Hey, what do we do around here for Mother’s Day? Nothing. What do we do for Father’s Day? Oh, spend the day at an amusement park, no biggie.
But I don’t mind too much because it’s more for me than Henry anyway. He’s all, “I’m just happy I get to spend the day with the people I love” and, after barfing in a boot, I’m like, “Who, skanky teens in bikini tops and booty shorts? Middle-aged broads spilling out of their tank tops, boasting Tasmanian Devil tattoos and stretch marks?” Because these are the types of people with whom Kennywood is predominantly filled.
It turned out to be a miserable day. It was super hot, which I didn’t really mind, but I was worried about how much money we spent to go in the first place, never mind how much we’d be spending on food and beverages once inside. Blake wasn’t feeling well so I didn’t want to drag him on too many ridiculous rides, and Chooch was just being a wishy-washy cry baby bitch.
I wanted to start out easy by going on the super lame Garfield-themed boat ride that’s right near the entrance. I thought it would be a good first ride for Chooch, as it’s proved to be in years past. But I was vetoed because what do I know anyway, I’m a high school AND college drop out. Henry decided it was best to start him out big, so we took him on his first non-baby roller coaster, the Jack Rabbit. It’s a pretty non-threatening wooded coaster, but it does have a double-dip, and that’s what I was worried about for him. I kept imagining him being sprung from his seat and thirty years from now becoming an urban legend because no one actually remembers if some four-year-old actually did plummet to his death on the Jack Rabbit back in those crazy 2010’s or if it was just a story a clave of moms made up to deter their children from ever wanting to ride a roller coaster, ever again.
I don’t really think Chooch knew what he was in for when Blake guided him straight to the front seat. Henry and I sat directly behind them, and I watched as Chooch scrunched up against Blake’s side for the entire duration. He didn’t cry, but I could tell, just by his body language, that he probably thought my threats of him going to Hell were finally coming into fruition. He seemed fine when we got off the ride, but when I asked him if he liked it, he very sincerely and sing-songily replied, “No, not really!”
It ruined him for the rest of the day, I know it did. We would get to the front of the line for the basest of family rides, like the types rides that pregnant women could ride and feel confident that they won’t get off leaving a trail of miscarriage in their wake, only for Chooch to say, “Um, no, I’m not riding this. Let’s go, kbye.” There were times when I wanted to push him, but people were looking. So we were good parents and left the lines with him every time, while threatening him in terse tones through taut lips.
I think I told him like 67865 times that he was ruining my day, and then Henry would have to remind me that mothers shouldn’t say things like this to their children and I was like, “Bitch, don’t you know I’m not a mother when I’m at Kennywood? I’m a fucking KID who wants to RIDE some mother fucking RIDES.”
We did, however get him on the Raging Rapids, which thoroughly pissed him off.
Slightly amused after a light sprinkle
Complained a lot about his new shoes getting wet
Not actually crying, but REALLY FUCKING BENT OUT OF SHAPE
Chooch was relatively mild-mouthed for most of the ride, until getting assaulted by the waterfall, to which he exclaimed in a very angry tone, “Oh, FUCK THAT.” He sounded so dire that I didn’t even have the heart to yell at him for taking his swearing side show on the road.
At one point, I tried on a suit of graciousness (it didn’t fit me very well, but at least I tried) and suggested that Henry and Blake ride the Phantom’s Revenge together because the line looked short. And you know, it was fucking Father’s Day after all. I figured Chooch and I could go on Noah’s Ark during that time. Noah’s Ark is just this large walk-through ride that thankfully doesn’t have the religious overtones you’d think it would. It’s like, every child’s favorite ride though, because it’s dark, fun, has moving floors and fake animals to look at.
Chooch has been through it three times in the past, but apparently he doesn’t remember because once we got in line, he deemed that it was going to be “too dark in there, let’s go.” I was like, “Asshole, this ride was fucking built for children! It is NOT SCARY! You watch motherfucking Friday the 13th and don’t bat an eye lash, but you’re afraid to walk through some lame ass boat with a bunch of fake ass fucking props in it?” Oh my lord, I was so disappointed in him.
So we spent a half an hour sitting on a ledge, waiting for Henry and Blake. By the time they got off the coaster, I was in full-blown sulk mode.
“I’m ready to dip up out of here,” I said disgustedly to Henry.
“What, why?” he asked.
“BECAUSE CHOOCH WON’T RIDE ANYTHING AND THIS WAS A WASTE OF MONEY AND MY WHOLE DAY IS RUINED!” I wailed. And the camera battery died after 30 minutes! And half the rides were closed! And I didn’t have a friend to take with me! And I felt fat!
But then Blake, worlds more mature at just seventeen than I am at thirty, suggested that Henry and I go ride something like a real life couple and he’d take Chooch to get pizza. So Henry and I rode the Music Express, which was fun because I got to add extra curricular punches and pinches on top of the standard pre-packaged pulverizing that comes included with spinny rides. And after that, I dragged him on the Cosmic Chaos, which is still relatively new and he’s never actually seen in action. Until he was stuck smack in the middle of line when the next round started. As Henry watched it do its thang, he gravely murmured, “Oh, Erin…” I think that was my favorite part of the day. Either that or when Blake and I were on the Aero 360 and I asked him if he knew the scene kid who was sitting next to me. “What, I’m supposed to know him because he’s a scene kid?” Blake asked, upset with my assumption, like it was racial profiling or something.
After that, we tried to get Chooch to ride more things but he was being a big baby, and not even a cute one, but the kind you want to punch and then leave on someone’s porch in a laundry basket, so I threw my own fit and stalked off toward the entrance, where I sat on a bench alone. Literally, I sat there with my lip all pursed and quivering, arms crossed, and a thousand murderous scenarios screeching through my broken mind like a rusty train on chalkboard tracks. This was around the time I tweeted, “I wish I could stuff Today in a cadaver and fuck it in the ass with a blow torch.” Then I decided, I’ll show them, I’m going to leave! So I texted Blake and said, “I’m leaving!” to which he replied, “But you have all the money!” and then Henry left Blake and Chooch in Kiddieland to come calm me down.
Which he did by buying me food because, being the Erin specialist that nine bi-polar years have made him, he recognized in the situation all the signs of Erin Famine. And I was cool after that! We went back to KiddieLand and Blake was like, “You kids go on and have fun. I’ll stay here with Chooch.” Really, this was because Blake wasn’t feeling well and standing among parents watching small children oscillate slowly on hideous animal faced-carriages was more appealing to him than getting whiplash.
So Henry and I got to be a Real Life Couple and ride things together! I can’t remember this ever really happening too often at Kennywood. I know that he and I have never been there alone together, so this was sort of like a DATE. It was weird! And he was really giddy and kept trying to kiss me and I had to remind him that I hadn’t suddenly abandoned my hatred of PDA. He even grabbed my boobs right as our photo was taken on the Log Jammer and I was like, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Did Blake give you E?”
Then I had to stand around impatiently while he played that money-guzzling game Pong Pond, where you get like, seven chances to bounce a ping pong ball and hope that it lands in a plastic lily pad. I’ve yet to see him win at this game.
“This is the only game I’m good at!” he whined after I begged him to stop spending money on it. “I’ve won it, like three times!”
“Seriously? You’ve won three times in the thirty years you’ve been coming here?”
He thought about this. “Yes. So I’m about due for a win.” I had to pull him away. Unless he was going to wrap a stuffed animal around my goddamn finger and propose, I wasn’t about to stand there and cheerlead for him while he blew through all of MY MONEY.
Then the night turned sour. Blake wanted to leave because he wasn’t feeling well at all, which was understandable, but Chooch had to play fucking mind games with me the whole way back to the entrance. “I want to ride this.” We’d get in line. “No, I don’t think so.”
I was so over it! Walking past Garfield’s Nightmare, the extremely docile family boat ride Chooch pussied out on twice that day, he begged us to take him on it.
“Hell no,” I said. “I’m done playing these games with you. All you’re going to do is get in line and change your mind, so stop wasting my time.” And he threw a full blown fit, right there in front of all the other children who were like, “Yay! We’re at Kennywood! We appreciate this opportunity so much, Mommy and Daddy! We are going to ride every single ride to make sure we get our money’s worth, and you will be so proud of us! And before we go to bed tonight, we will be sure to read from our Bible!”
This was the point where I quickened my pace, and left Blake and Henry behind me to pull Chooch along, kicking and screaming. He cried and screamed the whole way home while I stared out the window and tried to remember what it was like to be single.
Happy Father’s Day, Henry! I’m leaving!