We go to Kennywood every year on Father’s Day, not because we love Henry, but because it’s been statistically proven to be one of the least crowded days of the season. Chooch and I were so excited that we spent the two days preceding watching Kennywood videos on YouTube. I had Chooch convinced to try some of the bigger rides this time, but unfortunately he was still about a half inch too short, which was devastating (more for me than him, I think). I’m trying to groom him into my future riding partner since apparently everyone else is too old and susceptible to whiplash to ride anything that spins faster than the carousel. Again, devastating (more for me than them).
Janna met us there, and I think she purposely was a little late because she knew the first ride we’d go on was Garfield’s Nightmare, which used to be cool when Garfield had nothing to do with it. Now it’s just this commercial monstrosity that makes me cry tears of nostalgia. Too bad Janna ended up taking Chooch on it twice in a row at the end of the night when Henry and I were in line for the Skyrocket.
I think love for Potato Patch fries is inherent for any child born in Pittsburgh. It’s not something you even have to tell your kid about, they just automatically know that they crave it and eat most of it while your head is stupidly turned. That and a piece of pizza is all I ever eat at Kennywood.
Oh, and ice cream! These are the best ice cream cones at Kennywood. I always get crushed peanuts on mine, so Chooch has really failed me in that department. The cone comes with a cherry speared through the top by a toothpick and Chooch used to give me his when he was a baby but I guess he’s too big to share now. I didn’t get a cone this year. I feel like every time we go to get one, Henry starts a fight with me so then it ends up with me crossing my arms like a ten-year-old DJ Tanner and saying, “Just forget it. I don’t want one now.” Usually I cave, but this year I was so over it. Plus, Henry told me I was fat, so who wants to ice cream after that, you know? (He will argue that I’m mincing his words as usual, which is why I’m about to invest in a TAPE RECORDER to keep in the pocket of my trench coat at all times.)
While we were eating, Chooch realized that he had a blister on his foot and started whining at appropriate Chooch-levels, which in turn made Henry bitch about how “If your mom was a real woman, she’d have a Band-Aid in her purse” because I never have anything in my purse other than crumbs, pennies, iCarly pocketbook filled with concert tickets, assorted lip gloss, an issue of Alternative Press and a fake finger. I never have hand sanitizer, tissues, medicine, first aid amenities. That shit’s for grown-ups. In fact, earlier that day, I had to text Janna and ask her to bring me some “just in case” tampons, because I forgot to stick some in my purse.
“You should ALWAYS have them in your purse!” Henry yelled, when I tried to make him buy me some at a 7-11 down the street from Kennywood. Anyway, Janna isn’t a bitch like Henry, so she brought me two and then we had a clandestine tampon hand-off, which wasn’t obvious at all as we stood in the middle of a walkway with people bumping into us.
However, on this particular day, I DID have a Band-Aid. And boy did that ever put a clamp on Henry’s flapping maw when I extracted it from my purse. Except it was an ethnically correct Ebon-Aid that Jason gave me when we were visiting the Alternative Press office last month, and of course we were sitting next to a black family so Henry actually moved Chooch to the other side of the table, I guess so they wouldn’t see that Chooch’s wound was about to have soul. Because I’m sure they would have cared.
Chooch and Janna were still eating their ice cream cones by the time we walked over to the train. I wanted to go inside the little station and get in line post haste, but they were eating so slow. The train is literally the lamest ride in all of Kennywood, but for some reason I was jumping around in anticipation like it was really the line to stone Fred Phelps with Gaga CDs. I finally threw my arms up in disgust and went inside by myself. Henry coaxed Chooch to eat faster and they joined me on a bench in the waiting area soon after. But Janna, we all just just abandoned her outside of the train station. I could see her, roaming around, dutifully eating her ice cream, and for some reason, this made me break out into this really obnoxious giddy bray that I do when I’ve lost all grip on reality and just can’t contain it any longer. Henry hates this. He’s 100% immune to laughter, it’s not contagious for him at all.
And then Janna, who still had some of her cone left, walked right past the ride attendant and joined us on the bench. This made me laugh even harder, Janna smuggling in an ice cream, and I was trying to smother my laughter into Henry’s arm. He kept shrugging me off him and the other people waiting for the train started to wonder if maybe I had a medical condition because I was crying at this point. Janna sat there, enjoying the rest of her ice cream, waiting for the train.
When the train came back to the station, I shouted, “GET THE BACK ROW!” while racing over to claim it. Everyone else who was waiting got up and calmly began to board, because it’s just some stupid scenic train. No one ever rushes for shit like that. Not even church ladies. There was enough room for all four of us, but Henry opted to sit alone. I can’t imagine why.
I think I just like the train because it goes past the river and allows me the opportunity to make gagging noises and remind everyone how much I really hate the river.
Then Janna hit her head getting off the train and I sincerely almost pissed myself from laughing so hard, at which point Henry legitimately scolded me like a real life father and reminded me that it’s not nice to laugh at my friends but I really feel like he wanted to laugh at this one too. “That’s enough, child,” I believe is what he said. God, go parent some other girlfriend. I’m laughing right now, actually, remembering the look on Janna’s face, like she hadn’t noticed that she might need to stoop down a little before attempting to exit the train. In fact, the next day, I remembered this at work and started laughing uncontrollably alone at my desk, so then I decided to tell Barb, but I couldn’t stop crying and I’m sure she was like, “I don’t understand why this is funny” along with anyone who is reading this, but it’s like, my cardinal rule to laugh at my friends’ misfortunes. Which might be a reason why I don’t have many friends.
Contraband ice cream and head-bumping never seemed so funny.