The grand old Amusement Park.
Just the name of it suggests a good time. It seems like they truly are “amusing”, for the most part. But, only because, there is a little something for everyone.
From roller coasters, to boat rides. Little beaches to skyscrapers that plunge to earth. From aquatic shows to street artists. Yes, a little bit of entertainment for anyone. Arcade games, eateries, and shops. You name it, you will find it. Including a pretty penny to get in the door. And an even prettier penny to get OUT of the park. Especially if you have kids.
Every so often…. we used to go to amusement parks when we were kids. It was a pretty dang big deal. Most of the time, it was a pseudo-gig. When my older siblings were growing up, they went to Frigidaire Park. It was a coolio little park in Dayton, for the employees and their families.
My Dad was an Engineer at Frigidaire. For a long time, I thought he drove a train. I told the nuns at school that my Dad drove a train. I got in big trouble for that one. They thought I was being a smarty-pants. But… I really did think my Dad was driving a locomotive. I had a book about trains and engineers. Hence the confusion.
I digress. Again.
Back to the park.
A little something for everyone.
The reason I bring this up. I was thinking about a ride at King’s Island. It was a round and round ride. I had trouble getting people to go on this one with me. The ride looked like a bunch of barrels on big flat plate. You got inside the barrel, with other people, and you sat around a little round table in the center. You could use the little table like a wheel, and start spinning your barrel around and around. Like spinning hard and fast.
Then the ride started and it also spun your barrel. And then it spun the big plate around in circles… faster and faster. Then the plate would tilt up in the air, side to side, and spin faster. And soon, everybody was just one big spinning mess. There was nothing but a blur. And your head would get willy.
Gradually, the ride would calm itself, and the spinning would slow. Things sort of came back into focus. But the fact of the matter is…. your entire equilibrium had been assaulted. As the ride would eventually grind to a stop, people would begin to file out of their little barrels, and back through the gate…. walking at varying rates of normal….. but mostly… bumping into things and others.
I would dash off, and get right back in line. “Let’s do THAT again!” I loved it. It was a rush. It threw my entire repertoire of sensibilities right out the door. The world transformed. It was color, and blur, and motion, and no sense of comprehension. It was just what my busy brain needed, I suppose.
But that ride enthralled me. It hoisted me to new levels. It gave me a sense of pleasure and well being. There were many others just like me in this manner.
Yet, it made my Mom, my Dad, my cousin, and my sister, green at the gills. They came off feeling sick, and woozy. It worked this way too, for a lot of people. Some people would even lose their lunch.
And THAT…. that fluctuation of responses made me think of our country today. It made me think of our president elect and the deep chasm between the supporters and the opposers. This separation of perceptions…. is JUST like the barrel ride….. exemplified.
Two sets of people get off that ride in the USA. Half of the people think it is the best thing since sliced bread…. exhilarating, exciting. Great. The other half are walking around dizzied, assaulted, and sick. Some are green at the gills…. puking.
Yes. Our opinions vary on the proposed state of this Union. This United States. Just like our opinions of the rides at an amusement DO vary.
Sometimes… I wish I were a kid again.