Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tilt A Whirl Hell

Our vacation got off to a smooth start, by which I mean: we managed to take the dogs to the kennel and then leave on the same day we intended to. It’s important to appreciate the small achievements as well as the big ones.

We drove throughout the day, or, I should say, the charming husband drove throughout the day and I played with my iPad, napped, read random road signs, provided a running commentary on the landscape, and did my very best to make charming husband’s vacation a delightful journey. He may scoff at that description, but since I’m the one writing, I get to say what I want.

We stopped in Spokane for the night, mostly because it’s a convenient place to stop.
Let me back up. Here’s the thing. I’ve been meaning to schedule a trip to Montana to visit my stepfather, but since I have a history of eventful journeys I was a bit hesitant. For three of the last four trips the following has happened: I ran into a deer, crippling it and making me cry; I blew a tire in Spokane, on the freeway, on a Sunday when nothing was open; and so on the last trip I took the train, figuring I’d at least be safe that way.

And so the last trip my knee went completely bonkers, and I was unable to walk without pain.

This time, charming husband said he’d come along, and we’d make a vacation out of it. He acts all nice and everything, but I know he just didn’t want to come get me out of the hospital or jail this trip.

Anyway. So we stopped in Spokane without incident, and the next day we went to Silverwood, a theme park in Idaho.

Charming husband loves theme parks. Disneyland is his favorite of course, but Silverwood has roller coasters and is on the way to Montana, so it fit our needs well.

After our last trip to Silverwood I swore off roller coasters, but I’m happy to wander around while he amuses himself on them.

It was a beautiful day in Idaho. Sunny blue skies, warm but not overly hot, slightly breezy, just the kind of Labor Day weekend we always hope for but never get. Shortly after arriving at Silverwood, before we’d done anything other than wander around, we came upon the Tilt A Whirl.

I grew up on Tilt A Whirls. Every year there was a carnival in the local park, and the Tilt A Whirl was a standard, as it has been for many years in many places. When asked, I said, 

“Sure, let’s go on it.”

We stood in line underneath the warm sun, watching the little kids get more and more excited the closer they got to getting on the ride, and even though I felt a twinge of trepidation, I decided it was silly, and at last it was our turn. (It wasn’t that long of a wait, but I’m trying to inject some suspense.) I joked with the attendant that I was escorting charming husband so he could go on the ride. Poor husband puts up with a lot from me.

We sat in our car, and the ride started, and wasn’t that fun? Just like the Tilt A Whirl of yore, back when I was smaller and lithe and not on enough medications to kill a horse, if one wanted to kill a horse by overmedicating said horse. Not that I’m overmedicated, but I’m certainly well medicated.

And as we spun around I started to feel something other than nostalgia start up in my stomach. Innocent harmless butterflies at first, the sudden empty feeling that lets me know that trouble is headed my way, and then, as we kept circling and spinning and whizzing around, I prayed for the ride to stop. Despite my normally heathen nature, despite times call for desperate measures.

It didn’t stop, it just kept going around and around, and the butterflies turned into moths, and then into dragons, and if you’ve never had dragons roaring through your stomach, lucky you, and I hope you never do. I put my hand over my mouth in what I knew would be a futile attempt at containing what was coming up, but I had to try, didn’t I? I kept my hand stuck over my mouth, and as my mouth filled with what had earlier been breakfast (I assume), we kept spinning.

As we whipped past the attendant she asked if I was okay. Or so I’ve been told, I was focused on not spilling my guts as we whirled because that would definitely be a disaster. I could picture it, as I held it in, vomit spewing in slow motion as we continued to spin, a toxic waste dump that could contaminate everyone we flew by, or past, or anyone who followed.

The Tilt A Whirl, that demon ride, started to slow, and as it started to slow I started to retch, and as it came to a stop I threw up everything in my mouth into my hands, making a special effort not to get any on myself.

So there I was, vomit in my hands, and on me, and feeling like I could do it again, easily, with no provocation at all, and the attendant gave us a disposable towel, something they probably keep on hand for those riders who underestimate their abilities, and I emptied my hands into it. Everyone else was off the ride by the time I managed to stand up and wobble to the exit, where I promptly bent over so I could retch into the pretty foliage.
Poor charming husband, trying to take care of me, so worried.

“I need a restroom,” I said, “And I need it now.”

Or, alternatively, “Get me the hell out of here.”

I don’t really remember.

After I cleaned myself up and got some water, I told charming husband to go ride some coasters, and I would sit on the grass in the shade under the trees, and then I insisted he go, since I hadn’t gone through all this only for him to miss the roller coasters, since he was focused on how I felt instead of what he was supposed to focus on, which was Having Fun.

So he went, and I laid down on the grass, at the top of a grassy knoll, where I could have a good view of anyone coming my way, and I closed my eyes.

I stayed that way for a long time. I moved to get up once, but my stomach didn’t want to come along, so I stayed until I felt human again.

It happens eventually, the returning to a human state.

I don’t know if it’s the massive quantities of meds I’m currently taking, but charming husband is leaning in that direction. Could be – I used to never throw up, and I’m starting to make a habit of it. (By which I  mean, that was the second time this year, and we still have the last part of the year to go.)I once had a vomit free streak of like 10 years, and not that I was proud of it, but I never ever throw up. So I used to say. I think my stomach has just had enough of a lifetime of abuse and has decided to fight back.

Whatever it is, the Tilt A Whirl has taken on the patina of a demon, and I shall never get on one again.

We continued our vacation, and since then it’s proceeding as it should, by which I mean, there has been no more public vomiting. Yay me!

1 comment:

  1. I would have done the same thing-glad it's over :) Beth