Friday, August 20, 2021

My position on spinny rides and roller coasters

Earlier this month, Terry, Jared, Melanie and I spent a day at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. (They actually spent two days there, while my trip was cut a bit short by the need to fly home and get back to work.)

It was a long, hot, exhausting day, given how much ground we covered, how much time we spent waiting in line, and how warm and humid Central Florida tends to be in August.

There was also the fact that I took a couple of supposedly "non-drowsy" Bonine tablets for motion sickness as we entered the park. The pills certainly did their job in terms of preventing motion sickness, but they left me increasingly sleepy as the day went on and absolutely wiped out by nightfall.

If those were the "non-drowsy" formula, I would hate to see what happens when you take the "drowsy" stuff.

In any event, I have undergone an interesting shift over the years in the way I experience amusement parks. When I was younger, I would not go on roller coasters but would go on virtually anything else, including the rides that spin you round and round until you want to puke.

Now it is the opposite: I love virtually all roller coasters, and you couldn't pay me to endure a spinny ride.

I'm not sure why I acquired a taste for coasters later in life, but the faster the better, as far as I'm concerned.

I suspect I would have liked them all along were it not for a traumatic experience on the Double Loop at Geauga Lake back in 1979 or so. It was my first roller coaster, and I got in line to ride it by myself.

To that point, I had never experienced that stomach-drop feeling of going down a really steep hill so quickly, let alone the feeling of being inverted. The intensity of both scared me, and it was a good 15 years before I got back onto a roller coaster of any size.

Now, as I say, I'll go on any of them you want me to.

But the rides that go in a circle? Like the Witches Wheel and those terrible teacups? No, thank you. There's not enough motion sickness medicine in the world to stem the intense dizziness and general feeling of prolonged misery that hits me if I do the round-and-round stuff.

Maybe it's an age thing. All I know is, my days of tolerating the spinny rides are long in the past.

I'll do the merry-go-round, I guess, but even watching people ride it makes me feel a little queasy (that's a true story), so I need to have a barf bag in hand before mounting the fake horse.

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