TR – Indiana Beach 9/19/2015
Last Day of the Season
So I’ve been fighting with this other version of me that thinks I’m younger and more vibrant than I truly am in real life. The younger “me” likes to ride coasters and eat whatever he wants and wear pants that are too tight. The older “me” is in a mid-life crisis, living in this creaky body, and trying to ride wooden coasters that are becoming atrophied. I decided to confront the younger “me” in my head, and go to Indiana Beach to see if I can still re-ride their coasters. I recorded a recent battle between the young and old “me” on my trip.
- - -
Younger Me: Time to ride coasters today. Last day of the season at the I.B., yo! Ride! Ride! Ride! Sex! It’s time to do shots of Patron, and see how many times in a row you can ride Hoosier Hurricane! Weeeeee!
Older Me: Clearly that’s dangerous. You’re 51. You’re not fooling anyone. You’ll be lucky to ride it once. Just relax. See how the ride feels. Maybe one ride today. Don’t overdo it. No chiropractors and no ambulances.
Younger Me: Yo, Methuselah. If you don’t take a chance now, you will be dead before you know it. It’s time to live like it’s our last day on earth! Ride, ride ride! Maybe some marijuana will calm your nerves. Round trip tickets to LA are on sale now. Pot is legal in California. It’s September! Weeeeeee! I like breasts.
Older Me: Please God control yourself. Here’s the itinerary and stats:
Arrival Time: 2:PM
Park Closes 8PM
Rides Closed: Lost Coaster, Tig’rr
Wait Times: 0 – 7 minutes
Load Times: 5-7 minutes
Older Me: I’m just going to walk around the park here and warm up a little. I don’t want to pull a muscle or wrench my back. I have to be limbered up to ride a CCI, especially if the coasters are 21 years old since construction. I’m going to walk down the boardwalk here at a brisk pace and I’m just going to enjoy the scenery. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll walk down the way here, and I’ll check to see if they opened Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain. It’s been closed all season, but we’ll just hope for the best.
Younger Me: Even if Lost Coaster is closed, let’s ride it anyway! I hear that you can just walk up to the control panel and start it. Ride it! Ride it! No one will care. There aren’t that many employees here today. Just tell management that the coaster started itself. They won’t get mad. Lost Coaster! Weeee! Blue is my favorite fruit flavor. Let’s just go to guest services, ask for a wheelchair and put it on the track at Lost Coaster! They can’t arrest us if we’re disabled! Here we go! I’m going to take my pants off.
Older Me: If I listened to you, I would probably need dental surgery. Here we are, and as expected, Lost Coaster is closed, as predicted. Just observing the track from here, the design of this coaster is so whimsical. The way it’s designed, you can’t see the entire ride layout from the Midway, which gives it a great surprise factor. Perhaps the new owners will fix Lost Coaster for next year.
Younger Me: Let’s go up to the park management and lie that we are the new park owners. We’ll tell them we demand to ride Lost Coaster! We’ll tell them we have a new hydraulic lift to install.
Older Me: Right. Let’s walk back to Hoosier Hurricane and take our first ride.
Younger Me: Oh my god, run! Let’s get carmel corn and eat it while we run! Oh my god, I love this song! I’m going to sing it! “Baby tonight. DJ’s got us falling in love agaaaain! Yeah, baby tonight, the DJ got us fallin' in love again. So dance, dance like it's the last, last night of your life, life!” I love Usher. The sky is so blue! Oh my god there’s no line! Hoosier Hurricane in da house! Jesus F, I would ride that track using a skateboard! Hey wait a minute, let’s—
Older Me: A skateboard on a coaster track probably not a good idea. Okay let’s sit in the middle car.
Younger me: Last row, right hand seat! Oh my God! Just like Boulderdash last month. That was amazeballs!
Older Me: Honestly I had some trouble riding Boulderdash last month. It was so intense that I lost my breath.
Younger me: People can stop breathing for ten minutes and still live and be fine.
Older Me: My God, listen. I’m trying to tell you something. Boulderdash was simply too intense. Let’s face it. I’m 51 years old, dude. I’m overweight... a little bit.
Younger me: All the male strip joints accept all body types now. They can’t discriminate, it’s the law.
Older Me: Let’s be honest. I’ll never be in Thunder from Down Under, okay? I’ll probably stop riding coasters in a few years, especially if they’re as intense as Boulder Dash. And those bludgeoning bang-slams that the train cars do three times on the return run are just too much. I can hear my vertebrae crunching like I’m getting aligned at the chiropractor. That can’t be good. That’s a scary thing when a 10 year old coaster does that angry slamming motion and everyone goes Ohhhhwwww! I just can’t do it any more.
Younger Me: Live in the moment. These seats are too skinny! Okay, we’re climbing the lift hill for Hoosier Hurricane. We’re dancing like it’s the last night of our lives. I love the way I can brace my feet against the bottom panel if you sit in the front seat of the car. If you’re in the back row , you can’t brace your feet as easy! God, it’s windy up here! It’s really cooled off! Holy death-on-a stick that’s steep! Weeeeee! Agghghh! Now that’s a great 100 foot drop! Agghghh! Bunny hill immediately, that’s a strong negative G, man! I’m flying! Ohh! I always knew I could fly! Those clouds look like cotton candy! More hills more hills! Coaster hills forever!
Older Me: Hahah, it is fun. But Ouch! God, you see-- there was one of those slamming motions that the cars do. I heard my vertebrae crack. I even tried to brace myself with my hand pushing down on the seat next to me but the slamming motion is so powerful it really bludgeons you. I used to laugh when I rode roller coasters. What is wrong with me?
Younger me: More! More! Oh the break run! Weeee! Just hella power on that thing! Whew, boy! I wonder if they’ll let us re-ride.
Older Me: That’s enough for me. Just can’t handle the slams any more. Zippin' Pippin has one. Boulder dash has three of them. And Hoosier Hurricane has one. Even in this middle seat. God I’m old. At least the other riders are complaining too. Fun coaster, but once is enough. Look, everyones getting off. No one wants to re-ride it.
Younger Me: If we bribe the ride op, I bet he’ll meet us here at midnight! ERT night rides! Weeeeeee!
Older Me: Okay, let’s walk over to Cornball Express. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Hoosier Hurricane. I really did. I loved the first drop, but it’s really scary on the return run to get that slamming motion from the cars. It wasn’t built that way and it’s just not acceptable. It’s diminishing the ride experience for me. Okay let’s go to Cornball Express.
Younger Me: Yeah, about that. Cornball is smaller. Not as exciting.
Older Me: Well I could use smaller right about now. Oh God, that’s a lot of stairs.
Younger Me: Let’s take the elevator. Let’s play on the elevator. Let’s cut the cables on the elevator and ride it down!
Older Me: I can handle these stairs. I’m a little out of breath. Middle car seat—it’s the most gentle. These seatbelts seem shorter than they used to be.
Younger Me: The thrill is gone for me on Cornball. It’s not as tall. Not as intense. The hills aren’t as big. The G forces don’t pack the punch. This ride is perfect for old men like you.
Older Me: You’re the one who says you only live once! Hands up! This lift hill is 20 feet shorter than Hoosier Hurricane but it’s still plenty high. Swooping fan turn! Weeee! No slamming motion when we get to the bottom of the hill. Now this is coaster riding! Hahahhh! It’s nice and smooth with no bludgeoning pops! Weeeee!
Younger me: Whatever. I’ve ridden better.
Older Me: Oh I could ride this forever! Haha! Oh my God, I’m laughing again! I feel young again! I can feel the autumn air on my face. The air time on this is what coasters are made for. The pacing is just great. It sets your expectations and then pays them off. I could ride this forever!
Younger Me: Okay, gramps.
Older Me: Cornball Express is what coaster riding should be! Helix! Another hill! And another! And into the station. I hope they’ll let us re-ride!
Younger Me: What’s gotten into you? Viagra?
Older Me: No, I just love coasters that are well maintained. Cornball Express’s trains are a little rumbly but what do you expect for a coaster that was built fourteen years ago? Overall, beautifully maintained and just fun to ride. Look at the number of people in the ride queue for Cornball right now, versus the scant few in the ride queue for Hurricane? That’s proof in itself.
Younger Me: You make me feel like I’m trapped in Charlton Heston’s body.
Older Me: You make me feel like I’m a dad at a Nick Jonas concert.
Younger Me: I like air time.
Older Me: I like air time, but not continual oppressive G forces that make you feel exhausted like on Boulder Dash.
Younger Me: I like Elephant Ears. They’re not made from real elephants.
Older Me: You know I like you. But they say if you talk back to the voices in your head that you’re in trouble.
Younger Me: You’re telling me this now? After 51 years? The park is closing. Let’s hide in one of the shops and stay here forever.
Older Me: Truth is, we can’t stay here forever. You realize that I’m going to be the fat bald guy riding Judge Roy Scream by myself when I’m 70? I’m going to be the fat bald guy trying to get ERT on Willard’s Whizzer at Six Flags Great America after a hip replacement. I’m slowing down, but that doesn’t mean I won’t ride. I’m going to ride.
Younger Me: That's the spirit. We can always hide a catheter under a sweater. Get a pacemaker.
Older Me: That’s the most sensible thing you’ve said.
Younger Me: (Silence.)
Older Me: Where did you go? You still there?
Younger Me: (Silence)
Older Me: Don’t play games. He’ll be back. You know come to think of it, I better take one more ride.
You must be logged in to post