Monday, July 14, 2008

The Flume Ride

I don't know which demented person invented this ride from H E Double Hockey Sticks, but I'm sure they are having a great laugh at all of us folks who ride it for the first time!

I should have known from the moment we got to the gate that it was wrong. You have to walk across a moving platform to get to the log, which never stops moving. Yes, alright, it's going VERY slow, but it is still moving. Then I realized that unlike every other carnival ride possible, there was no seat belt, no shoulder strap, no bar that came down and crushed your pelvis ensuring that you did not fall out.

How do you not fall out when you go careening down the very steep hill you ask? You brace your feet. Oh, and there is a metal bar down the sides of the log to hold onto. However, since the logs keep going around and around, they are always wet. So the metal bar? Very slippery and not much help.

Now Hilary had been talking up this ride to Liam all week. It was cool, it was AMAZING, it was the best thing ever! And SHE was going to take him on it. This was a major to-do, since Hilary gets car sick when I back up in a parking lot and sea sick on the boat museum that has been anchored at the dock so long that the barnacles have cemented it to the ocean floor. The reason she agreed to take Liam on it is that I have a major fear of water, especially water that splashes in my face. So when we got to the park this was of course the first ride Liam wanted to check out. Hilary took one look at it and said "That looks an awful lot more like a roller coaster then I remember, I can't go on that!" Since this was Liam's big birthday weekend celebration, I couldn't disappoint him now could I? So off we went, with me sucking up my water fear as best I could.

So Liam and I navigated the moving platform, I got in, braced my feet and helped him in. Oh Oh!! He's too short to brace his feet against anything. I guess that is why you have to be 48 inches tall to ride on this alone. But the signs and the attendants all said that at 44 inches he was fine to ride it as long as an adult was with him. I always assumed that these warnings were more based on age and maturity, where the adult makes sure the kid doesn't freak out and keeps their arms inside the ride or what have you. I didn't think it was so that the adult could become a human seat belt, the only thing holding the child in the moving log as it hurtled down the hill!

We got to the top of the first hill and I started to panic! I had my feet braced so hard that I was starting to get a charlie horse. I didn't think that my legs alone would keep us in this coffin sized piece of plastic, so I held onto the slippery bar with one hand, and grasped Liam around the waist with all my might with my other arm. At first he was telling me to let go, it was too tight but then we crested the top of the hill and he was silent - for a fraction of the second, and then the screaming started! I don't know who was louder, him or me.

He didn't fall out! Of course, we had no choice but to finish the ride, which luckily meant only one more hill. I wasn't as panicked the second time, but I know understand the expression "my heart was in my throat". We both put on a very brave front for Hilary when we got off, and claimed that it was too cold out to go again and get all wet, why don't we try some other rides instead?

Never again will I ride the flume ride!! And I suspect that Liam won't either.
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