And in fact, until I was 17, the only ‘ride’ I had ever braved was the Ladybird at Gulliver’s Kingdom, aged 6, and even then I felt a sense of unease. I am not sure whether it was the disappointment when I dismounted the ride and realised I hadn’t ACTUALLY been driving it myself with the little steering wheel inside each car, or whether it was the general situation of having to sit with other kids, but something must’ve put me off, big time. Bypassing the fact that amusement parks are basically large camps for we moronic Homo sapiens to test how it would feel to be an inch from death.
Fast forward 11 years and I am being strapped into the nasty, off-white seats of Nemesis, Alton Towers’ most all-round badass rollercoaster. I am hysterical with panic, the bars around my shoulders crushing my very soul. I am bleating “I WANT TO GET OFF!” in front of several queues of customers, while my theme park veteran friends laugh in my face. The ride began to trundle forward, and proceeded to provide an experience which I imagine would be quite similar to the feeling and visuals of travelling back in time. If this scene had been in a Pixar movie, I would’ve thrown my hands in the air, hollering “Woooooo-hoooooooo!” with an uplifting orchestral score in the background. Instead, I clutched the handles, emitting something closer to “Grrffffffghhhfghggggggggh!” And when it stopped, I was still in 2008 in the Midlands getting rained on. And strangely, I actually wanted to go on it again.
I will never understand how getting soaked through while fully clothed is anyone’s idea of a good time. Despite having withstood such horrors as the ride/death trap that is Oblivion and being plunged from a great height, face-first, into a steaming underground abyss, the ride you will have to pay me a trillion quid to go on is the LOG FLUME. Because, unlike other attractions, there is water involved. And as we all know, any kind of air-borne moisture is a silent, deadly killer of great hair. It is hair castration. The only way to avoid this situation is to purchase a flimsy plastic poncho for three quid and spend the ride looking like a Dementor from Harry Potter who decided to update his wardrobe- or you can just avoid the whole damn thing completely and get a box of doughnuts.
But whether it has been my Dad defeating the whole object of ‘bumper cars’ and apologising to other people when bumping their car, or me feeling like I’m going to rise right out of my seat on the Pirate Ship and into a crevasse, there have been enough toe-curling experiences at them parks to fill a whole other blog post- but weirdly not enough to stop me from going back to these places for yet more punishment.