Hello it’s me, here I am, back with some more Kennywood bullshit in bullet-form, because Chooch and I did, in fact, do other things besides ride the Steel Curtain.
- ONE TRAIN OPS: OK, so maybe not all of the coasters were actually just running one train, but the operations were still TURRIBLE. Just straight up TURR-HUH-BULL. I don’t know if I just never really noticed but I was hyper aware of it on this day, which wasn’t crowded by any means but the sloooooooow asssssssss dispatchhhhhhhhhes made it feel insufferable at times. The worst, hands down, was the fucking Aero360, which I have actually complained about in the past but it felt even worse this time around. First of all, they were TRAINING SOMEONE and look, I want this kid to really learn his job and make sure the green light is on behind everyone’s seat (I just learned that along with him) but holy fucking deep-fried crucified Christ, it took a good 5 minutes AT LEAST to check everyone’s restraints and in the meantime, the SIZZLING HOT BLACK RESTRAINT that was stapling me into my seat was ALSO burning the bare flesh on the top of my thighs because I was wearing shorts and that fucking thing automatically slammed down into my legs before I had a chance to adjust myself and I was SQUEALING like a pig being barbequed alive which is probably a weird thing for a veg-person to write on her blog, and I considered deleting it but thought nah, that’s a waste of time so instead I’ll just type a bunch more words about it?! But yeah, fuck the Aero360. This ride used to be bae, but now I have officially slid it over into my “skippable” list.
- KAREN: We kept seeing this Bitch Mom in every line and I was like, “What if that was the kind of mom I was?” and Chooch was like, “A MOM WITH KAREN HAIR? NO THANKS” and we were laughing at her because she had her weird “pretending like I just came here from a jog” racer-back athletic tank on and shorts of a modest length, but she was also pulling around a goddamn carry-on luggage with her everywhere, just kidding, it was some sort of huge insulated cooler that was in everyone’s way in every line. She was the worst. Her kids looked like dicks too.
- Raging Rapids Mom: Speaking of moms, we were on the Raging Rapids with a mom and her daughter who looked like Dustin from Stranger Things but a girl and they were actually not too bad to ride with as far as strangers go but afterward, Chooch took it too far and said that he could see me being friends with her and I was like, “CHOOCH SHE WAS A MOTHER” and he was like, “Oh yeah, never mind.” In other Raging Rapids news, that piece of shot Thomas Town that debuted last year completely ruined that area and now it feels disorienting – I’m not sure if the line for the rapids was actually relocated or if it’s just more exposed now but it definitely doesn’t feel right and I hate it. I fucking hate it.
- Phantom’s Revenge is still my #1 in case you were wondering. Our first time standing in line seemed to take forever but it was because it was ONE TRAIN OPS but then they brought on the second train while we were standing in line and everyone was like WHY ARE THEY SENDING THAT ONE WITH NO ONE ON IT?!?! because they’re fucking n00bs who don’t watch coaster videos every single day after work while eating dinner like I do. My life is fucking fabulous.
- During our first time in line, we saw a kid puking over the side of the platform after he got off the ride, so that was fun. Also, I saw two ride operators that I recognized from last year and Chooch was like, “You’re a stalker” but HOW CAN YOU NOT REMEMBER JAKE??!!? Anyway, poor Jake had to clean up the puke and then we never saw him again after that so maybe they let him go home early.
- Golden Nugget: I feel blessed to report that while the ride operations were questionable on this day (except for the Racer — that kid running dispatch was a real MVP and didn’t miss a beat while he was counting riders to quickly respond with “in the closet” when some little boy asked him where he got his yard stick) the young’uns slinging those famous square ice cream cones over at Golden Nugget were friendly and actually gave a shit about how the cones looked. Total redemption from last year’s sour experience! If you ever come to Kennywood, ya GOTTA get one of these, you guys. YOU JUST GOTTA.
- That Guy Chooch: In line for the Jack Rabbit, some little boy said to his dad, “Look at that guy behind you” and nodded at Chooch, which made me crack up because he’s only 13 and some kid is referring to him as a guy. Anyway, it turned out that this was all because of Chooch’s corgi phone case and he was momentarily smug because finally someone was noticing his accessories, but then the little boy’s sister said, “LOOK AT HERS, IT’S A CACTUS” about my phone case so hahahaha. Also, one of the times we were in line for the Steel Curtain, I made eye contact with some lady and she cried, “WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT YOUR TATTOO” and then she started showing me pictures of her cat on her phone and Chooch was like, “Ugh” – he hates when people notice me.
- Kennywood’s Got Jams: One thing that I feel like I never mention after a jaunt to K-wood (OMG I wish that meant Koreawood, wah) is that they play the fucking best music. I’m talking shit from the 60s thru 80s. We heard Duran Duran, Whitney Houston (“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” which is peak W.Houston, fight me, no don’t—I just did strength training and my muscles are all flubbery right now), Modern English and other things that I forget now because I rode Steel Curtain three times and felt like a football player the next day, i.e. concussion-y. The most recent songs we heard were TWO BRITNEY SPEARS SONGS on the Music Express and I was THERE FOR IT. It was back-to-back “Toxic” and “Womanizer.” I was so happy.
- Music Express Observations: Maybe I was just oblivious for the first three decades of my life, but I don’t recall ever hearing so many warnings being blasted on the Music Express. When we were at Waldameer in May, they actually stopped the ride early because no one was listening when the ride operator kept yelling, “DO NOT HOLD ONTO THE SIDE BARS” and the same thing happened this time at Kennywood; in fact, it even happened while we were waiting too. I don’t remember anyone ever forbidding me to hold on to the side bars before and I have ridden my fair share, probably more than my fair share, so now I’m wondering: DID SOMETHING HAPPEN!!?? All I know is that I was so mindful of ONLY HOLDING ONTO THE BAR IN FRONT OF ME on this day because I hate being yelled and also didn’t want to die in a freak Music Express accident but mostly I hate being yelled at.
- BONER JAMZ: We were in line for the Exterminator, which is a totally fun indoor coaster with a total NOT fun indoor queue that gets so hot, stinky, and LOUD when suddenly, someone airdropped Chooch a picture that he knew was going to be a mistake to accept, and I was like, “Don’t do—-” but it was too late, he accepted because he’s 13 and lacks the strength it takes to Just Say No to dick pics. This was actually just the smiley face emoji—-but you, know with a dick in its mouth. Then they airdropped me too but I was like, “Not today, Dick Pic Satan.” Chooch LOVES being airdropped by strangers and gets great joy sending pictures back, so he was searching his camera poll for this one particular picture he took in Pocheon, Korea of a giant weener, when he was gifted with another airdrop by this generous Airdrop Santa, whose name was Boner Jamz. So he’s giggling and trying to find a picture to send back when I notice that there’s a group of people in the queue next to us and one of them has also been getting these airdrop gifts, however, this recipient IS NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT. So his girlfriend happens to look over and sees Chooch getting ready to airdrop a picture and she nudges her boyfriend, who sees what Chooch is doing and gets this FURIOUS look on his face. Chooch is still giggling, unaware that he’s about to get his ass whopped by this guy who thinks he’s Boner Jamz, so I knew I had to intervene. “It’s not him!” I shouted, and I held up my phone to show the most recent picture from Boner Jamz that I had yet to accept or decline. “We’re getting them too. He’s just trying to send one back.” “WHO IS IT!?” the guy yelled and I was like, “Bro calm down. I don’t know.” Like, it really wasn’t the end of the world. There’s someone who tries to airdrop me the same picture on the trolley at least once a week, the picture is some hairy, naked middle-aged man holding up his arms to expose his pits. I just simply decline and move on with my life. Meanwhile, Chooch was upset because Boner Jamz went private so Chooch was unable to send him a picture of a stone weener and a zoomed-in picture of Henry’s face. In any case, it made standing in line a little less boring.
- The Cult: For our very last ride of the night, we obviously chose the Phantom. You guys, we are totally back-row babies on most coasters, but when it comes to night rides on the Phantom, it is front row all the goddamn way. We got so lucky too because the ride operator made the last two people in line behind us move to different rows because we were going to be THE LAST RIDE OF THE NIGHT. WOOOO! But that’s neither here nor there, whatever that means. The whole point of this bullet is that I witnessed what I believe to be an actual religious cult target two teenagers in line in front of us. I’m not sure how it started, but the teenagers were probably 16 or 17 and one of them was a girl wearing a furry tail. The cult was a trio of men: one was in his 50s and the other two were maybe between the ages of 19 and 24. I wasn’t really paying attention at first but then I suddenly snapped to attention when I heard actual praying happening and I looked over just in time to catch the tail-end of a PRAYER CIRCLE. They were all holding hands with their eyes closed and at first I thought they were praying for a safe ride or something but no, they were praying for the girl with the furry-tail I think, and then they were all exchanging their contact info and one of the younger guys, to me, said, “This is a strange request but do you have a pen?” and first, I didn’t think that was really strange because I assumed he wanted it so they could write down phone numbers because maybe their religion doesn’t allow them to have cell phones but now that I think about it, maybe it was for some kind of blood-letting initiation challenge. In ether case, I did not have a pen. Now I couldn’t stop eavesdropping into their conversation (the cult is from West Virginia and they were asking the Lord to help Furry Tail do well in school this year) and it was creeping me out so bad because the leader was SUCH A STEREOTYPICAL CULT-TYPE CREEP you guys. Like, he was oozing predatory signals and vibes from every pore and he was throwing out this phony avuncular charisma that made me gag. They were all wearing matching Church-y shirts too. I forget what it said now. Something about redemption. I hated them so bad.
So that’s about it for our annual trip to Kennywood. It was just Chooch and me so we didn’t have Henry around to use as a whipping boy which meant that we occasionally turned on each other, but we always made up right away and then moved on to the next ride. Eventually, he’s going to be too old/cool to go to Kennywood with his MOMMY so I have to really savor these trips and try not to get too bratty but it’s hard when I’m basically the same age as him, attitudinally-speaking.