July 12th, 2002
|01:45 pm - swimming with sharks|
we (me lauri and dennis) went to an amusement park yesterday. the PNE, or playland, depending on what the park felt like calling itself at any particular moment. most of it was just so-so, but there were a few really thrilling rides. the hellavator was like a reverse tower of terror: you get shot straight up at 4 gees (aka, really fuckin fast) and bounce up and down a few times and then get off. it's not a scary ride, per se, because by the time you're aware you're moving, the fast part is over, and you just swish back to the bottom. the tension comes from the fact that the guy running it gets to wait around a minute until he feels like hitting the red button that VROOMs you to the top. waiting waiting waiting ZING. it works.
and they're sneaky bastards - a few times the ride went shooting up halfway thru the recorded "for your safety, please blah blah blah" announcement (which doesn't strike me as being very safe, but it was certainly unexpected). i think "for your safety, do not ride the hellavator" would be a more effective recording.
the coolest part of the ride, for me, is the feeling right when it starts going up. all i can describe it as, is in a cartoon when a character runs off a cliff, REALIZES he's just run off a cliff, and only then begins to fall. it felt like that to me - i could feel the pressure of the immense speed, which meant we were probably already halfway up, but as far as my brain could keep up with things, we hadnt gone anywhere yet. feeling of huge pressure and speed, and i'm sitting there a moment, and then zzzzoom and i'm at the top weightless about to drop back down. thrilling
there were other good rides - hell's gate was fun for being brought steadily towards a spout of water aimed right at your face while being upside down and turning. that was a funny ride, more than anything though. the first time we went on, we were expecting it to be a kiddie ride, adn suddenly we're spinning backwards upside down. ack. and then later in the day when the people running the ride were obviously trying to amuse themselves at our expense. they would shoot the water right up into the cars as we're spinning and drench everyone (got wetter on that ride than on hte log flume), which made everyone but me and den happy. we were grumps and sat on the righmost seats where the water coudlnt reach as well.
there was the drop-zone, which was basically horizontal bungie jumping. that was fun. the worst part was getting horizontal in the 1st place - you held on to this weighted bar with your feet on a support bar. we werent high up at all at that point (the drop height was 100 ft), but the sensation of purposely falling face-first (you coudlnt just let yourself topple over, you had to lean forward and not regain balance as the reflex tells you) is unpleasant.
of course, the whole idea of amusement parks is to go against reflex. most people would never WANT to fall 100 feet. they wouldnt even want to think they were doing so. so why pay for the chance to have the same sensation? and if it's so obviously safe (i woudlnt be doing this if i thoguht there was much chance of kersplatting), why the thrill? if you think it is safe, why so afraid of "omigod i'm gonna die i'm gonna die"? and why is being afraid so fun? it's not as if we're so removed from real danger that we need to seek out fake terror to get our adrenaline pumping. people die all the time in various horrible ways. who would go to a Car Crash Zone and have simulated head-on collisions? real fear isn't fun, it's scary. it's fucking FEAR. so what's so great abotu fake fear? and if you're aware it's fake, why be afraid? why the hell did i pay to be dropped 100 feet, and why was i laughing so much when i got off? (well part of why i was laughing was that lauri's foot got caught in the "grab onto this so you can stop spinning and get off" loop they were fishing for us with, but ya know)
i suspect it is something to do with what i was wondering about the other day - why eat spicy food? yeah, there's the taste, but if someone invented food that tasted EXACTLY the same but wasn't spicy, a lot of people would still want the spice. i would.
someone said it was that it got your adrenaline going, but that doens't make much sense. i don't get adrenaline pumping every time i get a papercut or stub my toe. i just go FUCK THAT HURTS and grumble a minute and i'm done. why is frying your tongue so much better? the way i was thinking about it the other day is "is eating spicey food a form of masochism?" but i don't think that's it. but i don't know. and i don't think it's about being tough and look how much spice i can take, though that is part of it. again, you could have the same effect stabbing yourself, but who does that. (ok, yeah, some people do that. people cut themselves. but i don't think it's at all related, and either way a lot less people cut than slather on the tobasco).
ps: "the revelation" fucking ruled. most badass ride ever. i think she said it was going like 80mph, and it looked about 200ft up, and spinning and flipping and going around and backwards and crazy and disorienting and awesome and i want to go again. someone buy me one, i'll put it in my backyard.
ok, that's enough of that. it's time to clean.
np: reel big fish - nothin'
i don't know about the spicy food thing,
but i know for dangerous situations, chemically your body reacts the same way it does when you're having sex. and they do have car crash/flipping over type places where people go to learn how to do it, then do it for fun and a rush and a chemical equivalent to an orgasm (safest sex ever, flipping your car!)
you wouldn't do it, but you'd do the amusement park, it's like the difference between missionary and doggie style :)
mmm doggie style car crashes