So that happened…

Cedar Point Scares the Shit out of People

I’m from Northwest Ohio originally, not exactly the state’s cultural hub. We have corn, soy, New Riegel’s Ribs, but not a lot else. What we have to hang our hat on is Cedar Point, the best amusement park on this or any planet.

And the time to go is now, during HalloWeekends.

The season boasts a few quickly constructed haunted houses, loud speakers blaring Monster Mash and Psycho’s theme, and Halloween-related what-not decorating the midway. Zombies roam about. Awesome.

But Cedar Point is scary enough on its own for some.

Like that Millennium Force rider who shit himself last time we were there. Just dropped a load right there in the seat. Thanks to poopy pants, a HazMat team had to come fumigate and the ride was closed. Bad for those in line, worse for Mr. Loose Bowels and his pantload, walking past the denied would-be riders in a march of shame toward some new drawers. It was at least 90 degrees out, and as he passed, it was just like you hit a wall. A stinky, stinky wall.

CP scares the shit out of others in a more figurative way.

Years back I tried to convince Riley to ride a favorite ride of mine, the old school Demon Drop – a rickety death trap that hauls you 130 feet in the air in a sort of open-air elevator shaft only to lock loudly into place, holding you in mid-air for a few seconds before dropping you screaming back to earth. Riley declined, but his friend Ryan with me. Ryan’s one of those smiling, polite kids, and my guess is that he felt sorry for me. His mistake.

The ride malfunctioned at the exact moment that it held our car out over the abyss. Three seconds became 30 seconds and then ten minutes as poor Ryan went from an excited flush to a ghostly pale to an alarming shade of chartreuse. By the time the contraption finally let loose, he’d already wished aloud for death.

But the most terrifying moment was yet to come.

By the time we were freed from Demon Drop’s clutches, everyone needed lunch, so we headed to the Subway we’d spied coming into the park. The menu was limited. We ordered 2 footlong subs, 2 six-inch subs – all cold – four bags of chips and four small fountain beverages (no refills allowed).

Guess how much this mediocre feast ran us.

They charged us –

wait for it …

seriously, wait…

seventy five fucking dollars.

I swear to god. $75 for four cold cut sandwiches, chips and pop.

For that price I  should get to punch Jared in the face.

Scary shit, indeed.

So that happened…

What Would Mayor McCheese Do?

My husband joined 4Square, in case anybody needs to know whether we’re at the movies or at Chipotle. We are always at one or the other.

In fact, he’s checked in from the Chipotle nearest our house so often that he was recently named mayor via 4Square. Apparently a cyber-mayor needn’t adhere to any kind of platform, and an honest one-man-one-vote election is needless. Just like in real life!

This makes me Chipotle’s First Lady. It’s the role I was born to play! Would there be a tinfoil crown and scepter, I wondered with glee.

Meanwhile, George mulled new Chipotle legislation. His first bill would outlaw the extra small serving. Burritos the size of a human head – that’s what we’re looking for. It is Chipotle, is it not?

He calls it the No Scimpasaurus Bill.

In retrospect, maybe his first act as mayor should have involved the parking situation. Like many Chipotle lots, the parking at the Grandview site is strictly kill or be killed.  Within minutes of his strictly imaginary swearing in ceremony, we witnessed a parking lot tragedy.

We watched through the window as a couple in a pick-up hit George’s new Harley. Less than 1000 miles on it. They just took a weirdly wide turn when pulling out of their space and bashed right into it.

Don’t they know who he is? What’s the point of pretend-governing a local Mexican fast food joint if the citizenry will wantonly damage your really nice motorcycle?

Of course, Mayor McCheese always had the Hamburglar to deal with.  Restaurant politics will kill you.

So that happened… Vermonsters

A Bigger, Hairier Vermonster

I’m in Vermont with these two – Ruby and Vivian: Vermonsters.

 But today, they are Ruby and Vivian: school children. Today Ruby starts third grade, and Vivian is officially a kindergartener. They are giddy! Ruby will be the envy of all with her well-organized pencil case, while Vivian kicks butt in PE with her smart new Hello Kitty sneaks.

Yesterday, while their parents were at work and they were left for the day with sketchy Aunt Hope, the girls were Ruby and Vivian: dog owners.

I’m very fond of dogs, and their golden retriever mix is a peach. An enormous, very strong, 18-month-old peach. The wee ones and I decided to take him for a walk, and Ruby recommended the trail – a path through the endless woods surrounding their home. This is not the first time she’s talked me into this. It has yet to end well.

These are the only humans on earth who could talk me into the woods, and as we entered – me with my two little nieces, one big and excited dog, and one bum foot – I wondered again why I am so prone to making bad decisions.

Last time, the catastrophes were entirely a result of my hotwired-for-carnage brain. On this second occasion, the crises were real.

Ruby took point, guiding us through the forest with Girl Scout skills. Vivian followed, catching baby toads, counting salamanders, and kicking colorful mushrooms. Sunny and I took the rear. At this point in such a journey, my head immediately fills with worst case scenario images. These would generally include inbred wood folk with a taste for human flesh, but with Sunny to guard us, that seemed an unlikely nuisance.

Instead I imagined how horrifying it would be if my sister’s new dog broke his leash and I had to chase him around the forest and into the lake while still keeping track of my wee girls.

Hey, guess what happened!

God damn it.

Picture, if you will, two tiny girls chirping, “Sunny, stay! Stay! Sunny, stay!” And one lumbering gimp hollering, “Here boy! Here boy!” And one boundlessly happy 100+ pound dog leaping and frolicking through the untamed wilderness. And lake. Let’s not forget the lake.

Finally I retrieved him with the oldest possible approach: lying. I promised we’d go find this big fat black lab named Moose who lives up the road and play all afternoon.

There was no playing in this dog’s immediate future.

I am staying indoors from now on.