Many years ago, when my Wife and I were just getting to know each other, we went to Cedar Point to get away from both of our pending divorces.
She is a roller coaster fanatic. She loves the big thrill rides.
I, on the other hand, do NOT like the sensation of being thrown around. I’m a big boy, I am not used to it happening. Period. Back off!
So she talked me into going on the Power Tower. For those of you who don’t know, there are four different legs to this thing. Two pull you to the top and drop you (forget THAT noise!) and the other two shoot you up from the ground.
I must have been blinded by love because I agreed to ride it with her. Back then, there was plenty of time to decide whether you were going to get dropped or shot into the atmosphere. All I knew is I did NOT want to be dropped. I watched the red side get shot into the sky. I must have been mesmerized by the TIE Fighter like sound it was making on that side (My Star Wars friends will TOTALLY get that. AND that sound no longer exists, much to my dismay). They went up and I looked at my girl, amused by the sound. So, in an attempt to impress the new lady in my life, I said let’s go up!
“Sure about that?” She asked with a little smile. I should have paid attention to it at the time. I didn’t know I was getting set up!
Well, we got strapped in, I was pretty smug thinking “Yeah, I TRICKED you, Power Tower, you ain’t dropping me. And just as the guy said “clear”, it donned on me… what do you think is going to happen once you reach the top?
Off we went!
Now what seemed like a second from the ground afterward, when we reached the top, we were weightless for, oh, two, maybe three hours. I was kicking and would have been screaming had I been able to take a breath. All I could see is Lake Erie. All I could hear was my girl saying “Just relax! Breathe!” through her laughing. (Thanks, dear). And once my lungs were able to take in air again, it happened.
Screaming back down toward Earth to my death…. or it may as well have been! If I’m going to fall THAT far THAT fast, just let me hit! Thank God I have a strong heart because I was putting it through a workout that day! At this point, I looked over at my girl and saw she also couldn’t breathe. For a moment, I was sympathetic to her condition, as I was experiencing it, as well. That lasted a brief second as I realized it was from her laughing so hard at my torment!
“I HATE YOU!”
Just more laughter.
That should have been the end right there. I should have dumped her. Why would you DO that to someone? That’s not how you treat someone you’re interested in! You sicko!
Ten years later, I married the woman who tried to kill me. She’s given me more thrills than any amusement park to provide. Ten great years and two children later, we still laugh about that day (her more so than me).
And now, as if to come full circle, I just got to experience my Daughter taking HER first ride on the Power Tower with her Mom. My stomach still turns just watching the other riders these days. All I heard was giggling all the way up and back down. She handled it better than I did.