For some reason birds really enjoy pooping on Ferris wheels. It’s like a game to them. The downside of knowing how to operate the Ferris wheel is that it means you’re qualified to help clean bird poop off it.
I apologize for not having written in a couple months. I have been quite busy with a possible move to Fargo, North Dakota. (I know, right?!) But now we’re maybe not and actually I might end up working at Oaks Park again. Who knows. I’m sure you have all been anxiously awaiting a post such as this. So don’t worry. The agonizing wait is over.
"Can I ask you a personal question?" one of my coworkers asked.
"Are you a lesbian?"
"Good for you!"
I couldn’t figure out what prompted her to ask that. I wasn’t doing anything especially gay. I was just enthusiastically unlatching lapbars. Straight people can be enthusiastic too.
A few minutes before she asked me I was actually playing a game in my head. I started with the phrase, “This is gayer than…” and then I was trying to end it in the gayest way possible. My favorite one was “This is gayer that Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O’Donnell mud-wrestling.” But she couldn’t have known that’s what I was thinking about.
As we were walking out of the park I asked her how she knew and she just laughed at me. Really hard.
Every morning before the park opened we’d have our ride meeting and I liked to imagine that we were a giant football team, dressed in polos and odd Hawaiian shirts.
"Okay guys, here’s the drill. We’re going to check those heights! We’re going to listen for strange noises! And we’re going to stay hydrated!"
TEN SET HUT!
We got in trouble for one of our Ranger Theater shows once, because we let some of the children play in the PRETEND campfire during the show.
Luckily they didn’t get PRETEND burned.
Having a large shovel center stage during a show is a comedy bit waiting to happen.
One day I was working on the Go Karts and one of the other ride operators was of duty and came to ride them. She sat down and said, “Excuse me, ma’am, could you help me please?”
For one thing, she knows how to buckle her own seat belt. She worked there. And another thing, no one calls me ma’am. People could. But they don’t.
Then when I sat on the side of her car to help her reluctantly she grabbed her boobs and said, “You want to touch these don’t you?”
"What?" And then I dropped the seat belt.
"You can’t even buckle it!"
"You’re distracting me!"
I never really had a high school-like experience, until I worked at Oaks Park.
I know that lots of people think that amusement parks are places of utmost professionalism. Well, if you’re one of those people let me be the first to tell you that sometimes they’re not.
One time a guy tried to leave his giant inflatable cell phone on my platform. It was ridiculous. Who are you going to call with a giant blowup cell phone? A giant blowfish?!
On my worst break ever I was walking back to the breakroom with Celeste and then this random woman puked on me. She was just walking down the midway and then she puked. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"Bleaagggh!" she said.
"Ugh!" I replied. But I don’t think she heard me because she was distracted.
Every time Celeste walked with me afterwards that day she’d warn me to watch out for pukers.
I took an extra long break, because I didn’t think washing puke off myself should count at a break.
I texted my close friend Ginny and told her about it. I had to cope somehow.
"WOW HEY AWESOME! Congratulations!" Ginny replied.
"Break" is a confusing word at an amusement park. The employees take breaks. Sometimes the rides break. And the rides have brakes.
I rode rides a lot my second year working there. Almost every other day I’d hang out and ride rides. It was free! Why not?
But one I day rode the Spider with my friend Ranger Stephanie and for some reason our cart would just not stop spinning. They’re meant to spin, but I’d never had it spin constantly before. It hurt.
I kept trying to lean my head the other way, but then it would just hit the back of the seat. Eventually I just curled up in a fetal position on Stephanie and whimpered til the ride was over.
My neck was sore for like a week.