of them there thrill rides, like I did last summer with my kids, and I’d ride it for the duration, like I did last summer with my kids, and then I’d exit said ride and make haste to the nearest restroom to un-eat my lunch in the toilet, like I did last summer with my kids.
Thanks for asking.
What else do you wanna’ know? The good news is that my sciatica has been really dormant for awhile.
Christian: And how much did you drink before going on the ride?
Pat: Just a swig of gatorade. Not my usual drink of choice, but apparently they don’t believe in water at the local sketchy amusement park. Do you think that a dram of whisky might have helped to settle my stomach? Hmm...that’s an idea. Maybe the JOY of getting older is that you can legally get tanked prior to going on those amusement rides. Is that what you were thinking?
Christian: I’m always thinking that. I would suggest taking at least two drams if not three drams of whiskey before your next ride. When will your next ride be, because I would like to know if this works out sooner than later.
Pat: I think you’re going to be disappointed, buddy. I’m a fair-weather amusement rider, and given that it’s definitively non-amusement season, it’s looking like at least a few months.
That said, I’d be happy to swig a dram or three of whisky anyway and let you know how I feel. Kinda’ the same, isn’t it?
Christian: Good idea. I’ll do I did the same.