While everyone was eating, some Kennywood band started setting up near us and Haley said, “Yep, time to leave.” Thank god! I get so antsy when we sit for too long at amusement parks!
It was about 785 degrees out on this day, so hot and humid that Chooch and I were drenched in sweat just from sitting. Beads of perspiration rolled down my back in 5 second intervals and I internally cried to the gods, “WHY DID YOU MAKE MY SWEAT GLANDS SUCH OVERACHIEVERS?!” It’s just mean.
Our caravan began it’s slow stutter-walk toward Lost Kennywood. There was chatter about which ride we should go on, the Pirate Ship or the Phantom, and I personally didn’t want to go on the Phantom right that second because we had already ridden it, but the Phantom won out and I just had a feeling.
That sickening belly-nag.
The sky was starting to look straight-up foreboding, my friends. I half-expected that Kennywood guy sitting at the entrance of the line to say something about it, something like, “Yinz guys should go ride the Music Express or something because this bitch is getting shut down here rill soon n’ at.”
But nope, he just gave us blank looks and allowed us to pass.
The line was a lot longer than it was when Chooch and I rode it earlier with Henry, but we trudged along until we couldn’t go any further. This put us behind a young couple from one of the high school bands and at first I was like, “Aw, look at these band nerds in love” (I can say that because I was in band, too). Literally, they looked like they were normal people who were dressed up band geeks for Halloween. The girl especially looked like she had a hidden prettiness, like she was dying to star in a real life version of one of those predictable teen makeover movies. She’s All That, or if I want to date myself, SHE’S OUT OF CONTROL which starred Mickey Dolenz’s daughter! I saw that movie in the theater with my friend Spring and I thought it was so great and it gave me hope that someday I would grow out of my ugly duckling phase.
(Spoiler: I never did. Have you seen me?)
So back to the Phantom. These fucking kids went from “aw” to “awful” really fast. Their PDA was so out of control that I was starting to dig my fingernails into my palms. The boy kissed the girl after EVERY SENTENCE. These disgusting little kisses on her nose, lips, cheek, shoulder, neck, head. And then she would do it back and it was like being a fucking farm watching chickens peck at each other.
“I like water rides,” she said. *KISS*
“I like water rides too!” he said. *KISS*
“OMG we should go on a water ride!” *KISS*
“I agree!” *KISSKISSKISSKISSUGHFUCKYOU*
I tried to get Haley to switch spots with me but she was like, “Girl, I will fucking kill them.”
It was so out of control! Their conversation was so banal (because this is real life high school and not Dawson’s Creek where they look at the stars and talk about paradigms) and did not warrant such flagrant, superfluous affection, like each precious peck was some uncomfortable form of punctuation that English teachers omit from their curriculum because it’s gross.
We moved up enough in line to where it was almost time to pick which car we wanted to sit in and then get in the appropriate line. Blake asked where I wanted to go and I was like FAR AWAY FROM THESE OVERACTIVE LIPSMACKERS OVER HERE.
But as it turns out, we wouldn’t have a chance to go any further because an announcement was made saying that the Phantom was temporarily shutting down due to the approaching storm.
This was after about 30 minutes of already standing in line!
Some people opted to stay and wait it out, but we turned around and went to find Henry and Calvin, who had taken pre-shelter under a pavilion of Pedro’s Tacos, which was closed and now that I think about it, I don’t think I have ever seen that place open.
Henry the Meteorologist kept checking some storm tracker map thing and pointed out that it looked like it was going to be OK once this storm came through, that the rest of the day should be all clear. There were other storms behind the first one that was approaching us but Henry pointed out that it looked like they were going to pass around our location.
All of a sudden, the rain fell and people started screaming like it was acid dropping from buckets. We just laughed because come on, guys. It’s rain. This went on for several minutes, with more and more people squeezing into the pavilion with us. I turned my back for a second and got doused with what felt like a really rough wave, and everyone started SCREAMING and pushing each other further into the pavilion. I had no idea what was going on, but garbage cans had fallen over and were rolling violently along the wet ground, and the rain was coming down in what appeared to be curtains at this point.
We were right across from the Pittsburgh Plunge, which is a water ride, and I very naively thought that some sort of tidal wave had been created in the pool of water at the bottom of it and that’s what had hit us, but Henry was like, “No, stupid, the wind was so strong that it was making the rain fall sideways.”
Some dumb bitch was standing near me, coddling her crying son who looked like he was at least 9, and loudly saying things like, “I KNOW, I KNOW. I HATE CROWDS! PEOPLE ARE SUCH IDIOTS” like excuse me, we’re all trying to stay safe here, and I personally didn’t witness any shoving or general jackassery. Dumb bitch—your kid is basically an adult at this point, get a grip. Meanwhile, Haley was standing behind her, calmly holding Calvin and not panicking or shouting passive aggressive insults at everyone who wasn’t paying enough attention to her.
That lady was already under my skin before the rain even started falling because her face was a moving billboard of angry expressions.
After the storm, there was nothing to do but eat and play games. I remember back in the day, only certain rides would get shut down when it rained and then they would pretty much fire back up as soon as the storm passed.
“Yeah, but then that microburst blew the roof off the Whip and some lady sued,” Henry said.
“Someone sued for real?” I asked.
“Probably,” Henry shrugged. A logical assessment.
The greatest part though was that it cooled down so beautifully and felt like a brisk fall day. I wanted a maple latte badly though.
I love/hate when they play games. On one hand, there is always something cute that I want them to win for me, but on the other hand, that’s S. Korea money going right down the shitter.
The fish pond is my favorite game! I love how it smells, and I love the sound the metal hook makes when it connects with one of the chunky plastic fish cruising on by with the “current.” It’s one of the things that hasn’t changed about Kennywood since I was a kid and I appreciate that so hard.
This girl was not amused by Chooch’s uncertainty and indecisiveness when it came to choosing fish to hook and I was waiting for her to reach in with her hand and pick for him. I feel like if you’re working one of those games, that one especially since it’s such a kid-centric game, you should have a more docile, friendly disposition?
I wanted Chooch to pick a plush popsicle, but he chose a cupcake instead. I was really disappointed but when he declared that he was giving it to Calvin, the disappointment was replaced with pride because no one made him do this, and it was basically the first time in three months that he acknowledged Calvin’s existence!
Blake won a small pink poop for Calvin.
An hour later, it started POURING again while we played the shooting game, which is also where I got angry at Henry because he will never properly teach me how to aim and I never hit any targets!
It was 3:00 by this point and we had basically done fuck-all, when a speaker crackled, followed by, “This is the voice of Kennywood….”
The park was officially closing at 4pm because an entire of fleet of storms was still en route to the area.
SAD TUBA FOR REAL.
But the upside is that we got rain tickets for next year!
We still stayed put under an awning because it was torrentially downpouring and no one wanted to walk through that to the gate. This was how I learned courtesy of Haley that if you run through rain, you get more wet!
IS THAT TRUE?!
The rain slowed down long enough for Henry, Chooch and me to speedwalk to Goldent Nugget to grab ice cream cones for the crew but THEY WERE DONE SERVING ICE CREAM FOR THE DAY.
I had to text Janna and tell her to JUST FORGET IT because she was going to meet us there after work. This could have been such a great day! We had the perfect group! But then HENRY made us go left instead of right AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED.
I never noticed this fire hydrant before.
All was not lost though because Chooch ended up winning this plush unicorn on the way out, and Haley (who had craved candy apples during her whole pregnancy) snagged the last candy apple in the candy store by the exit.
In conclusion, shitty weather but excellent company.
I bet those fucking band dorks spent the whole afternoon kissing raindrops off each other ugh I’m so glad I never saw them again.