I hadn’t been to an amusement park in over 4 years. Yesterday, I bit the bullet and went with my family to Universal Studios. The park seemed more abhorrent than my memories of going there in the 1970s and going there for my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah in 2002.
The 2018 incarnation of the park reeked of Las Vegas money-grabbing, subpar overpriced restaurants, wannabe boat cruise entertainers donned in epaulettes and moth-ball smelling gaucherie who constantly massaged their handlebar mustaches and spoke in fake French accents. Worst of all, I stood in line for 45 minutes to go on the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey. As I sat in a cramped seat, a metal bar lowered and clamped down on my chest and torso, resulting in shortness of breath and a claustrophobia attack. The conveyor belt ushered me into a tunnel of darkness as I breathlessly and feebly cried for the engineer to stop the ride. Complete madness, heart attack, or both surely awaited me.
But strangers nearby, observing my unhappy state, cried in unison so that the engineer was at last alerted that a maniac needed to get off the ride. The conveyor belt stopped, a tall smiling usher about my age approached me. I sheepishly smiled at him and said, “Do you need to speak to me in the debriefing room?”
He chuckled and with an ashen spirit I exited the park knowing I had thrown a wrench in Universal Studios’ well-oiled ride machine all the while knowing that regardless of all my kettlebell training and strict dieting that I will never have the aptitude to be a Special-Ops fighter, an astronaut, a jiu-jitsu specialist, or some other profession that requires my body being pinned into close quarters.