Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Ride

Last weekend, I told you about how my beautiful niece turned nine years old (thank you for the birthday wishes.  Jupiter loved them all).  Last Sunday I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon with her, her mother and my brother and sister-in-law.  We went out to eat and then went shopping at the mall where I bought more of my favorite yoga pants in the whole entire world (I love being a writer).  It may seem like a small unimportant detail but it's about to get important because, before we left, Jupiter and I went on the carousel that sits at the entrance to the food court.

This is the story of that ride.

I suppose the good news is that I got on for free as her chaperone or whatever.  I really think her mother believes that when Jupiter and I are together, we require our own chaperone, but I didn't argue with the ticket girl.  We took our tickets and got in line behind one other little girl and her mother.

Jupiter said she wanted to go on the spinning tea cup.  I tried to push for one of the horses (because we're both horse crazy) or maybe that nice bench that didn't move at all.  No dice.  So I said, "Sure.  Let's go on the spinning tea cup."  Because, after all, it was a carousel in a mall.  How fast could it be?

Stupid, stupid M.J..

I handed my belongings over to my brother and sister-in-law who joked that it was a good thing I had gotten a plastic bag with my yoga pants because I would need it after the ride.  And I laughed right along with them because I was thinking, "Hey, it's a carousel in a mall.  How fast could it be?"

Stupid, stupid M.J..

When it was our turn, the little girl ahead of us ran straight to the spinning tea cup.  Jupiter was crushed.  I suggested we could go on one of the other non spinning things but then the ticket girl (thank you, by the way, for this) suggested we just wait for the next go around all together.  To which Jupiter readily agreed.

So we waited and we watched the little girl spin around in the little tea cup thing.  It didn't seem so bad.

Stupid, stupid M.J..

And as we watched, Jupiter was telling me about how fast she was going to spin the tea cup and I thought, "she's nine and this is a carousel in a mall.  How fast could it be?"

Stupid, stupid M.J..

At last, it was our turn.  Jupiter raced to get to the spinning tea cup.  I followed behind at a more leisurely rate.  I had barely sat down and laid my arms on the back of the cup before the ticket girl (who has become my new mortal enemy right behind the spinning tea cup itself) started the ride moving and Jupiter started spinning us around.

Quickly my arms were pinned in position as centrifugal force or some other physics things (dammit, Jim, I'm a writer not a physicist) took over.  There was absolutely no safe place to look because the food court had become a blurry messy of noise.  One distinct sound I kept hearing over and over again was the gleeful cackling of my niece as she continued to work the torture device known as the spinning wheel.  That, and the short burst of laughter coming from my siblings (and sibling-in-law) every time Jupiter and I passed.

As the ride continued, I became concerned that I was going to die.  And also that maybe the spinning tea cup was just going to fly off the carousel completely, going flying into the food court and land in the middle of Mrs. Fields. I expressed my concerned to Jupiter and suggested that maybe we slow down a bit.  Jupiter told me it'd be fine and kept spinning.

Meanwhile, someone from the peanut gallery (aka my siblings) shouted, "Half way there, M.J.!"

"Half way?!?!?!?!?!?" I sobbed shouted back bravely.  "Someone get me off this thing! Bring it on!"

Stupid, stupid M.J..

I resorted then to looking at the silver bottom of the tea cup.  It was the only spot that didn't look like it was spinning.  Jupiter told me not to close my eyes because that would really freak me out.

"Already there, Sweets," I said.  "Oh god, am I already there.  I mean, I'm fine.  I'm really, really fine."

Jupiter responded by cackling some more and finding yet another gear to empower her spinning euphoria.

And just when I thought I might never get off the spinning tea cup ride (unless it was in a body bag), it came to an end.  Of course then my problem became walking without vomiting.  Jupiter bounced off the carousel like it never had been moving.  I stumbled around following the sound of my name until I found my brother waiting at the gate for me, my yoga pants stuffed into my purse and the magical plastic bag blissfully empty.

I wanted to collapse into a heap just outside of the carousel's gate and have a good cry but we walked out to the car instead where I sat in the backseat with my head out the window and my carousel sickness bag at the ready.  Jupiter sat next to me, my phone in her hands, watching YouTube videos of people spinning in circles.  I declined to watch when she offered to share them with me.

On my ride home that evening, I stopped first for Ginger Ale.  I stopped half way home (it was an hour and a half drive) for another reason.  And the next morning as I prepared for work, I packed saltines for breakfast and lunch because my stomach was still not my friend.

But I'm okay now. So long as I don't close my eyes.  Or turn too quickly in my desk chair.

And that's how spinning tea cup rides became my mortal enemy.  But, for my niece, it was worth it.  Even though she'll never get me to go on another with her again. Ever again.  Are you reading this, Jupiter?  Because I mean that.  NEVER.  EVER.  AGAIN.

Love you, Sweets.


  1. That's why I just skip all rides that spin!

  2. That sounds like my worst nightmare. There's nothing quite as strong as the stomach of a nine year old - you learnt the hardest way!

  3. I've always thought it was crazy that the rides of my childhood I now won't touch! Poor, poor M.J.! :) Glad you are better!!

  4. She's read it. I observed some gleeful cackling.

  5. ps...never ride anything that spins via the power of an athletic sensory seeker.

  6. Oh that is too funny! I mean, not that I'm laughing at you or anything. ;) Glad Jupiter had a good time!

  7. Eek. Maybe next time she can go on the teacup and you can go on something that isn't spinning inside a spinning carousel.

  8. AWESOME! Funny though, when I get on those rides, I do close my eyes, lean my head back and give in to the centrifugal force. I find the more I try to control it, the more sick I feel.

    Glad you survived.

  9. I'm only laughing because I would be just as bad. I couldn't take it when I was younger but I'm worse now.

  10. When I was younger, not even that much younger, I loved spinning rides. I was awesome at making things spin fast when I was a kid and all of that. Then there were those several years where amusement parks and thinks ceased to have any meaning in life. Then came the fair this past summer, and I went on some spinning ride with my daughter. I didn't even think twice about. I love spinning rides, right?
    That was probably the last spinning ride I will ever go on. It's not right that you can age out of those things. :(
    Roller coasters, though, are still my friend!

  11. At least you got on it. I would have run the other way though I suppose you wish YOU had run the other way.

    Those spinning rides are lethal. Forget bamboo shoots. Just put people on those and you can torture them for hours.

    Martin Freeman...yes. So worth going to see The Hobbit for. Also, Thorin. I forget the fellows name who plays him, but he's cool, and his voice is amazing.

    What is your name on NaNo? I'll see if I can find you. Which I probably can't...I can never find anyone on there.

    I hope you are able to come up with a plot before then.


  12. Ha - great story...hope you never have to tell it again. ;)

  13. I've not been on those rides in ages! I'm usually the one guy to tries to get some extra spin out of them and see how fast they can go, then wonder why I can't walk in a straight line afterwards :)