Opinion: For-your-amusement park


Well I just returned from my family’s annual pilgrimage to the best people-watching, and as it turns out, educational, amusement park in the Midwest, Kings Island. Luckily for your reading pleasure, it did not disappoint.

We arrived about 30 minutes prior to the gates opening, leaving me more than enough time to apply sunscreen to my pasty-white ginger offspring and to count tattoos among fellow park-goers. Standing in one location, I easily identified 21 ink-lovers in under 60 seconds. Of course the fact that they were wearing very little clothing helped; tank-tops and daisy dukes do not hide much, my friend, especially when the bras were clearly left at home. “Avert your eyes, my children!”

We headed first to the Banshee, the new pipe coaster which claims to be the longest inverted one in the world. My youngest daughter sat out, not quite ready to submit her little body to blackout-inducing g-forces. Oh, how I wish I had volunteered to stay with her. Even with prophylactic naproxen coursing through my bloodstream, I got off the ride with a pounding headache, feeling dizzy and slightly nauseous. Assuming my mild concussion would eventually abate, I continued on to more brain-jarring rides until just after lunch, when I finally called it quits. Clearly too old for that nonsense, I transitioned to gentle log flumes and the ‘80s Flashback Show. Michael and Bruce on the same stage!

The beauty of throwing in the towel that early of course is that I had hours to sit and judge fellow patrons while my family pressed on. The reoccurring themes? Obesity and immodest dress. Granted, Kings Island has a water park and the day was plenty hot, but if I never see a plus-size gal in a string bikini top riding the Racers again in my life, that’ll be one less traumatic moment for me to address in counseling.

Even my 10-year-old asked why there were so many overweight people. As I sucked down a soft-serve cone, I explained about the Midwest weather and consequential lifestyle. Then over a pepperoni pizza, we discussed how you can be stuck indoors for six months but still be healthy. At Wendy’s on the way home, we decided we’d learned some valuable lessons about nutrition and ketchup.

Our teenager’s cell phone lies somewhere underneath loop four of Diamondback, our older daughter left in tears because she just “wanted to ride one more ride!”, our younger son is combating addiction after failing to win a life-size gorilla on the ring toss and I am suffering a mild wrist sprain from the Haunted House Shoot-Out. Overall though, we can chalk up another successful Kings Island venture for the Wilson clan. Peace out.