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Roller Coasters

December 17, 2019

The first time I noticed I could no longer handle roller coasters was about 12 years ago when I stepped off of a double loop coaster that I went on with my brothers, my sisters, and my son. You know how people purposely make themselves dizzy by bending over, putting their forehead on a bat and spinning around it as fast as they can? When they try to walk straight away from that, somehow they wind up running as hard as their legs will take them at a 90 degree angle exit stage left? I wonder what genius thought of this idea first, by the way, and why? Anyways, that room is spinning, can’t focus your eyes, you’re going to be sick feeling you get when you’re dizzy? That’s how I felt. Basically, I just paid for a ride that gave me vertigo. It felt like my eyes were unintentionally and automatically scanning the room rapidly from left to right. It’s as if I was in a REM stage of dreaming with my eyes open. I’m sure I looked like an insane person. So I told everybody something is really wrong, I apparently knocked a screw loose in my head and I can’t see, so if you could take my arm and lead me to a bench I’ll just sit for a while until the spins are gone. It was before cell phones, so they didn’t want to just leave me there and never catch up with me again. I said, “I’ll be fine. We’re a big group, I’m sure I can find you.” Then I heard some sirens and saw a medic in a golf cart with flashing lights pull up and stop in front of me. I remember thinking how did they know to come for me, until I heard my Mom giggle. I looked at my guilty family with a look of….seriously? They were laughing so hard that they had to walk away. Well, I tried looking at my family but my vision kept darting and making them start and stop from left to right over and over. The medic said, “M’aam, get in the cart.” It felt a little like a scene from the movie Paul Blart, Mall Cop. I said, “No, no, no, no. That’s completely unnecessary. I just need a little time, my family over reacted. Go help a real emergency. Thank you for your offer.” I then turned to what I thought was my family and said, “Really? You were going to let me go in the mobile medic mobile?” It turned out that it wasn’t my family I scolded because I couldn’t really make out who I was talking to; instead it was another innocent family, but my family was laughing close enough to hear me. I could make out though that the poor family I yelled at kind of huddled closer together in a confused fashion and scooted out of there pretty quickly because they just got reprimanded by a stranger with darty eyes for something they didn’t do. So that’s the day I decided I probably shouldn’t hit the big flip coasters anymore. When did you first come to the realization you can’t handle coasters anymore, or do you still have what it takes?

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