Meredith, being the nice roommate that she is, decided to surprise me with a “day of fun” last week. I assumed that “day of fun” would involve a scenic drive somewhere upstate, maybe a late lunch by a field somewhere with little rabbits hopping about talking about little rabbit things like carrots. Oh, how we would laugh over a bottle of wine and watch the sunset by a river. Yes, there was a river in this dream. A sparkling river, running over rocks and we would wade and splash and drive home happy, listening to David Gray. Quietly content, we would look into each other’s eyes and without speaking a word say “What a day!”
I found out the night before the outing that we were going to Six Flags in Jersey.
Now, I should preface this by saying that I was actually very excited about this prospect. The wine and bunnies thing would have been nice, but I am a roller coaster fanatic and enjoy myself some funnel cake. We headed out around 10:30 in Meredith’s Jetta, shot down the BQE, (“shot” being a huge overstatement) over the Verazzano, through Staten Island which vomited us out onto the New Jersey turnpike.
It took us about two hours to get there. Reaffirming our shared belief that MapQuest is a dirty, teasing whore. 1 hr. 8 minutes my ass. Meredith started to go a bit green before we got out of the car. You see, while I am very fond of spinning upside down at 100 feet and 85 miles an hour, Meredith…not so much. She was being a trooper. She wanted me to have a good day, and was determined to go on her first real roller coaster with me.
After standing in line for an hour to get a Flash Pass (the little gadget that makes it so you don’t have to stand in lines), we were off. I had found, on the map of the park, a little ride that I thought would break Meredith in gently. Skull Mountain. It was in the dark, but there were no upside downy, topsy, turvy bits. She agreed with a smile, but then proceeded to swallow very hard, over and over again all the way to the ride. I had never seen anyone do that who wasn’t a cartoon.
Our flash pass did the trick, and we were on the ride in less than 5 minutes. Now, let me digress here for a minute and make readers aware of the fact that Six Flags is run entirely by 14 year olds. It’s like the town built a theme park instead of a junior high and forced all of the uneducated tweens to wear bright neon shirts and upsell Mountain Dew. The entire day, Meredith and I never saw a single employee who didn’t have acne and look really confused.
So – Skull Mountain. We are waiting in the Flash Pass line and the train pulls up and a kid points towards the train and says “Sit there I guess.” I was thrilled, Meredith was silent. We got in this little car and these little bars came down on our laps. I looked over at Meredith and was about to say “This is gonna be great!” when the train took off. You know that thing that people who put you on roller coasters are supposed to do where they go down the line and make sure all the bars are locked and you won’t die…yeah, they didn’t do that.
Meredith did not have time to mentally prepare. She wasn’t ready. And the last thing I heard before plunging into the darkness was Meredith scream out “I DON’T THINK SO!” As if we had gone back in time 5 minutes, and I had asked her “Hey. Do you want to go on a roller coaster?” For the next 45 seconds, Meredith kept screaming out half sentences. “I’m GOING TO HIT THE…!!!!…WE HAVE TO GO TOWARDS…!!!!…KEEP YOUR HANDS…!!!…FUCKING SHIT FUCK WHERE’S THE…?!!! And when she wasn’t trying to talk to me, or warn me about something, she was emitting this low groaning kind of scream, a kind of scream that can only signify extreme displeasure.
When the ride was over, I turned to Meredith joyously and said “That wasn’t so bad!” She didn’t speak to me for several minutes but did shake convulsively and dart her eyes back and forth a lot. The rest of the day flew by! There was the dolphin show, that lasted for 40 minutes but the dolphins were only there for 2. And they couldn’t really do any tricks. There was the arcade which every game cost $3.50 and lasted for a very un-fun 10 seconds. There were no water fountains you could really drink out of and the park doesn’t allow you to bring any water in, so we spent about $40 on like 8 bottles of water. We spent another $24 on two hot dogs for lunch. And another $22 on two bowls of noodles at Panda Express.
Meredith did, in fact, go on THREE more roller coasters, including one that went upside downy, topsy, turvy. The last one I made her go on, which resembled the roller coaster at the end of “National Lampoon’s Vacation” pushed her over the edge. When it was over, I said to her “What did you think about that drop?” and she very truthfully responded without smiling “That was the single worst moment of my life.”
But, the best thing about the day was, of course, the people. We had never seen so many bare mid-riffs on girls who were a size 16. Sweet ladies. The doped up kids in the arcade who had never heard of ski-ball, when we asked for it. The hung-over daddies, huddled together in one of the park’s 38 smoking sections, while the drunk mommies hit their kids in the face for wanting another spoonful of Dippin’ Dots. Families. And the 12-year-olds who were making out, in line, shoving their hands down whosever pants they were next to. Awwww!
My “day of fun” had to end though. As all days do. But it was a good day. Mine and Meredith’s relationship is irrecoverably damaged and we both gained 8 pounds and spent about $100. I hope you all get days where you are princesses.