A giant cocknibbler, stomping out all of the fun at the amusement park.
Thursday morning, an Everfresh- and Rip It-logo emblazoned Henry spontaneously took me out for breakfast; this afforded me a chance to properly interview him about his FML Day (a/k/a Double Amusement Park OMG Epic Fun Day) with a spiral-bound notebook over a cup of coffee, like it’s 1945 and I work for Blue Collar Beverage Aficionados Weekly.
It all started when I found out that there is a small amusement park called DelGrosso’s about 2 hours away from Pittsburgh that has the Wacky Worm; I’ve been dead set on going before the summer’s end. And then when I realized that it’s only a few miles away from Lakemont, my favorite petite amusement park, I started to devise a plan where I could go to both in one day. They’re both small enough that spending a full day at one could get pretty boring if you weren’t there for a company picnic, family reunion or the scattering of body bag contents, plus they both have discounted admission in September: Lakemont is $5 if you go during the Altoona Arts and Crafts weekend (see also: a bunch of Republican propaganda and several wreaths beneath tents) and DelGrosso’s is $12.95 (free for all the Henrys in the world, i.e. non-riders!). The combined admission is still cheaper than most amusement parks but I still made a conscious effort to save some of our vacation money, unbeknownst to Henry. You see, I had it all worked out in that remedial mass of lobes and neurons that we’ll just generously call a brain.
Because I knew that he would pitch a financial fit as usual, most likely on the morning of. And he did, which caused me to cry.
Like a five-year-old. While our actual five-year-old was still asleep.
But I threatened to wake him up and fill him in on how his dick father was once again trying to rip the carpet of fun out from under our feet, and then Henry would have two crying five-year-olds on his hands.
Then I pulled out my wad of leftover Tennessee Fun Money and Henry suddenly changed his tune. So I had to text Janna back and tell her Never mind! We’re still going. And then Henry was all, “And tell her I didn’t call you a bitch!” because I told her he called me a bitch.
Like anyone would ever believe Henry had the balls to speak to me in such a degrading manner.
Anyway, it couldn’t have been too terribly bad of a day for Henry, considering he got to ride up there with just Chooch in the car since I rode with Janna and Laura, meaning that Henry didn’t have to listen to Dance Gavin Dance at all. (I didn’t get to listen to them either, though, or any music I like for that matter. Just a bunch of shit on Janna’s XM radio. I was scrolling through the menu and there was one point where Lady Gaga was on something like 8 stations at once. Sad times in the car. I eventually settled on Journey. Motherfucking JOURNEY. Which inspired Janna to sing. Countless ways this is terrible, but that is a rant for another time. Or for my private diary.)
Two hours and two weeping ear drums later, we arrived at DelGrosso’s, at the base of the Laurel Mountains. Because a week in the Smokies just wasn’t enough.
In this picture, he’s thanking me for giving him food money after he spotted me eating a slice of pizza when I swore all I would eat all day was energy bars to save money. “Is that what energy bars look like here?” he texted me, so I guiltily slapped $2 in his hand so he could also have pizza.
Me: List some things you’d rather be doing than going to amusement parks.
Henry, with no hesitation: Sleeping. Getting a tooth filled.
[Not like he has many left.]
Me: How did it feel to have to ask me for money to buy food?
Henry: It was the worst, because you’re so stingy and you would have let us starve to death. [Whenever I say I’m starving to death, he’s quick to point out this isn’t true, yet he’s allowed to say it.] Basically we would have starved to death [that’s 2 times now] because you never want to eat until you find out I’m buying then all of a sudden you’re hungry.
[Now, I’m a little taken aback but this response. I’m stingy, but he’s the one who didn’t want to go because we’d have to “spend money.” Any kids reading this? This is what you have to look forward to when you get into a “grown up” relationship: Financial bickering. It’s the best. And then even sex goes downhill because all the things you want to try “cost too much money.” Anyway, the pizza was only $1.75 a slice. Eat up, orphan.]
I only gave him enough for one slice of plain pizza. However, he ordered pepperoni AND A DRINK, can you even imagine, so he had to turn his pockets inside out and slide a mound of coins across the counter.
Ordering food with A WOMAN’S MONEY. His SERVICE buddies would probably frown. Emasculation and all that.
Me: What’s your problem with the Wacky Worm?
Henry, sighing wearily: I don’t have a problem with it. I just choose not to ride it.
Me, unwilling to let the subject die: Because you don’t want people to see you having fun?
Henry, in a snippy, irritated fashion: It’s a kids ride.
Me, probing further: It’s because you’re afraid your Rip-It hat is going to blow off, mussing up your McNichol locks, isn’t it?
Henry, monotone & through clenched teeth: Yeah, that’s it exactly.
Me: What if there was a reunion for the people you were in the Service with, but it was on the Wacky Worm. Would you ride it then?
Henry, engrossed in his phone as usual and mumbling thoughtlessly: I don’t know. I guess.
[I’m sure there’s enough room on the seat for his donut, if it’s his hemorrhoids that’s keeping him off the Wacky Worm.]
I mean, this asshole was nearly Henry’s age and he seemed to be riding it unabashedly.
Me: Did you know I serendipitously snapped a picture of you smiling at Lakemont? It almost looks like you might be having fun. Which makes me wonder, what is your idea of a fun day?
Henry, in that squeaky “You’re Pushing Me to the Edge” voice that I absolutely can’t stand and makes him sound like a spoiled 7-year-old girl, I fucking swear that’s going to be the impetus to my leaving one day: I don’t know. A day spent with….Chooch. Sometimes you.
[I’m pretty sure that was a joke, or that he was only saying that because he wanted the rest of my pancakes.]
Me: Get serious. You’d probably want to go fishing off an oil rig with a boombox blasting Judas Priest, but only if you have ear plugs.
Henry, on edge and quickly retorting with a smugness: Yeah, probably.
Me: Did you and Chooch talk about me at all on the way to DelGrosso’s?
Henry, acting like this was a dumb question: No! Not until we saw those wind turbines [on the hill] and I told Chooch that you’re scared of them. Then we laughed.
[This is not something to make jokes about. I’ve been scared of them ever since I saw the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm scene in Mac and Me when I was a kid. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THOSE THINGS ARE CAPABLE OF.]
Me: How sad were you that you couldn’t ride the train?
Henry: I wasn’t sad at all.
Me, determined to get to the bottom of it: What did you do while we were riding it?
Henry: I don’t know! [Thinks for a few seconds.] Watched some people throw a ball in hole.
[This means he watched porn on his phone.]
Me: When you were a kid, did you like going to amusement parks?
Me: So what you’re saying is that at one time in your life, you were capable of having fun?
Henry, rubbing his beard: Yeah, right up until around 2001. [He started laughing as he watched me start to realize that we began dating in 2001.]
Henry: No thanks. Let’s keep it mysterious.
There is nothing mysterious about the fact that he’s a dork loser who hates the sound of joyful laughter. (Mostly my joyful laughter.)