There have been times in my life, when either due to the company I was keeping or a momentary lapse of reason, I decided to do something that is considered "thrilling."
The first time was when I went on a roller coaster. A second-rate amusement park in the area has this wussy roller coaster (even I can tell it's a wussy roller coaster) and I was with my dear friend who convinced me to go on it. I looked at the thing, figuring it was about a "2" on the fright scale for roller coasters, a "10" being the scariest. Now or never, I guess.
I screamed like I was watching the latest Animotion video. I screamed as if I were in a fight for my life, as if someone was holding a knife to my throat, this was genuine, honest terror with no thrill attached. That famous scream in Roller Coaster (of Love)? That was me. There was nobody being killed in the studio like they said on Behind the Music, they just put me on a roller coaster and let the tapes roll.
The other time was when I went whitewater rafting with John and some friends. This is still, to this day, the only time I've done anything remotely thrilling twice, the second time being because I actually had fun the first time, and didn't die. I had second thoughts for the first few minutes each time, but then I discovered the whole "rush" thing everyone's always talking about, and yes, it was fun. My quote for the weekend was "Rafting...Woo HOO!" which lives on to this day. I have it on video.
Which is a good thing, because I am reasonably sure I will never do anything remotely like that again.
As the years go on, any part of me that was once adventurous is now paralyzed by fear when I think of doing anything that might cause adrenalin to rush. Case in point: the thrill rides on top of The Stratosphere in Las Vegas. I have no plans to go to Las Vegas in the near future. The last time I was in Las Vegas, it had not even been built yet. However, just knowing they're out there fills me with dread.
John knows this. He uses it to taunt me.
See, he goes to Vegas a few times a year on "business." I use "quotes" because, although he does get some work done that he can't do here, he also now has a short list of restaurants he frequents, in order of who has the best mojitos. And, he went on two of the now four thrill rides on top of the Stratosphere. Unless you're in the business of vomiting at 1,000 feet, that doesn't sound like "business" to me.
I just visited the website for the thrill rides (which, by the way, are 900 feet up--almost as tall as the former World Trade Center towers) and got the above picture from their webcam. This is the ride called Insanity. No! Surely not! Do you have to be insane to ride it, or does the ride actually make you insane? In my case, it would have to be both.
The trouble is, I think I would quite literally die of fear if I went on one of these rides. I was at a fair with John once and he went on one of those Whoosh things that lifts you up about 75 feet then drops you really fast. Just watching him, I got so tense my muscles hurt afterwards.
They have a giant whoosh thing on top of the stratosphere. It is 921 feet in the air, and propels riders to a height of 1,081 feet at 45 miles per hour.
Let me repeat: it propels riders to a height of 1,081 feet at 45 miles per hour.
That is just so wrong.
One of their other rides is called X Scream. Here's the cheerful description:
At 866 feet, X Scream is the world's third highest thrill ride. Shaped like a giant teeter-totter, X Scream is an open vehicle that propels riders head-first, 27 feet over the edge of the Stratosphere Tower and dangles them weightlessly above the Strip before pulling it's riders back and over again for more!
Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Why, why, why does anyone need to feel a thrill of this magnitude? What the description doesn't tell you is:
Once riders have experienced X Scream, if they survive, that is, their lives lose all meaning and all they seek to do is dangle weightlessly 866 feet in the air at least once a day. Which is difficult to do if you live in Iowa. Most people there just climb cornstalks and try to dangle weightlessly, but it's just not the same.
John likes to think he'll get me on one of these ridiculous machines of voluntary death at some point in our life together, as if I'll suddenly turn into some X Game thrill-chick who will jump at the chance to experience such a rush.
What gives me a thrill?
Finding out U2 is going to be on Entourage next week.
You can't stop me. I'm out of control.