October

Amusement Park Rides: You’re Doing It Right!

My family goes to Universal Orlando twice a year.  We sweat our asses off Memorial Day week and then go back for the much more pleasant October weather and all the Halloween madness.  We have become Universal Orlando aficionados.  But it still took six years to get this right.

Some of you may think I’m drunk again.  I am not.  Go read this blog post I did last year about our sucky amusement park ride photo game.  I’ll wait.

Is everyone on the same theme park ride now?  Good.

This past Memorial Day vacation, we went to the park armed.  Specifically, Universal Studios Florida.  More specifically, armed with props.  Even more specifically, props to use on our favorite ride in that park, The Mummy.  We love The Mummy so damned much, we need help.  It’s just a super fun indoor roller coaster.

E kept telling me I needed to come up with ride photo props long before we LEFT for Orlando.  He kept telling me I needed to come up with props the entire week we were IN Orlando.  E is an engineer with a Master’s degree but he leaves the really important, life changing events like photo props to a college dropout (that would be me).  This is pivotal shit, people, but I think I did okay.

Our first attempt had E and the kids waving American flag glow sticks because why the hell not be patriotic and clever all at the same time for your amusement park ride photo?  Are you a commie or something?  An unfunny commie?  Anyway, my one job was to simply take a bite of some fruit while the fam was being all anti-commie.  If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you already know what I was eating, don’t you?

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The banana joke started on Facebook a few years ago when I was waiting in the parent car line to pick up Landon at the high school.  I was on a strict diet, at my lowest weight in 25 years (in a good way) and I was starving, damn it!  I’m not saying I’m hot or anything but you just don’t see a chick with magenta hair in the high school car line enthusiastically eating a banana very often.  Some Dads may have noticed.  A few Moms may have noticed.  That’s all I’m saying.  It was completely innocent but then I had to be a smart ass and post about it on Facebook.  I have never lived it down.  The banana and I are in this for life now.  I may as well change my Facebook relationship status to “In Relationship With Banana”.

I’m not really a rule breaker.  I know, that’s shocking to most of you.  I was terrified I was going to get kicked out of the park for breaking some unspoken No Fruit On Rides rule even though I had thoroughly read the posted rules numerous times beforehand and saw absolutely no mention of a fruit ban during the ride.  Still, I could actually see in my head, in super slow mo, the banana peel flying out of my hand and onto the track behind us.  You know how that story ends.  I didn’t want that body count on my ledger.  So, I took a really big bite of the banana as the photo flash went off and figured I could put the rest of the banana in my lap so the peel wouldn’t fly onto the tracks, causing the car passengers behind us certain comic yet tragic death.

This might be a good time to mention that I have a really good imagination and probably have seen too many Final Destination movies.  That movie franchise should totally check out the death by banana peel on a roller coaster scenario, though.  That would make a terrifyingly hilarious kick ass scene.

But I digress.  I tried to put the remaining banana in my lap but it hit the safety bar and landed in the seat.  We were pulling into the station where you exit the ride right then, where a park attendant cheers and applauds like you just single-handedly destroyed the damned Death Star.  I was so terrified of being caught with my fruity and phallic shaped contraband, I told my completely disease free body to go fuck itself, picked up the banana lounging casually where potentially thousands of people’s asses had been seated that day and ate that bastard as fast as I could.

I just threw up in my mouth a little.  I still can’t believe I did that.  I can’t believe I just revealed to y’all that I did that.

As we were exiting the ride, I shoved the banana peel into E’s hand like the traitorous little bitch I am and then walked ahead of him like I didn’t know him.  Do not count on me at a crime scene.  I will go full stool pigeon on your ass.  I had smashed banana all over my hand and smelled like a minion but they weren’t pinning that shit on me.  In the words of the great Johnny Cochran “If the banana doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”  Or something like that.

The American flags didn’t turn out so well because the flash washed out the glow but you can still see them.  As you can see, the banana and I were having a good time.  You can also see that E had his flag turned backwards.  Guess they didn’t teach that skill in engineering school, hmmm?  Or he’s a commie.

The minute we walked up to the photo booth to take a look at our picture, the employee called her manager over.  They both looked at their computer screen for a few moments.  I tried to inconspicuously lick the rest of the banana off my hand.  The manager started laughing and said “Y’all brought props!”  He was very cool.  We bought the banana/flag picture then went back out to the ride lockers to retrieve our next props.

The morning before we went to the park, I assigned Gracie and E the task of super gluing Uno cards together to make managing them on the ride easier.  I was scared shitless deeply moved seeing them perform this task together for damned well near a full hour.  The engineer and the National Honor Society student were not having some random, willy nilly card prop shit in their picture.  Oh, hell no.  I’m not sure what was involved in deciding which cards were glued to which other cards because I’m not smart enough to comprehend that fuckery but I know for a fact there was calculus involved and possibly some voodoo.

We retrieved our meticulously super glued Uno cards from the backpack and that’s when E decided he wanted to be the hottie with the banana in our next picture.  Yes, I had a backup banana ready to go if the first one failed.  I explained to him that the banana was my little inside joke.  I tried to discourage him from pulling a Single White Female on me but he was adamant and excited to use not only my backup banana for himself but also the Uno cards as his second picture prop.  Together.  At the same time.  Foreshadowing:  Karma is a bitch.

We headed back to the ride line.  I thoroughly read the ride rules once again just to make sure nothing had been changed from 15 minutes before.  I saw no signs of an Uno card with a big X drawn over it so I felt confident I’d be okay.  Single White Female and his banana were on their own.  Screw them.

The ride went perfectly and I felt really good about it.  E was just a little smoother with his banana disposal as we exited the ride but to be fair, he’d already learned from my mistakes.  Just saying.

Victorious, we marched down the exit ramp to take a look at our second picture.  The photo manager was already staring at the screen, laughing.  We assured him that was our last picture for the night.  As we gazed at our second picture, E held back sobs and I triumphantly shouted “Karma, baby!”  Karma truly is the biggest bitch of all because the Uno cards completely hid the backup banana in E’s mouth from view.

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I’m not sure if E is shitting himself, really enjoying that banana, pissed off at his Uno cards, or all of those at once in the above picture.  I respected his privacy and didn’t ask.

Seriously, this was a blast to do.  E was a good sport about the banana thing although he was disappointed that the Uno cards foiled his plans.  I hope our kids will look at these someday and remember how goofy and dorky their parents were and how much fun we had together.

Stay tuned as we hopefully top these during our Halloween trip in just a couple months!  If you have any props you’d like us to use, let me know in the comments or private message me if you don’t want it on record.  We are currently in the throes of ordering Halloween costumes for Mickey’s Not So Haunted Halloween party, which we will attend on October 29th this year.  If you want to see what we went as last year, click here.

Happy Weekend, y’all.

Don’t Cross The Streams, Damn It!

So I started watching this guy and his family, ViewFromTheCheapSeats, about a month ago for their Universal Orlando vlogs.  As some of you know, my family celebrates Halloween week in Orlando every year.  Yes, we are freaks but that’s not why we’re here tonight.

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that fall is my favorite season and I wait all damned year for the fall brews to arrive in stores.  Here’s a reminder if you don’t care about me at all and don’t listen to anything I say/write.  Douchebag.

If you’ve really been paying attention, are close friends with me and truly love me, you know I love the shit out of Butch Walker.  I haven’t blogged about him yet because really, it’s just too personal.  I can share all day long about my internet purchases of solar sex toys and Jack White but not Butch.  That’s where I draw the line.  Mostly because I still haven’t been able to see him in concert and he’s doing some shows with my other favorite singer of all time Ryan Adams and if I could see both of them at once the fucking universe would explode and right before it exploded, I’d be able to cross two – TWO!- whole things off my Concert Bucket List but the universe apparently hates my guts so I don’t get to see either of them yet, together or separately, and since I really don’t feel like going on a downward spiral with Jack Daniels tonight, we’ll just stop talking about this shit right now.

Everyone take a deep breath and calm down.

All these run-on sentences and shortness of breath were brought on because I was catching up on my YouTube subscriptions just now and ViewFromTheCheapSeats posted the video below, which seems completely harmless at first.  Candy, tacos, and pumpkin beer?  Hell yeah, I’m in.  His family is adorable but I’ll admit that I stuck around for the fall brew review.  That’s when the shit hit the fan and he had to cross the streams.  He crossed the streams, people!

I’m not even sure how I’m typing this right now because I’m 93% positive my head exploded but it is what it is.  Start watching at the 4:14 mark.  I’m warning you, though, go to the bathroom first, walk the dog, take your nighttime meds, give the kids a bath and kiss the love of your life goodnight because your mind is about to be blown.  You won’t be able to do anything else for the rest of the night, at least.  I mean, I’m just going to sit here and stare at my computer screen while drinking fall brews for the rest of the night as soon as I post this blog.

So y’all take off your Normal Caps and put on your Steph Caps (it’s the weird one you try to avoid, sitting over in your corner) and watch this video through my slightly crazed blue eyes.  4:14 mark.  You’ve been warned.  Go!  No, wait!  Be sure to also go to the 8:30 mark to see the end and the pictures that ultimately caused my cessation of brain function until at least tomorrow morning.

I have found my long lost twin.  We were separated at birth.  I know this in my heart.

You can take off the Steph Cap now.  Magenta really isn’t your color but I didn’t have the heart to tell you.

E has been gone on business all week and the struggle is real here at home as a temporary single mom but for tonight I have Butch Walker and fall brews.  Have a great week, y’all!