I used to always work on my birthdays and people would be like, “Why are you here on your bday, that’s stupid.” Well, back then, Barb and Gayle were still here to shower me with ridiculous amounts of attention and presents! And now that they’re not here anymore, WHY BOTHER?!
I guess it’s more like the older I get, the more I want to have a child-like birthday, if that makes sense. This year, I chose to spend that day actin’ a fool at Kennywood with my best riding partner, Chooch!
Also, he and I both have season passes and while he had already gone twice this summer, I started to panic because I hadn’t gone once yet! What a waste of a stupid season pass.
Henry is super weird about requesting days off of work, so he said he would just meet us there after and we were like whatever, you do you, bud. If there’s one place Chooch and I can survive on our own, it’s Kennywood! (We didn’t know that until three years ago, when we tested it out and did alright!)
Per tradition, we raced toward the Exterminator as soon as we got into the park, but then we had to stand in line for about 30 dumb minutes because we got there too early and nothing was running yet, why do we do this to ourselves?! It’s not like we need to claim a pavilion for a family picnic or anything!
(I have literally NEVER done that, by the way. My family never lugged in coolers full of pierogies and coleslaw and bologna sandwiches to share with each other under a pavilion next to the Log Jammer. Actually, I can’t remember if my family ever even went to Kennywood altogether as a family, now that I think about it?! DID WE?! I always just went with friends or with my mom and Pappap when I was Kiddie Land-age. I think the closest to a full-family Kennywood trip might have been in the summer of 1992 when Laurent, our French foreign exchange student, was living with us and we took him to Kennywood but I’m almost my dad didn’t go because he hated him.)
(Sorry, you know me and my brain detours.)
But yes, the Exterminator! Our favorite ride! We got stuck in front of some teenaged girl and three middle school-aged girls that I guess she was like, in charge of, I don’t know, but they thought she was SO COOL (she wasn’t) and she acted like she knew everything to the point where I was waiting for her to pull out blueprints to the Exterminator from her backpocket and say, “Yeah, I built this thing.” She was telling them every single thing to expect! Where’s the fun in that!? Let the kids find out for themselves!
Meanwhile, one of the little bitches was practically Siamese’ing herself with my hip no matter where I stood in line! And she kept bragging about how she just came back from vacation and got lost in the airport and all I could think was, “I wish you hadn’t been found!”
I didn’t like her.
But even worse than her was the young couple in front of us for the Phantom’s Revenge who fucking gave each other small, annoying pecks on the lips, nose, forehead, shoulders, over and over, the entire time, and I wanted to puke everywhere. The girl had herself all wrapped up in a Pride flag so at first I thought she was going to be cool but then I noticed she was also wearing a Falling In Reverse t-shirt and I was like “YOU ARE SO LAME.”
THEY BOTH WERE.
They were like when band dorks are outside of their pack and trying to fool strangers that they might be cool but no one’s buying it.
Then he would lightly touch her nose and she would stick out her tongue, so then that became a thing that they did over and over for about a minute and I honestly almost gave up our spot for last seat and moved somewhere in the middle of the station because fuck PDA. I hate it so much that it’s a wonder I’m not a serial killer.
OR AM I.
DOT DOT DOT.
Chooch and I were crying as we speculated that they were embracing and kissing through the whole ride, and that they were probably mid-kiss in their Phantom souvenir photo too, but then Chooch took it too far as usual and ran the joke into the ground. THERE IS A TIME LIMIT ON SOME JOKES, CHOOCH.
When it was our turn to board the Phantom, it started to rain! I’ve never ridden a roller coaster in the rain before, I don’t think. Anyway, nothing terrible happened. But the rain only got progressively harder so I was worried that we would have to cut our day short.
Since it was raining, we felt this would be a good time to check out the new Thomas the Tank Engine area that I had hopes for because I LOVED THOMAS WHEN I WAS A KID AND BY KID I MEAN A TEENAGER IN HIGH SCHOOL.
I was so disoriented. I always get excited when amusement parks get new rides but I also hate change, so…
Of course when it was our turn to board, they had to temporarily shut it down because the engine was overheating or something, how grand. We chose to stay in line because we had a roof over our heads and it was really raining harder by then.
After about 10 minutes, they let us on. We raced to the caboose of course because I love sitting in the backs of things.
Anyway, wow. What a disappointment! With all the delays they had opening this new section of the park, I expected that this train was going to be some incredibly realistic chug-a-chug-chug through Sodor BUT NO it was literally the exact same track that was there for the old train and they didn’t add ANY SCENES. Literally, all they did was cover up the Kennywood History signs that were there for the other train with “Greetings from….” posters.
We got greeted from all over the world BUT NO KOREA. Kennywood’s no chingu of Korea, I guess.
Yeah, train, your removal was all in vain! And they moved Laffin’ Sal from her iconic perch in front of the old train station to the arcade. Ch-ch-ch-changes.
Same shitty view of the river and industrial things.
Hilariously, the train derailed twice in two days the same week we were there. It’s an omen. Or a Laffin’ Sal curse!
The next day at work I was bitching about how dumb this train is and Wendy and Carrie were like well duh you’re not a toddler but HELLO I love little kid coasters and trains! Lest ye forget the Wacky Worm?! Come on now! This could have been such a great opportunity for K-wood to do it up like the Seussville train at Universal Studios and know how much I loved that bitchin’ ride!
(And if you don’t, here’s evidence.)
Faces nice and slick with oil thanks to the humidity! Why do I bother wearing makeup in the summer?! Oh well, had to get a “WE’RE ON THE TRAIN” selfie anyway. I think the highlight of the ride was when I was a fucking peach and asked two teenage boys if they wanted to switch rows with us so that they could be closer to their family and they were SO GRATEFUL.
AM I GOING TO HEAVEN NOW, OR…?
When we got off the train, we saw The Kissers. She was holding a stuffed Rick (from Rick & Morty) so were gagging. “Oh, of course he won that for her!” Chooch spat. We are a hateful breed, lol.
Anyway, it was still raining so we felt that this would be a good time to eat our No Henry traditional lunch at Johnny Rockets. We only eat here when it’s just us! It’s awesome! They have veggie burgers! We sat at the counter like real life kids from the 50s and fucked around with the countertop jukebox the whole time. They had Under the Boardwalk on it and I aggressively pressed the buttons for it 87 times but I never did hear any of the songs we requested. Fuckin’ Johnny Rockets.
It miraculously stopped raining while we were eating! I took this picture of the Litter Gitter, unchanged since I was a kid, and we joked that maybe it would pick up Henry when he got there, which was soon after! More later. I gotta go for my nightly walk around town with Chooch where we punch our fists into our open palms and act like hooligans.