Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Backyardigans Swing-of-Death

Tomorrow I promise to begin posting again. Until then, here's a revised post culled from my family blog from March of last year. This post helps explain why I don't care for Disney World:


Ella and I in front of the Swing-of-Death before a deathly pallor enveloped me.

Much of Monday was spent at the Mall of America Amusement Park. For the record I hate shopping malls and amusement parks. I know what you’re thinking – This guy IS Mr. Crankypants. He’s such a killjoy. This guy doesn’t like malls or amusement parks, but he enjoys visiting a Spam Museum and grocery stores. Boy, he must be a miserable travel companion. Well, hold on to your proverbial horses. There are several rules of the road that I follow, and one of them is the following: When I travel with others, it’s best to comprise and do things that I wouldn’t normally do.

My daughter is quite the thrill seeker, and like most kids she loves amusement parks. Up to this point in her life, the biggest amusement park she’s seen has been the Dundy County Fair, so you can imagine her awe when she looked across the wide expanse of rides at the Mall of America. The first ride she attacked was The Backyardigans Swing-Along, which I dubbed The Backyardigans Swing-Of-Death. It’s a simple ride based on the age-old, merry-go-round concept – the rider sits in a swing that viciously swings in circles. Some find this fun. Fear first crept into my bones when I saw a sign that announced there was a 230 pound weight limit. I haven’t weighed myself lately, but I began to ponder the impact polishing off a box of Milk Duds yesterday may have had on my weight. At this point my daughter turned to me and said, “I’m so excited.” There was no turning back.

When the ride attendant buckled us into our swings, my palms began to sweat and I feebly smiled at my wife who watched “safely” from afar. She laughed and sinisterly smiled. She seemed to be enjoying this too much. When the ride began, I deathly pallor washed across my face. We started to circle. I tried to feign enthusiasm for the ride, and I talked to my daughter to make her feel at ease. She screamed, “This is so much fun.”

The ride began to circle more quickly. my daughter giggled with delight, which fortunately muffled my sobs. As we circled she started talking about the other rides she wanted to experience. A queasiness began to bubble in my tummy. I closed my eyes trying to soothe myself. I think, I even mumbled the Lord’s Prayer and promised to be a better human being if I survived. I then envisioned vacationers from all over America who would go home and tell the story of the guy who vomited on The Backyardigan’s Swing-Along at the Mall of America. Ten years from now, I would be at a party and someone would tell this story, bringing this urban legend full circle. Eventually, the madness ended and both my feet were on the ground. I wobbled with the first few steps I took as my daughter seemed to skip and bounce over to my wife.

This story has a happy ending because I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my daughter enjoy herself on all of the rides.

I’m grateful that most rides had a height limit. If my daughter would have been over 42 inches tall, I may have faced an untimely death. Thank goodness for rules and regulations.

1 comment:

12th Man Training Table said...

Barenaked Ladies' "Snacktime"

"I Don't Like"

I've jumped from a p lane with a parachute
Scuba'd to the ocean floor
Driven super-fast in a racing car
I've bungee jumped, and zip lined too,
I've crossed rope bridges over raging rivers
But I don't like... those spinny ride

(Lyrics aren't all that great, but the banter in between each verse is fairly amusing.)