Monday, January 05, 2009

I Apologize

Look, I know I should not post this photo on my blog.  It is disgusting and will render anything I say about half as credible from here on out.  I know.  But jeez!  Talk about your bad roller coaster rides!  I think what makes me laugh so much at this - aside from the hilarious looks on the other faces as the poor fellow in front unswallows - is that when I was a kid, a similar thing happened to me. 

I was about ten and we were at the carnival at the State Fair.  I wanted to go on a ride that basically just went around in circles - like the Tilt-A-Whirl it goes around pretty fast and then at various angles, but unlike the Tilt-A-Whirl on this one you sat rather than stood.  No one else wanted to go, so I went and was seated with a pretty fat kid about my age.  I say fat, and what I mean is that he was about my age and height, but probably weighed double what I did.  He was big enough that I was trying really hard to figure out centrifugal force before we got on the ride so I wouldn't be squashed when the whirling began.  Turns out that being squashed was not the worst thing that could happen on this ride. 

Being a big kid, within about fifteen loops on the spin cycle, I became aware of sounds next to me that tweaked my intuition.  I am not sure what they were, but whatever sounds they were my mind immediately posted Threat Level Red.  Sure enough, it was only seconds later when that sound - the squelched half choke, half groan that always accompanies regurgitation - came from the lump of unprocessed cotton candy, corn dog and sno-cone sitting beside me.  THAT sound, was followed by the next expected input...a huge, and surround sound-like SPLAT - the surround effect coming from the fact that the ejected material, having been deployed in a circle after all, does indeed splash down all around you.  The elevated aluminum platform of the ride only amplified the sound.  You know it now, if you are still reading, just as I knew it then:  the next sounds would be: first, gasps of shock and revulsion, second, a few stray "Oh my God"  and  "did that kid just puke?" remarks, and then finally, the ultimate in competitive barfing...yep, the sympathy heave.  This large kid, who had only seconds before been full of fair food for a family of four, had achieved the ultimate and elusive goal of any big-time vomit prankster: a multiple sympathy heave.  Once I realized that my inside seat had saved me from a marinated scone and Coke shower, I was free to fully appreciate the large-scale destruction from  my elevated perch.  The big kid had managed to hurl through 270 degrees of the circle, careful or fortunate only to spew in the area occupied by the people waiting for their turn and a group of parents waiting for their kids to exit the ride.  The empty part of the perimeter was also the quadrant of the platform that His Eminence, the Bishop of Barf, left unsullied.  Amazing!  This kid could set a record - volume, accuracy, composition and even the extremely rare multiple sympathy heave!  Two women - looking back I realize that of course they were not mothers, who would have shrugged this off like every other unfortunate bodily function that had assailed them as they raised their little bundles of joy - who appeared to be with dates were caught up in the moment and almost instantly 'applauded' the big kid's effort with smaller imitations of their own.  smaller, but sincere, it seemed to me.  Fitting tribute.

So, I hope that you'll forgive me this disgusting and low-class doubt the memory of the Roundup Cleanup makes this picture much funnier for me than for any of you.  Sorry.


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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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