I made Henry drive us back to Santa Claus, Indiana for one reason and one reason only: TO RIDE THE MOTHERFUCKING VOYAHHHHHHHGE! If it was possible to take a rollercoaster to prom, I might still be pulling splinters out of my body right now.
That’s all I’m saying.
Because that’s pretty gross.
Anyway, I was so anxious when I woke up last Sunday morning. Henry was like, “Yo, calm down. This place doesn’t even open until 10:00” but I was READY. We left our shitty hotel (actually, it was pretty decent, but it was in desolate area next to a shuttered gas station and lots of empty lots where the weeds go grow wild, and it just made me feel uncomfortable) and had a very underwhelming breakfast at Subway because the only other options around there are Denny’s or gas station donuts.
We got to Holiday World around 9:20 and decided to just head on over to the entrance, where several lines had already formed. In the very front of one of the lines, we saw this tall young guy with shaggy hair and glasses who we also the day before at Kentucky Kingdom, so we knew he was one of our kind.
To our great joy, the entrance actually opened before 10 but of course we wound up being in the line with the slow-ass employee, some old man named Larry. But eventually our tickets were scanned and we were in!
However, only the main courtyard area was open, and the paths leading down to the rides were all roped off. We were standing by the roped-off entrance to the Halloween section when Chooch wondered if we should walk through the courtyard more and find the 4th of July area. He pointed to a map he had snagged earlier and showed us that it looked like it would be the faster route to THE VOYAHHHHHHGE.
“Yeah, but you probably won’t make it very far over that way,” Henry argued, never wanting to concede to any of our great ideas. “Just stay here!”
But I was with Chooch on this one so we made the trek to 4th of July world and planted ourselves in front of the roped off path over there. Our fellow coaster enthusiast was also over here so we felt confident that we chose wisely. Henry still wasn’t sold, even though Chooch kept trying to show him that the path we would have had to take by Halloween Town wasn’t as much of a straight shot as this one.
Chooch was supposed to be pointing at the VOYAHHHHHGE. Way to fuck up the picture, boy! (I just noticed that his shirt matches the sign. Unintentional, I promise.)
As the time ticked down, more and more people had accumulated behind us, but we were still at the front, right next to the rope, and evry Holiday World that moseyed on by totally faked us out like they were going to unhook the rope.
There were two teenagers standing next to me and I heard the enthusiast talking to them. “Just follow me,” he said. “I think I know where to go.” I knew for certain he was talking about the VOYAHHHHHGE and now I was really starting to tense up because I am a Leo and everything is a race that we need to win. You have no idea what a cursed life this makes. Sometimes, I just want to casually stand in line and not worry about getting the best spot, seat, first prize, etc etc. But no, my heart rate was up, I had to stress-pee, I was jogging in place and wringing my hands.
Why do I have to be this way. Even when I’m waiting for the trolley in the morning, I am like GUARDING MY SPOT IN THE FRONT like a crazy person, side-eyeing the people next to me, thinking to myself, “Yeah, bitches don’t dare cut in front of ME” while bouncing back and forth from one foot to the other.
Finally, at EXACTLY 10AM, some Holiday World guy came over to the side of the rope we were standing on and I started chanting, “DO THIS SIDE FIRST!” but he walked all the way to the left and took down the rope from that side like a real punk ass bitch.
We didn’t even wait for the rope to hit the ground—we jumped over it and FUCKING RAN like true ridiculous dumb asses. It was me and Chooch, the teenagers next to us, rollercoaster tycoon, and I dunno how many other kids.
It was all fucking kids, and…me.
But I gave no fucks! I ran like I had nothing and everything to lose at once! I ran like I had been training for this moment my whole life. I ran like a gang of chainsaw guys were chasing me through a field next to a farm at 2am in the morning on Devil’s Night and I was missing a shoe and bra and had twigs in my hair but I was NOT GOING TO TRIP AND FALL LIKE ALL THOSE FINAL GIRLS IN FRIDAY THE 13TH so I started to run like an ostrich, picking my legs up real high, kind of like how Urkel probably ran at his school’s field day, so that my feet wouldn’t trip over anything because I know my level of clumsiness and I am a pretty consistent tripper.
So now I’m running my face off, acutely aware that it’s just me and these kids, when Coaster Carl and the teenagers veered to the right.
“THAT’S THE WRONG WAY!” Chooch screamed to me over his shoulder, and in that moment, I put all my trust in him, my spawn, my coaster partner, my sometimes sworn-enemy.
And he led me to motherfucking VIC-TOR-Y.
The only other kids who had surpassed us continued to run past the VOYAHHHHHGE toward the semi-new flying coaster, Thunderbird, which was fine by us, because…………..
…..we got to be the FIRST PEOPLE IN LINE FOR THE VOYAHHHHHHHGE.
There’s a set of steps that we had to run up before getting inside the platform, and by that time, we were huffing and puffing but not any threat to blowing down the VOYAHHHHGE because our breaths were more wheezes at that point.
“Good morning, guys! You ready to ride this?!” one of the ride attendants laughed, and we were like “HNNNNNGGGGGGGHHHHHHH” while grasping our sides.
We still had some time before they were ready to send off the first train of the day, so I guarded our spot in the front while Chooch claimed the second row for Henry, who had walked a normal pace from the rope-drop area to the platform and calmly slid into the queue for the second row.
“Idiots,” he said, smirking at us. But I felt like a fucking WINNER.
Meanwhile, Loves Coasters, Can’t Read Maps had corrected his directional mistake and came barreling into the station, claiming the last row. And, after a few minutes, the queue was starting to fill up with all the normal people who don’t understand that running gets you there faster.
Eventually, the gates opened for us and we stuffed ourselves into the seats. My hands trembled as I buckled my seatbelt. That could have been blood pressure-related though.
And then, we were finally climbing that inaugural hill, and I felt #soblessed to be back there to experience this wooden miracle again. I wish I could properly convey how this coaster makes me feel, like a limp rag doll being whipped around by a derailed train careening down a mountain.
I asked Henry if he understands now, after finally riding it (HE DIDN’T RIDE IT LAST TIME, WHAT A LOSER) and he was like, “It was good” but I could tell that he just didn’t get it because he’s a n00b and I really think he’s just jealous that I imprinted on an actual roller coaster and will probably eventually be on some upcoming episode of MY STRANGE ADDICTIONS and he’s already trying to distance himself from me before the CONSUMMATION happens except this isn’t an addiction IT’S TRU LUV.
“I can’t believe I ran that fast and got to be in the front row on the first ride of the day,” I said dreamily later that day.
“I got second row, and I didn’t have to run,” Henry shrugged.
NOT THE POINT, HENRY. Running was part of the process, it elevated the experience, it MADE FOR A MEMORY. I will never forget that moment. I felt like a kid!
I love the VOYAHHHHHHHHGE so much, and thank god Chooch does too. I can’t believe we haven’t argued yet over who loves it more…