I won’t know who I am without it
It’s a paradox of life that the weekend must both start and end the week.
A while back I had planned on going home this weekend to visit the wonderful Six Flags Great America theme park, thereby using my season pass once again and thereby dilute the cost-per-visit value.
For the first time coming or going from Urbana, I was pulled over by an officer of the law.
Yup, the police pulled me over. It was down a road that links 57 and 55. I was going roughly 71 (or 68, depending on which cop you’ll take the story of) in a 55 MPH zone.
The first squad was actually driving the opposite way I was. Right after passing me he turned his lights on, did a rather illegal U-turn, and pulled me over.
He asked me for my name and registration, pointed out he clocked me at 68, and that I was exceeding the speed limit which was 55. He asked the typical speeding-ticket questions, where are you coming from, where are you going, and so on. He grabs my license and insurance and departs.
Then the other car pulls up. He had, apparently, been parked somewhere I drove by. He comes to the window, mentions that I was definately speeding and that he clocked me at 71. I repeat the same thing, more or less, I told the other officer — I understand I was speeding, I must have been paying less attention to my speed than I should have. I also say I understand it’s a wildlife conservation area and that it’s important to be careful in areas like this. I mention that I used to work for a park, and understand the dangers. He belittles my experience but agrees that generally it’s necessary to be very cautious where wildlife could be present.
Cop number one comes back and tells me he’ll just let me along my way once he runs my license number — as long as I haven’t had a ticket in the past year, I’ll be on my way.
Oopsie, I’ve had a ticket in the past year. I don’t have time to think about this though, oh no!
My car violently shakes and I realize that something has struck the front driver’s side of my car.
It was the second cop.
“Yeah, looks like your tire up there’s a little low. You might want to look at that and get some more air in there.”
I thank him, although I think it’s obvious at this point I’m clearly startled because he just kicked my car with no warning.
He kicks it again.
The first cop comes back, hands me my license and insurance and says I’m free to go along on my merry way. A small relief, but at this point I still think the other officer might be insane.
I thank them both, assure them I’ll check my air pressure, and I’m on my way without a ticket.
Yay! Yay for no tickets! Yay for ME!
I got home shortly after that (around 1:15 in the morning — late). I went more or less right to bed; I had to get up at 7 to get ready to go to Great America. To drive to Great America. Because 4 hours back and forth to Urbana is just not enough driving for me.
Great America was packed. Insanely so. Especially for a rather cold day, and also because fright fest sucks more than it did last time I went, and it was pretty crappy then.
At the park 8 hours, rode 4 rides (Superman, Eagle Backwards, Deja Vu, Superman again). Superman is super-fantastic in the absolute last car. Somehow it manages to be completely different than any other coaster.
Eagle Backwards (the car all the way in the back, which is the ‘front’ car because it’s on the track backwards) actually surprised me. Despite the massive number of times I have ridden it — I just didn’t know what to expect. Several of the hills caught me off-guard. Always a good thing.
Deja Vu is the most unsafe feeling roller coaster ever. There’s just far too much ‘dangle’. Despite being similar in that aspect to Vertical Velocity, V2 feels so much safer (same, actually, for Superman).
Speaking of Superman again — Superman has these leg restraints that actually hold your legs in place — you’re basically shackled in. Some idiot decided it’d be funny to make it look like he was shackled without actually being shackled.
They noticed this when the car was halfway up the hill.
They had to emergency stop the ride, raise up this little cart so they could get to him, release his foot holds, and re-engage them with feet. This took roughly a half our because he felt like riding on the edge.
Mostly everyone was cursing at this man, especially the people on the train with him, who were basically dangling face down over, well, a 150 foot drop to the ground. Kind of spooky and really uncomfortable.
To make it up to them, they let them ride twice — they just ran them straight through the station and up again. Of course, Idiot McI’mAJerk who left his feet to dangle got to ride a second time as well. A most profound injustice, if you ask me, because he wasted a half hour of my life.
Bah. Oh well. I asked the attendant when we were boarding if there were any rules I could break to ride twice, but he didn’t really like my question.