People Shouldn't Ride Roller Coasters


Everything is stupid, and so are we. Welcome to Jezebel’s Stupidest Summer Ever, a season-long celebration of our worst, most idiotic thoughts and opinions.

The music video for Mariah Carey’s fun summertime classic “Fantasy” takes place at Rye’s Playland Amusement Park in Rye, New York. Mariah rollerblades around the boardwalk in daisy dukes and knee pads (safety first!) and cheeses while riding a roller coaster. The video is one of the most convincing arguments for why roller coasters can be fun and thrilling. The air looks crisp, the sun is bright, and the lens is beautiful and blurry. It’s an adventure. But notice something about the shots of Mariah on the rollercoaster—the empty seat next to her.

Could it be that the empty seat is a metaphorical placeholder for her dream lover? Or could it be that empty seat is a representation of the wise amusement park-goer who decided not to ride the rollercoaster that day? I vote the latter.

Every summer of my youth, the teens around me would get giddy with anticipation about hitting up Six Flags Great Adventures to ride whatever new sensation was being advertised—the fastest rollercoaster in the nation, the ride that would make you vomit in perpetuity, etcetera. The fun, it seemed, was in subjecting ourselves to a rush of adrenaline that could only theoretically come from spiraling through the air in a small seat or being dropped from thousands of feet in a free fall. However, each visit to Great Adventure filled me with dread as I exhibited the kind of caution and weariness reserved for grandparents; beset with fear that the ride was too unsafe, or that my seatbelt wasn’t tight enough. (Any time there’s news of an accident these days, I say to myself, “See…”)

Ultimately, I didn’t want to look like a wuss in front of friends and thus succumbed to peer pressure. But going on the Nitro at Great Adventures, I remember looking at the seatbelt strap and asking, “This is it???!!” You can guess what happened: the ride turned out fine. I’m still here, typing this. The day I rode the Kingda Ka there was fine, too, and felt like an accomplishment—the ride was quick and simple. But it was also something I didn’t need, nor have a strong desire, to do.

Now, I’ve also been fearful of flying (in an airplane), but that’s something that’s essential to getting from place to place. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have to. My point is: people shouldn’t ride roller coasters. Sorry to blow your fun. Go head, call me Misses No Fun (that’s uncreative). Call me a scaredy cat (how old are you?). But guess what? Don’t need roller coasters. The thrill of adventure isn’t worth it. You can feel high from just getting high. Go ride a bike. It’s fun enough.

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