Friday, July 15, 2011

Metaphors for Life

Friends take a while to get it when I say things like, "I hope it will rain on the weekend, so I can go to the park!" But you see when you're an on-call photo pilot, you have to work on the sunny days. Today it's raining, but fortunately not a thunderstorm, so I'm at the amusement park with an eleven year old. Eleven year olds are about the best companions for amusement parks because they are big enough to go on all the rides and I've never found an adult who wants to go on the water flume ride thirty times in succession. I recently discovered that most parents consider taking their kids to the amusement park a chore. If this one works out, I think I'll get a season's pass and take all my friends' well-behaved kids, one a week all summer. Also rainy days are the best, because there are no lines. No lines at all, no one waiting, so we've been riding around and around on the water flume without getting off. The ride attendants don't care, less work for them. It's raining anyway, so we're not going to get any less wet if we get off. And water coasters are fun.

I've been around this same ride enough times to get philosophical. We went on wheeled roller coasters first, with the eleven year old bravely marching up to each one without giving himself any time to chicken out. Some things in life are quite as committed as getting on a roller coaster. You make your decision, you get strapped in, and then you're there, despite the fact that you may not enjoy the whole ride. His eyes were screwed tightly shut all the way through the roller coaster that went upside-down, and he was hanging on for dear life on the steepest one. Mind you, so was I. It really feels like you're going to fall out!

Going round and round on the water coaster he gradually comes to terms with the feeling of the big drop and when we finally get off, he wants to go back on the other roller coasters. They're still scary, but he's conquered them. And then we spend the rest of the day on the bumper cars. I adore bumper cars. If I win the lottery I am so getting my own bumper car arena, and you can all come over and we can smash into one another over and over again. On the way home it's all I can do to remember not to slam into the other traffic. I also remember to use the gear shift and not the steering wheel to engage reverse.

I find a place that repairs cameras, because even though I know my little camera is probably toast, I'd rather hear it from an expert than throw it out not knowing. I even pay a $25 diagnostic fee, to be credited to the repair cost if I give the go ahead, but forfeit if I decide not to have it repaired. I press a little, "do you think you'll be able to fix it?" but the technician impassively says he doesn't know until they examine it.

Ever post something and imagine someone might be reading it, but know it's very unlikely? That was me, sending best wishes to South Sudan a few days ago. How about this, reader ScurvyDog who blogs at Tales from the Clouds was in South Sudan on its first Independence Day, celebrating along with the nationals. I never get over the astonishing breadth of the readership here.


amulbunny's random thoughts said...

Both my kids have annual passes at Disneyland and this year they took my 86 yr old mom to the park. She hadn't been there in 40 years. She loved the rides and even went on Pirates twice.

It was our rule that we wouldn't take the children to the park until they were over 6. That way they had some idea of what they wanted to do. They both are roller coaster fans so they also loved Knotts.

I am so glad you love amusement parks. I'm going to Disneyland during the Christmas season to see the decorations, ride a few rides and have dinner at the Blue Bayou.

Glad you had fun.

Anonymous said...

Glad you had fun !
Beware, amusement parks have a certain feeling of fakeness to them.. My first summer job was at such a park. After a while, it gets at you, and you see it everywhere. I now live in California .. "cute" little stores that are actually connected inside, fake shutters that could never cover the windows, tiled roofs that are only a few tiles around the edges, but flat internally, stone walls with the stones clearly glued to the outside .. caricatures of European medieval architecture surrounded by seas of parking spaces ..

Cedarglen said...

Never have I ever been more argeement with a primary blog post and for all of the right reasons. I do not need to list them here. For us, rainy days are cool. -C.

DataPilot said...

I hope you never become "too grown up" to ride roller coasters in the rain!