Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 77

The Time Mookie Almost Got Kicked Out Of An Amusement Park

As I mentioned in last week's story, there was a particular summer several years ago where I was able to go to an area amusement park (Adventureland) three times during a summer season:

-Trip One was with my family;
-Trip Two (detailed in Episode 76) was with my church's youth group and where I threw up after riding "round and round" rides;
-Trip Three was with my friend's church youth group - which is the tale I present to you today.  As you can tell from the title, we were definitely up to no good that day. What did we do????  Read on my friends.

There was a crowd of us there that day courtesy of "Rick's(*)" church youth group, but I essentially hung out with just Rick and "Tweed(*)."  While most of the day was fun, it was also quite uneventful. That is of course...until we decided to ride the roller coasters.

AHH! Here we come!
photo courtesy:  
At the time, the park had a total of four roller coasters:
-Der Flitzer- a small carnival-type roller coaster.  Lame but fun.
-Super Screamer - A rickety steel framed structure that was two steps above Der Flitzer.
-Dragon - The park's first (and only) coaster that goes upside down.
-Tornado - The crown jewel of the whole park.  Simply put:  It's a big-ass wooden roller coaster.
I love this ride, and incidentally is where we got into trouble.

By mid-afternoon, we had hit all the good rides and even had our fill of the 360-degree loops courtesy of the Dragon.  It was around this time that we started an impressive run of riding the Tornado numerous times in a row.  We'd get off, walk down the ramp, walk through the carnival games outside the exit, and walk back to the entrance of the Tornado.  After awhile, we started playing games in the carnival area on our way back to the ride. Eventually we were winning lame stuffed animals, but we wanted to keep riding the Tornado. So what did we do?  We took the stuffed animals on the Tornado with us.

When we'd go down the hills, we'd hold them up in the air for the entire ride and laugh at the end because their fuzz was all wind-blasted.  Naturally, because we were idiots - things got out of hand and we stepped it up a notch:  We started throwing the stuffed animals off the ride.

Not just casually tossing them - THROWING them. I don't remember why, but man it was DAMN HILARIOUS.  We did this on two separate runs - each of us chucking our newly acquired stuffed friends off into the park somewhere from the coaster.  On our third (and what turned out to be final) animal-throwing run, we decided to really go "all out" and chuck multiple animals.  I shouldn't have to tell you that this is there our rule breaking eventually caught up with us.

See that red/orange person in the back?
That's where we were.
photo courtesy:
We set off down the big hill with our stuffed animals stuck in the seats beside us (we all rode in separate cars).  Once we got to the far end of the track where the ride turned to come back to the station (and where the people running the ride couldn't see us), we got out the animals and started throwing them.  In an effort to really throw them, Rick, Tweed, and I more or less were up out of our seats so that we got better distance  It was hilariously fun, but as we finished up the ride, it became quickly apparent that we were busted.

We re-entered the station and saw one of the ride caretakers talking on a walkie-talkie, gesturing back and forth between the ride controller, and pointing towards the back of the ride where we were all sitting.  The first thing I picked up in the Tornado employees' conversation was "The guy over at the Dragon said there were several of them towards the back of the car."

Great.  Someone over at The Dragon roller coaster (which runs alongside the Tornado) saw us and radioed in that they saw our shenanigans.

The guy holding the walkie comes walking down the deck towards the rear of the car and begins berating everyone on the ride.  He said that he was told by someone over at the Dragon that people were "standing up" and "throwing things" from the ride.  It is apparent he does not know "who" did these things because he's looking at everyone and seeing if anyone looked guilty.  He made some grand statement about safety, and then said if we were caught doing anything like this again that we'd be "immediately expelled" from the park.

The ride controller - who seemed somewhat shocked at the other guy's lecture -  then released our lap bars and in a puzzled tone recited his usual "Ladies and gentlemen, please lift your lap bars, exit the ride to the right, walk slowly down the ramp and have a wonderful day at Adventureland."

We all kept calm puzzled faces until we got back out into the carnival area where we did the whole "OH MY GOD WE ALMOST GOT KICKED OUT!!" thing.  Needless to say, we didn't ride the Tornado again that day.

In hindsight, what we did was pretty stupid and unsafe.  However, it appears our mischievousness may have eventually helped make that ride safer: Back then they only had the lap bar to keep us on and in the ride. Now they now have the lap bar AND seat belts.  Its people like us that help (ruin) "make rides safer" for everyone else.

Yeah I know. You're welcome.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

Miss a previous story?  Bored at work and want something to read?  Click HERE to see a bunch of other crap I've done.

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