Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Adventures in Chaperoning

Hubby is a brave man. How do I know this? He drove a church bus full of young kids to Six Flags yesterday and spent the day with them. At 6’4” and 200 plus pounds, he can be a little intimidating, and for thirty years he wrangled criminals in a law enforcement job. But even that can’t fully prepare you for chaperoning kids on a trip. Hubby is licensed to drive a small bus so we end up chaperoning a lot of trips. In the last year we have followed young people down ski slopes, around three amusement parks and all over Washington, DC. It always proves to be an adventure.

For starters, somebody always throws up before the trip is over. Always. Always on the bus. Near the front. Where everyone has to walk. Someone always loses something important. Sometimes it’s an iPod or a wallet. Last year, on a trip with teenagers, it was pants. One of the kids hadn’t really traveled much and didn’t realize that buying a locker in the water park is worth the $6 because if you lay your pants on a concrete wall instead, someone will steal them. He wore swim trunks for two days. At least one kid in the bunch always spends all of his money way before the trip is over. He’s the kid who blows $90 on games trying to win a purple pimp hat and then has to eat off of $10 for two days. Speaking of hats, why does everybody have to get a goofy hat on those trips? Last year Hubby won a black and white spotted Viking hat with horns and braids because some park worker couldn’t guess his weight. Ever seen a 6’4” man in a Viking hat with rainbow braids? Well, you sure can’t miss him in a crowd. I’d post his picture, but I like living in my home and want to stay there.

The other scary thing about these outings is that you end up riding rides that you haven’t been on in years or really don’t want to get on. I’m kind of brave about some rides but really don’t like the stuff that launches you from 0 to 90 miles an hour in four seconds. I also can’t handle the spinning stuff. Puke city. But who wants to be a big scaredy cat in front of a bunch of kids. Not me, so I jump on, close my eyes and hold on tight. My pride lands me on things like the “Texas Tornado” and “Drop Zone”, and then it takes my nerves a few days to recover. Last year at King’s Island, I squelched my “you could get hurt on that thing” policy and climbed aboard several thrill rides. We closed down the park on our last night with a wild and rough ride on the “Son of Beast”. My joy at taming the “Beast” was short lived when the roller coaster halted in mid-ride the next day and seriously hurt several people. Apparently, our ride was one of the last few down the tracks before a beam broke and caused the accident. That was too close for comfort. See, you CAN get hurt on that stuff.

Yesterday’s trip was the first of three that he and/or I will take with kids this summer. Next month is King’s Island and Holiday World. I’m not sure what takes more courage, riding the rides or riding on a bus with teenagers.

1 comment:

janjanmom said...

I like a "no-spin zone" as well.( ;

Have you noticed roller coaster have gone from being a few flutters in the tummy to face rippling G-forces? What is that all about? I like a fun ride, not one that really could kill me.