Background: I have hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed two years ago, and I'm still struggling with getting it under control. I always assumed if you had it, you took a pill and BLAM, back to normal. Yeah, not so much. It's all kinds of tricky, and takes forever to get regulated because you can only increase the med dosage a tiny bit at a time, wait a few months, test, try again. It has all kinds of side effects (the good? I lost nearly 100 pounds. The bad? Much of my hair fell out). The latest side effect is some wicked insomnia.
Cue my thyroid destroying all the fun in life.
It was 3am, and I was wide awake for the eleventy seventh night in a row. It had become a ritual. Apparently my body thinks it can survive on 2-3 hours of sleep per night. After massive doses of maximum strength Unisom had failed me, I grabbed my phone to see what was happening on the interwebz. As it turns out, not much of anything at 3am.
I stumbled upon a Cracked article about working as a carny. I figured I'd read about raining puke and annoying patrons. That just seems like par for the course at carnivals and amusement parks. Then I stumbled across the part about people getting stuck on stalled rides. Again, not a big deal. It happens, and it's not SUPER common to be stuck for hours. The article commented on a few instances of long waits, and then linked to more articles, and google phrase search suggestions.
Keep in mind, it's approximately 3:17am. I've slept about 6 hours in 4 days. I have absolutely nothing better to do than to click the links and search the phrases. Oh, sure. There's laundry and dishes and dusting. But it's 3-freaking-am. I don't want to do that shit at 3pm, forget the middle of the night.
Now, I had already read about how the author thought it was raining one day, while manning a ride, and then realized that it was actually raining PUKE. Ew. Just.... fucking EW. But, understandable. I further read about how basically every surface in an amusement park has been barfed on. Cleaned, sure. But as the article points out, cleaned by some pimply faced, surly, underpaid teenager who really doesn't give a rats ass if that table/bench/counter is REALLY clean. So, I'm already pissed that funnel cakes have forever more been ruined for me. I mean, that's half the joy of amusement parks. And I'll never ben able to un-know that my beloved funnel cake is all barf-y. So, I was already feeling a little miffed.
Then I started clicking the links. Bad. BAD I TELL YOU! People always say you should never google medical issues because you will just scare yourself. I tend to disagree with this, because Dr. Google once told me I may be suffering from prostate cancer. It just made me laugh. But for the love of all things holy and funnel cake-y, DO NOT GOOGLE ABOUT AMUSEMENT PARKS. It wasn't SO bad at first. Just reading about people being stuck 170 feet in the air on a stalled roller coaster for 3 hours. Shitty, sure. Boring as hell, yep. But not horrifying. Then I started reading about this ride called the Windseeker. The first story said it was at Knott's Berry Farm in CA. Basically it's a giant pole with a ton of swings around it, but it goes up 300 feet in the air. Cool, I like swings.
But this motherfucker got stuck at the top of the 300 foot lift. For FOUR HOURS. I'm not a huge fan of heights, but I do fine on rides like this. I mean, they are in motion, Im having a good time, all is good. But if that bastard comes to a grinding halt at 300 feet up in the air, and doesn't start back up in about 5 minutes, I'm likely going to have a panic attack. Not to mention... four hours?? I mean, you have probably already ingested a (puke-y) funnel cake, frozen lemonade, giant churro, monster slushee and who knows what else. Nature isn't just going to call, it's going to be beating down the door like the L.A. riots. What the hell do you do?
Still, I wasn't totally horrified by this. It happens. But. Apparently it happens a whole hell of a lot to the Windseeker. Those bad boys are all over the US at different amusement parks, and it seems that about every single one has gotten stuck. For several hours. What the hell, people?? This really doesn't seem to be the most effective way to seduce people into your vomit coated wonderland of fun. Why is this ride not removed? Or hell, just FIXED????
So, here we are at about 3:38 in the morning. I now know that puke covers every surface, and I'm likely to get stuck on some ride 300 feet up in the air for four hours while trying desperately not to shit myself. Sounds like some All American Fun, no?
But, it got worse. I stumbled upon some link about amusement park accidents.
Hey, you over there. With the bag of Cheetos, laughing your ass off. Yeah, you. First, share the Cheetos. Second, I know you want to google amusement park accidents right now. Don't do it. Just don't.
How bad can it be, you ask? Well, pretty fucking bad, if you ask the poor, obese woman who didn't quite fit into her roller coaster restraint and CAME FLYING THE FUCK OUT ON THE FIRST HILL. Oh wait... you can't ask her. She's dead. And countless others scarred for life, as they saw her body go careening into the air. There seems to be a running theme of if you are overweight, stay the fuck off roller coasters. Another portly fellow flew off the Batman roller coaster when it went around a curve. Turns out, because of his size, he was not correctly secured.
Or? The poor little bastard who climbed a safety fence (granted, he went into an off limits area, so it's his own fault) to get his hat that fell off on the roller coaster ride, only to be DECAPITATED by said roller coaster. Guess he won't really be needing that hat anymore....
And don't think it's just roller coasters. For those who are more into the relaxed rides like the ferris wheel... well, you may just die in line. You know, like the gondola that came off the ferris wheel of horror, and landed right in the line's ride. Killing 2 and injuring 7.
How about a leisurely water rapids ride with the family? What's the worst that can happen, you get a little wet? Or you could lose your damn foot! Some poor girl either slipped while exiting or exited too early, and fell. Her leg was crushed, later resulting in her foot being amputated.
Remember the poor teenaged girl who was entangled by cables that snapped on a ride, and lost her foot? I remember that story when it was in the news. Just because you only have one foot doesn't mean you can pay half price for shoes, people.
Ok, so clearly, if we just stay away from all rides, and ride lines, yes? Yeah, not so much. What about the Haunted Castle at a Six Flags that burst into flames? Most people got out. Except for those 8 teenagers who were burned so badly, they had to be ID'ed by dental records. Freak accident? Probably. But maybe if the attraction had some smoke detectors or sprinklers....
By this point, I had to just make myself stop Googling, for fear of becoming a hermit and hoarder, who just spent the rest of my days in my safe little house. The one saving grace was that I hadn't seen any horror stories about Disneyland. Makes sense, it's the happiest place on earth, aside from the Xanax factory, right?
Enter my dear, darling brother. He informed me of a crap ton of accidents and deaths at Disneyland, and at that point, my dream of ever taking Carson to some sort of amusement park or on a ride was shattered.
Basically, if you want to take a fun family vacation, you'd be better off letting Justin Beiber drive your family around after smoking a pound of weed, and skip the Death Park of Terror. And I learned this all because of my stupid thyroid. Come vacation time, you can find me in a padded room. Bring happy pills.