Aug 302016


After proving that Chooch & I can be trusted to make it through a day alone at Kennywood, we decided to try it again this summer too. SPOILER: we made it again!

So this was last Tuesday when this shining example of bravery of Big Kid Pants went down. I took the day off work so that Chooch and I could get one last totally excellent day out of the quickly waning summer, and it was beautiful. The weather, the company, the crowd-level—the whole day was just so fucking GOOD.

(Except for Henry not being able to make oh there, but whatevelyn–we persevered without his calloused hand to hold.)

(Sorry, Henry, but somehow Chooch and I seem to get along better when you’re not around — probably because we’re not fighting for your attention. Sigh.)

We elbowed and shoved past a gaggle of shambling elder-zombies who were bottle-necking the damn entrance. Like, run guys! IT’S KENNYWOOD! Ugh, I hate people who aren’t in a hurry.

The first ride we went on was the Phantom’s Revenge, where I was reminded by the amused yet moderately concerned looks given to me by the guys in front of us that I am a fucking fool on this coaster. I don’t know why I even bother riding it because it feels like a death wish every time! But then it pulls back to the station and I’m like, “FUCK YEAH, I’M SO GLAD I SUGGESTED THAT WE RIDE THIS!” And Chooch is like, “Cool let’s go on again!” and I’m like, “Maybe next year.”

We did end up going on it again later and I think I sincerely alarmed the mom and young girl in front of us. My mouth man, I can’t stop what comes out of it on some of these rides.


This kid was in front of for the Exterminator and I couldn’t imagine why his parents were yelling at him for swinging on the railings and being generally spastic until Chooch finally said, “I think he’s alone” and then we panicked that he would try to ride with us, like that time we got saddled with some weird little kid on Delgrosso’s version of the Exterminator who wasn’t tall enough to ride without an adult, but thank god the ride attendants sent him off alone in his own car, BON VOYAGE MOTHERFUCKER.

I love that Chooch is at an age where he too dislikes children.


Noah’s Ark brought the whale back and changed a bunch of the interior which is a huge improvement but I can barely remember what it used to be like, so yay!

Stoked to be in a whale’s mouth or to be behind that striped ass? Only Chooch knows.

One thing didn’t change though: Chooch and I were giddy as fuck up in that ark. How can you not be? God, dark rides are just the best. I wish I was in charge of Kennywood. I would put in at least two more. Maybe have someone recreate the old Castle Dracula from Wildwood and 100% rebuild La Cachot so we could have new generations of devious children calling it the Lick-a-Shit like they invented it.


Don’t fuckin’ judge me, Noah!

Then it was Turtle Time!

Some mom-type turned to me in line for the Turtles and asked, “Are you guys having fun?”

Wow, how nice, I thought. That this stranger-mom cared about our fun quotient.

But it turned out she mistook us to belong with the school group that was there on a field trip.

“WE’RE THE CHARTER BUS 16 GROUP FROM MRS. BLAHBLAH’S CLASS!” the chattiest of the children said to me, like it was some sort of BRAG or something. Like, cool story, IDGAF?

Meanwhile, the chaperone had completely turned her back on us once it was revealed that Chooch and I were just commoners and not part of some stupid field trip.

That kid kept talking to me and finally Chooch was like, “MOMMY STOP TRYING TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH KIDS OMG.”

Well sorry that no one my own age wanted to talk to me!


Seriously though, we get such a fucking kick out of the Turtle and if you ever wanted to see Chooch and me in our true forms, this would be a good time. We practically choke and gag on our laughter but then Chooch unfailingly gets too close to the opening of the turtle and I start screaming, “MOVE OVER! YOU’RE GOING TO FALL OUT!” and he’s like, “OH, OK ‘MOM'” and then we start cracking up again and that’s when we start to notice that no one else around us seems to be consumed by our level of hysteria, so what are they doing wrong!?

Oh Christ, I started to lose my voice before we even made it through the first hour. I’m a fucking hyena at these places.

Guys, oh guys, let me tell you a story about this little old ride called Enterprise. It looks like a Ferris wheel laying on its side but then it starts spinning and before you know it, you are upside down and nothing has you strapped down! I have always loved this ride and I think it’s because it’s one of the first grown-up rides I rode on my own as a child and I felt like such a fucking bad ass.

But this one time, pre-third grade, I was at Kennywood with my friend Kristen and her family. I do not remember a single other thing about this day except riding the Enterprise with Kristen, and as I exited the car, it swung back and caught me on the back of my heel.

And it fucking killed, man.

I vaguely remember not being very comfortable with Kristen’s family so I didn’t want to cry in front of them, so I tried to downplay it but I was bleeding through the back of my (ruffled) sock. They must not have deemed it necessary for a trip to the first aid shack, because I have a VIVID memory of going back to  my house in South Park and having to soak my socked foot in the bathtub because my sock had adhered to the exposed wound thanks to the CONGEALED BLOOD.

It took so long for that cut to heal too, because of its location.

Now this ride is called the Volcano and it’s almost always closed — apparently they were having a hard time finding a part that they needed to repair it? Maybe I dreamt that? I’m not the Kennywood Insider, for fuck’s sake.

When we saw that it was actually opened, Chooch cried, “OMG I finally get to ride it?!”

People around us in line are always so jealous of our glamour lives.

When we boarded our desired car, Chooch tensed up.

“This is it? We just….sit here? There isn’t a seatbelt or a harness or CHAINS TO HOLD US DOWN WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.”

I tried to explain that it was science-y physics centifiblahblah something or other, oh just shut up and enjoy the ride, my child!

Oh man, even the WHIRRING SOUND of this damn thing takes me back to better days, when people were losing pocket change on the Flying Carpet and the Pirate Ship didn’t literally make me seasick.

Our day was off to a great start, and I know this because we made it AT LEAST three hours before calling Henry!


This is taking me so long to write, because if we’re being frank here, I AM STALLING. I know that technically the calendar says we have a few more weeks of summer, but let’s be real: summer is done. School’s back in session. This day was our last hurrah and as soon as I put it in words, that’s it–the last thread of summer is going to be yanked from my soul.

Ugh. I’ll be back with tales of Lemon Equality and JOHNNY’S SISTER OOH LA LA.


  3 Responses to “Chooch n’ me at Kennywood: Part 1 of ?”

  1. Uhm, can we do Fright Nights this year? Going with you and Chooch sounds like a real blast!

  2. As always, your photos. You could post them with no text at all and we would know it was the last precious few days of summer. All blue and light and laughing. Love these.

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