This one is kind of long but for those of you who tune in weekly to enjoy my experiences, stick with it; you'll be glad you did.
We did the normal walk around, checked out the farm animals and paid to see the biggest rat and snake in the world.
As you might imagine, I don’t do rides. The most I’ll do is the ferris wheel and carousel. I’ve never ridden a REAL roller coaster or anything fast in my life. I don’t like the feeling of having my guts jerked around. I don’t like the thought of not being in control, especially if I’m going over the speed limit. Now we weren’t clocked on this ride but I can almost promise you, we went above and beyond the respected speed limit.
Long story short, I found myself standing in line looking up at a machine called the Chain Saw. I know what you’re saying, why in the world would you get on that? Well I’ll tell you why. Remember that brother I mentioned earlier? He’s a jerk. Knowing that I was already upset he was leaving, he pulled at the heart strings. His exact words were, “I’m leaving in a couple of days, we may never get to do anything like this again. You’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”
He wasn’t lying. To this day, I still regret it.
To describe this ride, I would say it was your normal chainsaw set up. There was the guide bar (for those of you who don’t know, picture the metal part the blades go around). The guide bar spun in a total 360. Then attached to the guide bar was the chain of course. As the guide bar spun, the chain whirled around the guide bar in the opposite direction. Attached the chain were the carts that you ride in. There were probably around ten carts in total. So you have the guide bar spinning a complete 360, while the chain pulled the carts in the opposite direction. To put the cherry on top, the carts themselves spun 360’s once you reached enough momentum. To the person that designed this ride, you sir, or madam, need help.
I remember standing there in line, I was mulling over things I could say to get out of it. There was a woman in front of us frantically asking everyone that made eye contact with her, if they’d ride the ride with her son in her place. Her son couldn’t have been more than ten years old and apparently she had promised him he could ride this ride; she was just now learning he couldn’t ride it by himself and her husband had decided to stay home—so tag you’re it, I guess.
Her group went first and I had planned on watching her board, until these furious drunken shouts rang through the air. I looked over to find two teens about to go at it, for whatever reason. Luckily the cops were on them before they could do anything and by the time I looked back, the woman was already gone. The ride had started and so had the screams.
The fair is loud, there’s always some type of blaring noise whether it be music, laughter, or screams. The screams coming from this ride however, seemed to drown out all the other noise. Normally you can tell the difference between a happy scream and screams of horror. Well, I wasn’t hearing anything happy at this point. I heard some possible heaving—as if the funnel cakes these people just ate were going to make a surprise guest appearance; but nothing happy.
I stood there listening, watching, regretting…
The screaming and the gagging sounds were soon over and the ride was being unloaded and reloaded again. I had just made peace with the fact that I was going to have to ride this thing, when I caught a glimpse of the lady and her son. The son looked a little worse for wear; he seemed almost in shock. My heart dropped to my stomach when the lady stepped out. She was a shade of pale I never knew existed, donned with a puke green accent. She stumbled forward away from the ride, almost falling on her face as the kid wandered off in another direction. The person manning the ride was trying to keep them together.
I turned around to leave.
Oh but don’t worry, my brother made sure I got on. The next thing I know, I’m being helped into one of those carts. The man loading us in said, “Do you have any keys or phones on you? Give them to me or they’ll fly out.”
He slammed the door shut and I realized just how trapped I was. As we were lifted further up, I took in the layout of this prison we were now locked in. It was so small you actually sat while standing and by that I mean, when they shut the door, your backside was pressed to the back of this cart by a metal bar that stretched across the length of the door. There was a small window in the front, I supposed to look out at the world one last time. Honestly that was your only option because the cart was so small, you couldn’t do anything else. My brother and I were literally pressed up against each other. It did wonders for my claustrophobia.
Once the ride was fully loaded our cart somehow ended up back at the bottom. I heard this engine kick on and I remember my brother saying, “Okay it’s starting.”
Thanks for the news flash. I opened my mouth to either say something witty or harsh to him (Can’t really remember at this point) when we were thrust upward so fast the back of my head slammed against the back of my seat. There was no time to scream, beg, argue- all my ‘what if’s’ went out that front window as we hurtled violently back towards the ground as we completed our first lap. Unfortunately, my common sense, dignity, and what little will to live I had left, followed the ‘what if’s’ right out that window.
When we were slung back up in our second trip around the sun, my stomach slid down to the tip of my toes to check out what color I had painted my toe nails that day. But it didn’t come back up. But with everything that was happening, I still wasn’t panicked because I had come to a brilliantly reassuring conclusion. My brother had been on numerous rides, he had gone bungee jumping and everything else. If this ride wasn’t affecting him then I should make it out of this fairly unscathed. And just like that, as if fate itself was waiting to be queued, we shot down towards the earth on our third round and the jolt knocked the wind out of him; making him curse.
I resigned myself then that I was going to die.
It took a little while to figure out that the loud obnoxious screams were coming from me. I remember crying out, “I’m going to throw up.”
But the problem with that was, I couldn’t. The food I ate earlier that day couldn’t figure out which way was up, so it just made disoriented circles in my stomach. I don’t remember what round we were on but we were being catapulted back up when I felt myself slipping. I managed a desperate, “I’m going to pass out.”
To which he replied, “No you’re not.” AND HE SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE—THE FACE!
If I hadn’t been so terrified at this point, I would have tried to retaliate. However my hands were gripping the bars on the front of this cart with a vengeance. I couldn’t have let go if I wanted to.
Finally, the ride came to a stop and our cart was once again at the bottom. I remember breathing heavily, trying to regain my bearings. It was over, we had survived. I remember my brother reaching over and patting my back reassuringly. He said, “You’re doing good. Now we just have to go backwards and the ride will be over.”
I remember screaming, “What!” Just as this ride shot off again, this time from the opposite direction. Instead of slinging me back into my seat, it plastered me up against the door. The door that, I prayed was secured tightly as I literally rode on it as we were thrust back up toward the sky. Coming down wasn’t much fun either. When we went up, I was stuck to the door, when we went down I was shot back up against my seat. How my brother managed not to be flung around like I was is beyond me. The worst part was, we seemed to be going faster than we did to begin with. Looking out the window I remember seeing a blur of lights but eventually the lights were gone and all I saw was the moon and then the patch of grass we were standing on before loading. That’s how fast we were going. The moon, the grass, the moon, the grass…
I had to get off this ride. The only person I could think of that could help me get off this ride, or had any power to get me off this ride, was Jesus Christ himself. In my mind I knew I had to ask for help, to pray, to talk to Him. But no words were coming to mind, everything was happening so fast I couldn’t process a single thought. So, in sheer panic and distress, the only prayer I could think of was one my dear mother taught me, the Lord’s Prayer. Now when you pray, you don’t have to pray aloud, you can just talk to God in your mind if you want. However, this time, I just wanted to make sure He heard me. At the top of my lungs I began screaming and shouting the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father, who art in Heaven…
Another round thrust me back into the doors, I’m staring straight out the window through the bars, watching the ground
hurtle violently towards me. Or me to it.
Hallowed be thy name…
I remember the moon was full, if the cart turned just right it looked like you might just be able to touch it when you lapped over.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven…
At this point, I was pretty sure that’s where I was headed.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
My brother came to mind.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil…
I remember my dad telling me not to let him get me on any of those rides.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory forever and ever…
The ride came to a clunky stop, leaving us swinging at the bottom.
Now for those of you who think I’m making fun, I wasn’t. In my time of despair that’s who I turn to, God. That probably wasn’t the best prayer to pray during that time but that’s the only thing I could think of.
Our cart was going to be unloaded next and I pulled my hands away from the bars. Well, tried to anyway. I pulled again only to realize my fingers had locked themselves around those bars and I couldn’t let go.
I yelled, “I can’t let go!”
My brother reached up to test my theory.
“Geez.” He cried as he pulled my fingers off the bars.
Just then, the door was swung open. The same man that told us to give him our keys and phones stood there waiting for us to get off.
“Are you okay?” He asked me as my brother nonchalantly hopped off the ride.
My only answer was sliding off the seat like one of those cartoons characters that turn to water. My brother picked me up and took me to the nearest chair. He was laughing, he wasn’t even trying to hide it. If I had had any wits left I would have hit him. I just wanted to move on and never speak of this to anyone.
The next day at church, our Pastor stood up in front of the congregation and announced, “I was informed earlier today that there is a new evangelist here with us today. She preached to thousands last night.”
I heard my brother snicker beside me.
“You didn’t.”, was all I got out before all eyes were on me.
On a final note, I’d like you to know that while my brother lived in Oregon all those years, he made it a point to send me pictures of that very ride—every year when the fair came to town.