Six Flags over crazy
Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 8:00 pm
There is only one reason Americans like me flock to amusement parks every summer. The reason? We completely forgot what it was like the last time we went to an amusement park in the summer. For me, the conversation went something like this, “Lisa, would you and the boys like to go to Six Flags for a few days with me and my kids in July?”
“Absolutely! We’d love to go! Can’t wait! Count us in!” Magical loss of memory at work, friends.
If you’ve never gone to an amusement park in the summer, it’s my responsibility as a newspaper columnist to inform and educate.
In July an amusement park is a concrete jungle heated up to 140 degrees. When the park staff can fry eggs on the asphalt, that’s the signal to open the floodgates and let in the masses. After handing them a significant portion of our kids’ college fund, I was already in a full sweat. But don’t worry. Ten dollars worth of frozen lemonade will numb the brain and you’ll never know what hit you.
If you bring preschoolers (which is a sign of marginal intelligence), you may be wondering if there’s anything available in the amusement park for them to eat. Yes, yes. A thousand times yes. Once their little heads are dripping with sweat and they’re crying out to ride the merry-go-round for the fifth time, buy a huge cotton candy twice as big as their heads. You’ll soon have a happy, sweaty, sticky kid pumped up on sugar who can’t nap in the stroller because it’s now 150 degrees. But don’t worry. The cotton candy only cost as much as a nice meal in your favorite restaurant (a restaurant that has air conditioning).
I don’t ride the rides. I consider myself a designated non-rider. The way I see it, someone in your party needs to be able to maintain a clear head and keep her corn dog down. That’s my job. It’s also my job to hold cell phones, baseball caps and giant turkey legs. Actually, I draw the line at turkey legs. Poultry is never a good precursor to a ride on the Scrambler.
Once your kids are nauseous from the rides and covered in sweat, a good upstanding amusement park will provide plenty of stores. Stores where your children can see all kinds of stuff they need. Silly hats. Expensive T-shirts. Stuff to put in their rooms so they can never forget their sweaty day at the amusement park. Stuff for you to hold the next time they ride the Scrambler.
If you find yourself rather miserable in the late afternoon, just look around and you’ll see that your misery is shared. At that point, the only real amusement is watching that woman with five little kids and wondering what they put in her Kool-Aid the night she agreed to the trip.
I don’t want to discourage any of you from a trip to an amusement park this summer. Who am I to discourage you from this chunk of Americana? Just be prepared. Know your limits.
What’s that? Are some people too old to enjoy a day at an amusement park in the summer? Yes. There is definitely an age limit. According to my personal research, the age limit is 48 years and 10 months. Trust me. I know.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website, lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 7.18.12
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View