Today found me in a contemplative mood. I got to thinking about something that happened a year ago…..
I live near King’s Island amusement park. Perhaps unwisely, I went there, and even though I knew it was stupid, given my body, I wanted to ride a roller coaster so badly. One specific roller coaster.
Many years ago, when we had just moved to America, we stayed in London, Ohio for a few months, and I remember commercials on TV talking about THE BEAST - the largest roller coaster in the world. I knew it had probably been passed by now, but it still held a place in my childhood memory.
And it is still huge!
So, I sneak on (ticket-guy paying no attention) and right away I knew I was in trouble. I can't latch the safety bar! I can’t even pull the bar down over me!
Curse my giant frame!
I leave it up, figuring I'd use my center of gravity to "shift" my weight when needed. This works...at first, but as the turns got faster (AND harder), it became harder to shift. I began falling a half-second behind each time the coaster zigged, zagged, swerved and swooped.
Finally, the ride goes upside-down! I manage (by luck more than skill) to get my leg wrapped around the bar, but at that moment, the ride stops dead in its (literal) tracks!
A cabal of mine enemies?
Roosting chickens, arriving at their residence of record?
Who the **** knows!
I'm dangling from the TOP of THE BEAST; the only thing holding me from plummeting - a very uncomfortable safety bar wedged behind my knee! It hurt so much, I might have willingly fallen and taken my chances, but the gravitational forces my body exerted on the situation made it impossible to move in any direction!
[Not for nothing: but “gravitational forces my body exerted” is the best largeness euphemism in a long while.]
I'm hanging there, contemplating my soon-to-be grisly death, and I can't help remembering an odd event that happened a few weeks earlier.
I was in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and I walked by this ancient-looking Italian lady. (I knew she was Italian because she was talking to her daughter or granddaughter or great-great-granddaughter at 847 miles an...excuse me: DCCCXLVII miles an hour; not even Spanish can be spoken that quickly.)
As we passed each other the woman went stiff as a board. She grabbed my arm with that scary old-person strength, looked me straight in the eye and hissed: "Beware the Rides of March!"
[Credits: Thanks to my sister for help with storyboarding
Thanks to Persephone for help with pictures
pictures: King's Island - "The Beast" in the 1980s
Painting: "La morte di Cesare" by Vincenzo Camuccini (22 February 1771 – 2 September 1844)]