Return to the Scene of the Coaster

This past weekend was our last fling of summer as a family.  Next weekend we pile in the car to deposit Finola at college and do college visits on the way back with Deirdre.  Our last familial fling of summer was spent at the amusement park where the teens and I celebrated my birthday.

Lesson learned.  No more roller coasters for me.  While waiting on the rest of the family to ride the coasters, several things came to my attention.
  1. There's a prominent sign at the park entrance that says "shirts, pants, and shoes must be worn at all times".  Does that exclude short pants, a.k.a. shorts?  What about skorts?  What about a dress?  Or what I was wearing - an actual skirt?
  2. A different sign at the bumper cars says to remove all earrings before riding.  Why?  Are earrings more conductive than rings, watches, bracelets, or necklaces?
  3. Several rides have a demo seat at the beginning of the ride for people to try to buckle themselves into and see if they're too large for the ride.  Why do people wait in the line and then embarrass themselves by having to be told by the cast member that they're too big to ride rather than try the seat out before waiting in line?
  4. If you don't want to eat meat, there aren't too many choices for meals.  What if I don't want a salad or a slice of cheese pizza?
  5. There's only one Disney.  Why do parks try to have a back story for the rides if there's really no story?  And why do parks try to emulate certain Disney rides knowing that they'll fall far short?
  6. Having someone in a wheelchair gets you to the front of the line ahead of everyone else.  Does that mean that you can fake an illness or injury, have a friend push you around all day, and jump to the front of the line just because you want to jump line?  'Cause there were a ton of healthy looking teens who would bound out of their wheelchairs and walk to the coaster seat then run back to their chairs after the ride ended.  Excuse me.  Can't you wait in line like the rest of us?
  7. The war is over.  Or at least war fatigue has set in.  Gone are the ticket booths reserved solely for service members.  Gone are the tributes to the military throughout the park.  Even though there are numerous military bases within an hour's drive. 
  8. Americans are fat. 
What is really sad about that last one is watching tubby ten-year-olds carrying a refillable Double Super Big Gulp-sized soft drink around while their grossly obese parents stuff themselves into a mobility scooter because their girth makes walking too hard on their hearts and lungs. 

During an extremely long wait for the family on one coaster, I decided to count the number of thin to average kids versus those with mini-muffin tops and big bowls of jelly.  Grand total:  kids without bellies - 2, kids with bellies that pooched out - 38.  Somehow I don't think any of those 38 tummies was distended due to malnourishment.  Not when you get free refills on soft drinks but have to pay $3 for each bottle of cold water.

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