Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Amusement Park Memory

My buddy Jeff took me to the local (seventy miles away) amusement park today, since he has an odd number in his family and (wisely) thought it would be easier if an even number was going. We had a lot of fun and I was very happy to have been his plus-one for the day.

There's a ride called the Tidal Wave there that's like a pendulum, going back and forth and filling ye olde genitals with a not unpleasant falling sensation. I used to be able to ride it endlessly . . . before the dark times, before the Empire. But riding it today, I was reminded of a time not too many years ago when a couple friends of mine and I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain together and rode their equivalent ride.

It was Matthew, MacDonald, and me, and we spent the whole day enjoying the rides, the California sun, and the idea of wringing the last drops of joy from our youth. Well, not Matthew, since he was a dozen years younger than MacDonald, but still more mature than both of us.

I was delighted to see a Tidal Wave-esque ride there, and demanded we all get on it. We sat down on the farthest seat to the back, since that's where you get the best bang for your buck as it were, and couldn't help but notice a couple of hot young girls sitting in the opposite row on the other side. These were California teenagers, glamorous, well-to-do, as beautiful as any Iowa teen girl, only more sophisticated.


As the ride began to swing back and forth, my eyes naturally went to the girls, and to my surprise, one of them, a brunette with long brown hair (who I choose to remember as an attainable sixteen year old Phoebe Cates . . . since it's my memory and I can do what I want with it), was looking in our direction. Her eyes met mine, and she smiled.

I know what you're thinking, and go to hell. This is my story, and I can tell it if I want to. Just save me a spot there among the demons and Disco gods, I'll be there in due time.

The teen girl whooped when the ride tells you to whoop, but then looked at me again, grinning a perfect orthodontist's masterpiece of a smile. I looked too. She was actually making eye contact . . . with me, Rish Benjamin Outfield, the only guy not to get some at spring break in Tijuana.

Well, to have a pretty young thing give me a smile was every bit as exhilarating as the park ride (as any park ride, honestly). The whole time, until it ended, she would glance in my direction, sometimes smiling, sometimes laughing, and whatever blink-and-you-miss-it pop group playing over the speakers had become the fudgin' Righteous Brothers.

As all things do, the ride came to a stop, and everybody filed off to go their separate ways. I looked for the girl, but she had places to go and other men's hearts to melt. Still, I was grinning like a Smilex victim until my buddy MacDonald said, "Wow, did you see that chick with the brown hair on the other side of the ride? She was totally checking me out!"

Sigh again.

I said it was an amusement part memory, not an amusing one.

Rish "Heartbreaker, Dreammaker, Lovetaker" Outfield

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