9.12.11

I'M SUPPOSED TO BE A LOGGER, I THINK

"Can we ride again?"

"No, sorry. You'll have to get back in line."

"But there's only like fifteen people in line! Come on, big guy. Let us go one more time. Be a pal. What’s it gonna hurt?"

"I'm, sorry. You'll have to get back in line."

“You know what? Fuck it. Fuck you too! This is so fucking stupid! There's no one in line and you're gonna make us get out and walk all the way around in order to ride again? Are you fucking nuts? Gimmie a break!"

"I'm sorry, sir."

"No you’re not. If you were sorry you’d just let us stay in the Goddamn boat! This is so stupid! It’s fucking insane! Come on kids, the asshole is going to make us get off and walk all the way around to get back on."

"I'm sorry I've set a bad example for your children."

"Excuse me?"

That was the sort of nonsense I had to deal with on a daily basis while gainfully employed as a ride operator at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois.

The ride I was assigned to was called, The Loggers Run. It was a water ride. Employees were required to call it by its technical name however: The Flumes. I’m still not entirely sure what the word flumes means, or where it comes from originally, and honestly I don’t even care enough to take thirty seconds and Google it. I can't think of one single instance in which I've had use for it outside of my time at Great America, anyway.

Not once. Not ever.

Maybe it would work in a foreplay situation? You know, something like; “Baby I'm gonna do you good with this here flume of mine.”

No? 

Yeah, probably not.

Flume isn’t a very a sexy word.

The word dong is sexier – and dong isn’t very sexy at all.

Anyway, every morning I was expected to arrive at Six Flags at least forty-five (unpaid) minutes early. I needed the extra time to make my way “backstage,” get to my locker, order up a fresh costume, get dressed and make my way to the opposite side of the park where my ride was.

The costume in question, for those of us lucky enough to be stationed on The Loggers Run, was basically a pair of jeans so crazily tight that they not only made even the simplest movements impossible, but also put the baby elephant trunk and marbles on display for anyone sneaking a glance.

I also had to slide into a brown shirt made of an odd feltly (which isn’t a word) material, with an oversized collar and a neckline that plunged so deep it exposed far more of my doughy, sporadically-haired chest area than anyone wanted exposed.

Don’t get me wrong, the shirt looked bonkers great on the female employees – so great it made wearing those tight jeans all the more difficult.

It might have even worked on a muscular dude.

I don’t make judgments.

Putting my man boobs on display was a terrible idea though. It’s always been a terrible idea and it’ll always be a terrible idea.

My moobs are like religious cults and the Kardashians.

The thing about working at Great America (and I imagine this the same at all theme parks) is that people in the park have paid large sums of money for their tickets, and because of that they seem to think they own the damn place.

Dropping fifty bucks doesn’t make you a king and it sure as shit doesn’t give you the right to act like an idiot. Sorry. It just doesn’t.

Dropping a thousand bucks doesn’t give you that right.

Dropping a million bucks might.

Let’s test it.

Someone drop me a million bucks and treat me like shit.

The question I was most commonly asked while working was, "Can we ride again?“
My answer was always, "No, I'm sorry, you'll have to get back in line."

The response to my no was usually something along the lines of, "That's a fucking stupid policy! Come on! Just let us ride again! It’s not gonna hurt anything! Don’t be such a little prick, you little prick fuck!"

Okay, maybe there wasn’t so many “pricks” or “fucks,” but you get my point.

This happened every day - for eleven hours a day – nonstop.

It was nauseating.

Working at Six Flags was a marathon. It required fortitude of will and an uncanny ability to keep my emotions at bay. I was constantly fighting the urge to grab every one of the ride again idiots by their shirt collars and scream in their faces, “I make seven dollars an hour! Seven measly dollars!”

I pictured myself squeezing their necks until their eyes bulged and their faces began to turn as purple and blue as the tip of a penis moments before release.

I imagined myself knocking them to the ground, lifting my boot and stomping it into their groin. “I don’t make decisions, you moron! I make seven dollars an hour to not make decisions! If I let you get on that boat, I get fired, and if I get fired I make zero dollars an hour!”

I wanted to wrap my fingers around their necks one more time, and squeeze until my knuckles turned white. I wanted to squeeze so hard their heads exploded and their brain matter fell from the heavens like rain.

It would have been so beautiful and freeing.

It would have been the end of The Shawshank Redemption brought to life in Gurnee, Illinois.

For example, take the conversation I was having with this large 240, 250lb guy at the beginning of this story. The guy's boat had just pulled into the station with himself, a woman I assumed was his wife, and his two kids sitting behind.

I had about ninety seconds once a boat pulled into the station, to get the old riders out and the new riders in before it cycled and was shot out of the loading area.

This guy was going to push that ninety seconds to the max.

"Can we ride again?"

"No, sorry. You'll have to get back in line."

"But there's only like fifteen people in line! Come on, big guy. Let us go one more time. Be a pal. What’s it gonna hurt?"

"I'm, sorry. You'll have to get back in line."

“You know what? Fuck it. Fuck you too! This is so fucking stupid! There's no one in line and you're gonna make us get out and walk all the way around in order to ride again? Are you fucking nuts? Gimmie a break!"

"I'm sorry, sir."

"No you’re not. If you were sorry you’d just let us stay in the Goddamn boat! This is so stupid! It’s fucking insane! Come on kids, the asshole is going to make us get off and walk all the way around to get back on."

"I'm sorry I've set a bad example for your children."

"Excuse me?"

I was being a smart ass. I knew I was doing it and I didn’t care. The end of my rope had been reached and it was slathered in grease. I was sick of climbing. I didn’t even want to hold on anymore. Maybe I should have just kept my mouth shut, but it had been a particularly long and especially annoying day.

I blame the Warner Bros. Corporation more than myself on this one.

"What?"

"Did you just say that I'm setting a bad example for my children? Because I haven't done anything wrong here, you're the jackass who won't let my family ride again even though there’s no one in line!"

The guy’s kids and wife had already got out of the boat. They were heading for the exit to and yet this guy refused to move. He was sitting there, soaking wet, and arguing with a sixteen year-old kid about something the kid obviously had no control over.

His wife grabbed him by the arm. "Come on Fred. Just forget about it. Let's go." Fred shucked her away.

His face redder than the rear end of a well-spanked gimp, AngryFred slammed his hand on the front of the boat. "No! Who does this little prick think he is? I'm not forgetting about anything!"

His boat was rapidly nearing the halfway point. My supervisor noticed there was a problem and decided to intervene. "Is there a problem here, sir?"

"Yes there's a fucking problem! All my family and I wanted to do was ride again and this little dickface won't let us!”

Dickface?

I always thought I was more of a vagina face, myself.

“Plus he's giving me lip! This is what I paid good money for? Really?"

As Foul-MouthedFred screamed at my supervisor (who was seventeen years-old) I noticed that his boat was nearing the Critical Loading Point.

Ooh. Sounds dangerous, doesn’t it?

Basically, the Critical Loading Point was the spot at which we were no longer allowed to load guests on the boat because they might slip and fall, and possibly die.

Or worse, they might slip and fall, and possibly sue.

StubbornFred was intent on remaining exactly where he was. He wasn’t going anywhere. This was his battle for the day and damn it, he was going to win it!

He motioned for his kids to hop in the boat with him and barked, "Danny! Jessie! Get back in, we're going on again!"

His wife buried her head in her hands, grabbed the little girl (who I assume was Jessie) by her wrist and headed for the exit. Though he looked terrified, Danny hopped in the boat alongside his father moments before it left the loading station.

Fred assumed he’d won.  He believed he’d beaten the sixteen year-old punk with the smart mouth, and the sixteen year-old punk's seventeen year-old supervisor in their disgustingly low shirts and super-tight jeans.

He was proud. It was his greatest accomplishment. It was something to tell the boys at work about and it was going to make a bonkers-fantastic story at the next Bar-B-Queue.

He was excited and he was happy, he was laughing his ass off.

StupidFred leaned over and gave his son a pre-ride noogie. He pumped his fist and readied himself to get soaked again!

He was getting his fifty bucks worth! Rules and common sense, and basic human decency had been tossed out the window and he couldn’t have cared less!

This was the defining moment in Fred’s life - until I hit the ride stop button and a huge steel wall popped in front of his boat, anyway.

He wasn’t going anywhere.

Fred immediately turned to me. He leaned out of the boat, pointed a finger in my direction and screamed, "Fuck you! Fuck you, asshole!”

People are nuts.

It's as simple as that.

9 comments:

  1. HA! That's so awesome, and your deliver... genius.
    ~2

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  2. delivery too.. damn it.

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  3. Thanks for the chuckle - love your humor

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  4. @TOMARA - Genius? Lets not go nuts. I included the words "moobs." ;)

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  5. @MARY ANN - Thanks for the thanks! I only like my humor though. ;)

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  6. “Baby I'm gonna do you good with this here fume of mine.” is a hilarious, yet oddly appropriate for Goats and Cans, spelling error.

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  7. Yes! Don't you just love the "If I behave like a loud, colossal asshole, I will get my way, dammit!" mentality. As many times as I have seen and endured it, it still shocks and surprises me when it happens.

    Great blog!

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  8. @JESSE - I'd really consider that more of a typo

    Also, stop pointing out my typos.

    If you do that, we'll be here all day. ;)

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  9. @TENNILLE - I think the problem is that it actually ends up working more often than not. More people need to hit the ride stop button from time to time. ;)

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