Great America

I have told this story before to random people, about how my buddy and I became best friends. I just brought this story up again to one of my brother’s friends, who was in town visiting from Minnesota. We were talking about, where all our old pals were and what they were doing now. My mom was just sitting there fucking smiling at the kitchen table, enjoying all our tales.

It was Summer 1995 and I was going into 8th grade. I was apart of a super fucking cool Junior High clique. There was eight of us. We all got along fine, with some drama of course. I had two-three best buddies in the clique. They were the ones I called first for everything. Now, I thought had high rank in the clique. How could I not be with this picture? 

One day, my mom told my younger brother and I, that she would take us to Great America. Are you fucking kidding me? AND we could invite a friend. WHAT?!This is AMAZING!!! My brother and I screamed like little girls with excitement. Now, he is going into 6th grade, wearing sweat pants and Anfernee Hardaway jerseys. Such a fucking no, no, no going into Junior High with sweatpants. I kept telling him that. Anyways…

I immediately run to the phone and dial my number #1 in the clique. (I don’t know why the fuck this line is small…tech issues, I can’t fix it.)

Me: “Hey Friend #1, oh my God…my Mom is taking me go to Great America tomorrow and I can invite one friend. Do you want to go!?” I have a high pitch voice.

Friend #1: “Ummmmm, let me check with my Mom.” She doesn’t sound too excited and puts the phone down. I wait…I’m so excited and can’t wait to hear her response. She comes back. “Sorry Christine, I can’t go.” 

Me: “Oh really?” I’m kinda of shocked. “Oh, that’s okay.” 

That’s fine…everyone has shit going on. Now, I’m calling my friend #2 from the group.

Me: “Hey Friend #2, it’s me Christine. Guess What?”

Friend #2: “What?!”

Me: “My mom said I can take one friend to Great America tomorrow. Can you go?” I squeal with excitement!

Friend #2: “Ugh let me check with my mom.” She puts her hand over the phone and can hear some chatter in the background, again I wait…”Sorry Christine, I can’t go.” 

Me: “Oh that’s okay. Alright, I will talk to you later.” 

Friend #2: “Bye.”

Wow, what is going on? Summer sports are done, school is around the corner, and the only thing to do is go to the pool and hang…okay, okay, okay…who’s my #3? I got it. I dial #3’s number on my home phone. 

Me: “Hey #3, I wanted to know if you wanted to go to Great America tomorrow?” I have less excitement in my voice and hoping she can go. 

Friend #3: “Ohh wow…okay, let me ask my mom.” Again the phone gets set down, I patiently wait. She comes back to the phone. “Sorry, Christine…Friend #1 took myself and friend #2 to Great America yesterday. My mom said I can’t go.” 

Me: “Ohhh, okay. Bye.” I hang up. WTF?! 

I am in complete shock and can’t believe I’ve dropped in ranks of the clique. Holy shit, my life is fucking over. My eyes well up a bit and I tell my mom how #1, #2, and #3 can’t go and went to Great America yesterday. My moms lips tighten a bit, she looks at me and says…”what about buddy?” I think for a minute. I am not super close to buddy in the clique, but buddy is cool. Okay, I really hope she is available. I compose myself. 

I pick up the phone and dial buddy’s number. 

Me: “Hey buddy, it’s me Christine.” She probably already knows that from caller ID.

Buddy: “Hey Christine, how are you?” Little strange for us to be talking, because I never really call her. 

Me: “Umm so, my mom said my brother and I could bring one friend to Great America tomorrow. Would you like to go?” I sounded like I asked her on a date. Now, I’m holding my breathe for a second, not keeping my hopes up.

Buddy: “Oh that’s awesome, let me check.” She hurries and puts the phone down. This could be promising. She came back running so fast. “My mom said yes!”

Me: “What? Yes?!” FUCK YEA! 

Buddy: “Yes!” 

Me: “OH MY GOD…we are going to have so much fun!” She said YES. Then I threw Friend #1, #2, and #3 under the bus. “Did you know that Friend #1, #2, and #3 went to Great America yesterday and we were not invited.” 

Buddy: “What? Are you kidding me?”

Me: “Nope. Yea can you believe them?”

Buddy: “Wow, I can’t believe it.” 

Me: “Right?” Junior High can be brutal. I was kind, sad, happy, and mean all in one morning.

The next day was here!!! 

We drove to Great America with my buddy, my younger brother, and his friend. My mom paid for us to get in. Literally she walked in for 10 minutes. We started throwing shit in a locker by the bathrooms. 

Mom: “Okay it’s 10:00 am, here is some money. You buy your own lunch. I will meet you at the Western Shootout at 4:00 pm. You meet me there at the end of your day.” 

Me: “Oh, okay. You’re not walking around with us?”

Mom: “No, I will be around.” We only had our watches. 

Great! We were so excited and started walking/running to the first rollercoaster. WIZZER!!! Heart is pumping with excitement. It’s a little zippy ride to get us going, NOW ONTO THE BIG FUCKING RIDES! We stood in the longest lines and couldn’t wait for the next. The lines were sweaty. Come to think of it…the lines were fucking gross with every railing we touched…

It’s been a day and it is now the afternoon, finally made it to The Great American Eagle ride. This old roller coaster is made of wood compared to the new metal rides. It was fast, rickety, and fucking scary. It had weathered wood, old parts, and not a lot of safety concerns. Come to think of it, felt like a death. 

We climb into ride and pull the single bar down. It starts and we are all fucking similing. It’s chugging up the big hill and keeps getting louder. Our butts are jolting with each tug. There is nothing smooth about this ride. We get to the top and fly down the big hill and see the lights flash and our picture was taken. 

We make a turn and my buddy and I fly to one side. My ribs are digging into the car and my buddy is smashing me. Suddenly flung the other way, now I’ve smashed my buddy. The ride does a few fast dips and it’s over. It’s exciting, but I find myself rubbing my side. Fuck, that hurt. 

We jump off and run to see the picture from the ride. We watch the screen slowly load. Oh shit…here comes our faces…oh the excitement…I start staring, seeing something, squinting, is that a middle finger? We see my brother’s friend flicking off the camera, smiling, and celebrating the fall of the rollercoaster. He has two middle fingers up saying fuck you world, as we are all screaming with hair flying through the wind. 

Omg. Did he just do that? Little confused by this. Then we started to point and laugh a bit. Holy shit, he’s crazy. 

This security guy comes walking over. He looks at my brothers friend. 

Security Guy: “Is this you in the picture?” 

Brother’s Friend: “Ugh yea.” 

Holy fuck we are in so much trouble. I’m nervous. My face is red. 

Security Guy: “Are you with a parent?” I was standing there. 

Me: “Ugh, My mom?” It’s like I guessed it, hoping my answer was right. I was too scared to talk. 

Security Guy: “If you ever do something like that again, you’re kicked off the ride for good.”

We walk away. Holy shit, that was scary. My brother and his friend are laughing so hard. I became this huge rule follower and started to yell at them, they were not listening. Whatever, I just rolled my eyes. My buddy’s eyes were fucking huge and wide like saucers. Great, let’s hope we don’t get kicked off any other rides. 

The day was fucking hot, it was almost time to meet my mom. We need a cool off and went to the mist sprayer. It’s weird how satisfying and not satisfying it is. Made me feel more wet, but still hot. My brother’s friend starts to walk through and then needed to go to the bathroom. He is walking weird and suddenly, a small shit fell out of his shorts onto the pavement. Wtf?

My brother is dying laughing and falls to the ground. He can’t compose himself. My buddy and I get out of the mist spray. Jesus Christ. 

Brother: “Omg, did you see that?”

Me: “What was he doing?” 

Brother: “My friend just shit his pants.” Still laughing so hard.  

Me: “That is so gross.” There’s a little piece of shit on the pavement. My buddy’s eyes are super fucking wide this time. What is with this kid? We wait for him to get out of the bathroom. Could you imagine seeing a shit on the pavement at an amusement park? What if you stepped in it.

It’s 4:00 pm we walk to the western show. My mom is sitting there eating a funnel cake. 

Mom: “How was your day?”

Me: “It was fun, but brother’s friend flicked off the camera on the American Eagle and shit his pants.”

Mom: “Wait, what?”

Me: “Yea.” Even her eyes bugged out of her head.

Mom: “Where is he now?”

Me: “Probably still wiping his ass. I don’t know.”   

Mom: “Wow, okay…well I watched this western shootout already twice and it’s pretty good.” As we are watching it, she precedes to tell us everything happening before it happens. 

When it’s over…we walk to the car and the day is over. 

Now, bare with me and flash forward to November 2021…

26 years later.

I’m telling this short version of this story to my brother’s other friend who was not there. We had some laughs about it. Suddenly my mom, who is sitting at the Kitchen table chirps up. 

Mom: “Oh man, I was so hungover that day and slept in the car in the parking lot.” 

Me: “Wait, what?”

Mom: “Yea, I felt terrible that morning, you and your brother were so set on going. I couldn’t back down, so I checked you in, then walked back to the car to sleep.” 

Me: “Are you fucking kidding me?” 

Mom: “No.” 

Other Friend: “Wow, Lainers.” Even he is a little stunned.

Me: “What happens if something happened to us?”

Mom: “Ummm I don’t know.” 

Me: “So what did you do the night before?”

Mom: “I have no idea, I can’t remember.” 

Me: “You have no idea what you did the night before, that made you take a nap in the car at Great America?” I guess this is a normal night for my mom.

Mom: “I don’t know. I just remember feeling so hungover the next day.” 

Me: “Wow. Okay then.” 

Mom: “Wait, what year was it?” 

Me: “1995.” 

Mom: “Okay, I think I was playing golf in Club Championship.” 

Me: “Did you win?”

Mom: “I don’t know, is there a trophy downstairs?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

That is the day, my best buddy and I became best friends. Weeks later, we found the 1995 golf year book. It was confirmed my mom did not place. She just was fucking hungover. Go Mom!

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