Sep 102018

Here’s my crew in line for the Jack Rabbit.

Hi, I’m back with the second half of my Kennywood saga. I always feel like once I finish recapping the last amusement park visit of the summer, then summer is really over. So, I drag my feet a little. Sue me.

But also, this last trip to Kennywood wound up being one of the best times I’ve had there in years, so I’m desperate to hang on to those feels. Well, right this way to the bulletpoints…

  • For the first time in forever, we went inside Noah’s Ark and weren’t the most obnoxious people. Nope, this time it was AN OLD LADY behind us who was quiet the whole time we were in line and then as soon as her Easy Spirits hit the whale’s tongue, she sounded like a midwestern granny was being exorcised from within her. Literally, she was screaming things like, “OH GOLLY!” and “AYE YIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYI!!!!” and the whole time I was like, “WHO THE FUCK IS BEHIND US” until I finally sneaked a peak in a less-dim section of the Ark and was like, “Oh wow, not what I was expecting.” Even Chooch was like bug-eyed over this and he lives in the same house as my big mouth so that’s really saying something. I just assumed she was trying to hype up the kids she was with, but then we exited the Ark, I watched her and husband walk away alone, no children in sight. Welp, I think I got a glimpse of Future Me.
  • Blake was allowed to ride one ride while they were there, and he chose the Black Widow because he still had never been on it since it was introduced to the park a few years ago. I tried to hide my reluctance and got into line with him and Chooch because this is one of those rides that puts me through a series of internal existential crises while standing in line, but once the ride is over, I always feel bad-ass an accomplished, especially when Janna is there because she totally idolizes my ability to ride insane thrill rides. (SHE DOES, OK. But, um, don’t ask her about that because she’ll, um, she’ll get embarrassed, see.) The line for the Black Widow is always long even on the least crowded days because the loading process takes so long.  So we stood there while Chooch mindlessly performed Fortnight dances and watched Henry chasing Calvin around on the other side of the fence. I yawned a lot. I always yawn while standing in lines, even if I’m not actually tired. A doctor told me once a long time ago that it’s because I don’t get enough oxygen so then I catch myself yawning and barely breathing, and I start dramatically huffing and puffing but then I just feel light-headed and it’s just a vicious cycle, is what I’m trying to tell you. So I don’t fight the yawns anymore. I’m yawning right now, even. After about 45 minutes, it was finally out turn. Actually, we were the last three people they let on, so that felt ominous. Even more ominous was when we were all strapped in and ready to go and the harnesses popped up because someone wanted off. Then we had to sit there and go through the load-in process all over again AND THEN THE HARNESSES POPPED UP AGAIN BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE NEEDED TO GET OFF?! Even one of the ride operators was like, “wtf is happening are you kidding” and part of me was wondering if this was a sign? Like, should I object to this upcoming marriage of our souls with the sky? But I kept my mouth shut — until the ride started and then I started rambling like a crazy-person because that’s my defense mechanism on this rid – just keep hyper-talking until the ride stops because if God and Satan hear that shit they’ll be like, “Nah, we can wait a little longer before taking this bitch, that Henry guy can keep her.”
    • Spoiler alert! I survived! However, someone’s phone did not. Once the Black Widow stopped swinging, we saw a black phone on the platform totally shattered and exploded and everyone was super intrigued by this. The ride operators were like, “OH SHIT REALLY” and when the people in line figured out what we were all ogling, there was a collective exclamation of “OH SHIT!” This whole scene made me feel sick because they explicitly tell you to empty your pockets before getting on the ride and what if that had hit someone!? That phone fell from such a great height and with such force that it fucking exploded. I don’t want to think about what impact that could have had on someone’s head.  I didn’t stick around to see what happened next but I hope whoever that phone belonged to got fined or something BUT THEY PROBABLY DIDN’T.
  • Ironically, right after this happened, Blake & Co. went to get more food probably and the rest of us decided to ride the Phantom again. While we were in line on the platform, we noticed that it was taking a longer time than usual for the car to be sent off. I saw two of the ride attendants talking to two of the riders and then the ride operator (whom I was convinced I loved by the end of the night) got on the speaker and said, “This car will not leave the platform until all cellphones are placed in the bin.” I was like, “Huh, I don’t remember ever hearing this precautionary warning before” but then he got on the speaker and repeated it more forcefully. When there was no movement from any of the riders in the car, he tacked on, “I will call Safety Enforcement if I have to” and that’s when we realized that some broad refused to put her phone away and said something like, “Then make everyone else do it too” and someone screamed, “JUST GIVE THEM YOUR PHONE!!!” She got all huffy and defiant like this was some playground where shit wasn’t going her way, so instead of just complying with the rules, she and her male companion got off the ride and stormed out of the exit to an uproarious round of applause. I couldn’t even believe the audacity! One of the ride attendants told us that just the day before, someone had their phone out on the ride and it fell out of their hands and hit the person behind them. “There was blood EVERYWHERE,” she said, I almost puked. LOOK – I know this is the age of getting that perfect Instagram shot or Snapchatting your daily highlights so everyone knows you’re out there living your best life, and I get it, I do that shit too. I’ve taken pictures on roller coasters — but they’re mild ones and I always put my phone away before reaching the top of the hill. But most of those rides, common sense tells you that everything should be left with a non-rider or put in a bin! Why should your stupid ass social media feed take precedence over someone’s safety? Bitch, leave my park!
    • After watching the park employees handle this with finesse, I was glad that I didn’t roast Kennywood on Twitter like I had planned to after that Golden Nugget fail. I saw some guy complaining on there about how the load time at Kennywood takes twice as long as it does at Hershey, and the more I thought about it, I decided that I don’t give a shit if I have to stand in line for an extra 5  minutes if it means that these ride attendants are doing what they were trained to do in order to make sure we’re all safe. We all need to calm the fuck down and stop being so entitled. Yes, standing in line sucks. Having to part with your phone, god forbid, sucks. But it’s not worth defying rules and acting like an asshole. You want to check my seat belt again? BE MY GUEST. TAKE YOUR TIME.
      • Am I getting old or what?!

  • The first time we rode the Musik Express, we actually had to stand in line because the ark was still kind of crowded then. There was a little girl in front of us who kept staring at my shirt and finally she worked up the nerve to tell me she liked it. “My mom likes skulls, and I like cats,” she said and I was like, “Fuck, a small child is talking to me. WHAT TO DO. WHAT TO DO.” So eventually I just said, “Thanks” because that’s about all the small talkin’ I can do these days. Meanwhile, Chooch was seething beside me because it was actually his shirt that I was wearing and he hates when people compliment me, HAHAHA. The second time we rode it was later in the evening after all the lights came on and Chooch’s friend from the Thunderbolt was on it too – this was after we saw him on the Volcano and he slapped Chooch’s hand. We were really excited about this because making amusement park friends is the best, says the girl who literally just bitched about small talk a few sentences ago. I AM MORE CONTRARY THAN MARY MARY. Anyway, we made Janna  take a picture of us looking precious and then I had a flashback to the picture my mom took of me and my friend Liz when we were 13 on the Musik Express, with my brother Ryan and THAT FRENCH KID LAURENT (see my littering rant from last week!) in the seat behind us, and I have braces, permed hair, and a perma-scowl and also I’m wearing shorts and a tie-dye shirt that was probably IOU or some shit.

I look so Les Miz! I love this picture so much, but I’m sure I probably didn’t love it back then.

  • We don’t ride the Paratroopers very often, but it just felt right to ride it on this night. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? Probably not, because I don’t either. Here are some things that happened during this time:
    • While we were standing in line, I saw my friend Colleen from work so Chooch screamed her name real loud and then she came over to talk to us for a minute and I started laughing about this later because her office is right near my desk but that was probably the longest I’ve talked to her in a long time because it’s been so quiet at work lately.
    • I recounted a harrowing tale to Janna and Chooch wherein I was but a wee youngin’ riding this with my friend Amy and one of my sandals slipped off. Just like that person’s phone on the Black Widow, we were all lucky in  that it landed on the ground within the ride’s perimeter so no one was knocked out by a pink-bowed Candies, but that ride operator screamed at me afterward and I was crying and crying because I was like 7 or 8, and then Amy’s mom, who was also our heroic Girl Scout leader, stepped up and was like, “OH NO YOU DIDN’T JUST YELL AT THIS CHILD” and I have never worn sandals or flip flops to an amusement park since then. I told them this story as a grown-ass adult lady was on the ride wearing flip flops.
    • So I thought Chooch was going to ride with me but he was like, “Pfft nah I’m riding with Janna. That’s why I said too bad you don’t have a big stuffed animal to be your partner like that girl” and he pointed to some young, sad girl sitting alone under one of the umbrellas with a big bear or something next to her. I was really offended by this, especially when they started yapping about how they were going to get the purple one and that’s the one that I wanted so they were like, “Go get the other purple one then” and I was like, “NO BECAUSE I WANTED TO SIT NEAR YOU ASSHOLES” so then I was like, “Fuck you” and just took a green umbrella in front of them because I didn’t even care anymore. Then suddenly, while we were still preparing for the ride to start, I heard the two of them gagging and coughing behind me so I turned around to see what the hell was going on and Janna wailed, “That man that was sitting here before us must have farted through the whole ride because it smells!” and Chooch was practically dry-heaving, but now all the umbrellas were taken so they couldn’t switch and I was SO SMUG. “Good, I hope that guy pooped in there, too,” I said and then I sat through the whole ride with a huge smile on my face and aggressively waved to Henry every time I Mary Poppins’d past him. ENJOY YOUR SMELL, ASSHOLES!

  • All day long, I kept saying that we probably wouldn’t stay long enough for the fireworks because I figured we’d be burnt out by early evening, but before we knew it, it was dark and we were ascending the hill of the Phantom watching the fireworks. In all the times I’ve been to Kennywood,  I can honestly say this was my first time watching the fireworks from the Phantom! It was really magical, and made it especially terrifying when we were suddenly plummeting down the hill because we were too distracted to realize we had reached the top. Oh shit, I love roller coasters at night! I was so hyped up after this that even though it was nearly closing time, I giddily whisper-screamed, “LET’S GO ON ONE MORE TIME AND GET THE FRONT SEAT” like I was suggesting doing a hit of X behind the Potato Patch or something. Henry was like, “I am not riding this twice in a row” and he was still talking while Chooch and I chucked all of our belongings at him and ran, AND I MEAN RAN, to the entrance while screaming HURRY UP, JANNA! We just ran and ran and ran, praying that the line was still open, and it WAS but that didn’t stop us from still running through the queue. Some kid was behind us, also running, so his dad yelled STOP RUNNING! and I was like, “Fuck off dad” and just then, I FUCKING FELL while I was trying to duck under the railing because I was so giddy that I just lost all control of my body and went straight down so then I was on my hands and knees literally crawling until I got the strength to pick myself back up because I was laughing so hard that my whole body tickled! I caught up to Chooch and wheezed, “I FELL” and then almost peed my pants because I was laughing so hard. Anyway, inside the platform, almost all of the lines were empty except for the line for the front seat. We squeezed into the queue for that one and as we were catching our breath, the same guy who was all authoritarian about the cell phones and calling the Safety Popo was still working the Phantom and he came over and roped off the end of the line for the front seat. “You guys will be the last riders for the night,” he said, and it was so hot to me for some reason, like was he COMING ON TO ME I COULDN’T TELL. I was totally in love with him after this and I don’t know why but this was making me laugh even harder, and then to compound the situation, here comes Janna, strolling onto the platform like five minutes after we had already gotten there, and it was clear that she didn’t run AT ALL. Henry told me later that after she gave him her purse to hold, she actually started to walk in the wrong direction, but he confirmed that no, she did not run at all.
    • So now Janna is in line with us, but she’s standing in the queue for the second car so she can ride behind us. There is no one else in line for that seat, and still like 4 people ahead of us, so Janna is standing way far back, like she’s in line with her imaginary friends. My Kennywood boyfriend came over at one point and asked her if she was in line and she mumbled yes like wasn’t it obvious and he was just like “Oh” so I suggested that she try to get people to go in front of her. “Yeah, ask that guy to go in front of you,” Chooch suggested, pointing to some sweaty bro who rolled on up without a shirt on. “NO Chooch! I don’t want to sit where that shirtless guy sat!” Janna snapped, and Chooch snottily responded that she wouldn’t be sitting in the same seat because there were two Phantom cars running, so….still, she was like, “No! That’s disgusting!” and they’re going back and forth, fighting over where this shirtless guy is going to sit and I was doing the pee-squat by this point because I was slap-happy to the max. Honestly, when I say that we had the best time at Kennywood, I have to pull myself away from the situation a bit and look down on the scene, because was I the only one laughing? Nope, Chooch was too. OK good.
    • Sometime in the middle of all this, Chooch’s pal from the Thunderbolt walked into the platform! My Kennywood boyfriend said, “Oh hey, Sam” to him, so I guess he’s a regular! I think Sam had become Chooch’s “Stanley.” Anyway, Sam seemed a bit upset that the line for the front seat was roped off, but you snooze you lose, buddy! I didn’t get a scrape on my knee for nothing.
    • Meanwhile, Janna kept letting people in front of her but then she started to let TOO MANY in front of her so I screamed, “NO! NOW WE’RE LINED UP ANYMORE!” and the couple she was trying to let in put their hands up and backed away and then I started laughing all over again that pee was imminent. Oh, the pee struggle is so real, you guys. I never outgrew that whole “giddy as a schoolgirl” phase.
    • Finally it was our turn and it was everything I could have wanted, closing out the perfect day at Kennywood in the front seat on the Phantom’s last run of the night. It really felt like being a kid again and as long as I didn’t think about the fact that I had to go to work the next day, I was golden.

I spent the next week thinking of Henry sitting alone on a bench after Chooch ditched him for Sam, or Janna calmly meandering onto the Phantom platform after Chooch and I sprinted there like idiots, or Janna and Chooch sitting in a fart seat, and I would start upchucking chuckles (upchuckling?) in the middle of work. It made me miss Barb though because I always loved torturing her with my giddy Kennywood tales!

What a great way to end the summer! I thought I was over Kennywood, but then this day happened and now we’re an item again.

Henry was so happy that amusement park season has ended but now I’m throwing the idea of going to Knoebel’s in October at him, so now he’s sad again.

Say it don't spray it.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.