Monday, May 24, 2010

And Speaking of Leaps to Stay Away From ...

The one ride neither Chelle nor I dared to try yesterday was the Xtreme Sky Flyer. In this photo, it looks like the St. Louis Arch! So at first I was thinking, "Was it that, a replica?" But it's just a bunch of steel braces with no way to get up into it (like the St. Louis Arch, which I once visited, by the way, but when I saw the line, I said, "Not worth the wait." When I lived in Iowa City, a friend of mine lived briefly in St. Louis working as an editor at what was then the CV Mosby textbook company. I freelanced for her, so I'd take occasional trips down to that city to visit her. She couldn't wait to get out of there. Ice storms, blight, a gray unappealing brewtown, home to Anheuser-Busch. The only other person I've ever known from St. Louis grew up there and could not wait to leave, either. The lesbian community was just weird there. I went to some bar once with my friend and with another woman who was a med student at Washington University (who, now that I think of it, also couldn't wait to finish her degree and leave!) It was the dead of winter and my friend, Pat, was chortling over how the lesbians there that she knew professionally bought furs that they brought out of storage to wear in the cold weather. Pat was more your leather jacket kinda gal who doesn't have a problem with black folks. She always said the best thing to ever come out of St. Louis was the barbecue, and even that they stole from Kansas City.)

(And Christy, I know you're from the St. Louis area, so this is not a slam of you. Your very presence improves that town. Smile.)

But I'm digressing anyway. (Actually I'm postponing grading papers, if you must know the truth.) Back to the ride. The things in the photo are just the support system for this ride that is, essentially, a fake skydiving experience. They strap several people into a harness and slingshot them into the air. It's hard to describe. Not only was I not about to give that a try (I'd rather have sex with a mule!), you had to pay extra for the experience (you get a video of your ride). To really appreciate it, here is one of the videos from Youtube:

All I have to say about this ride is that I'm glad I'm sober now because if I'd had a few drinks in me, I might've been foolish enough to give that thing a shot. Have I mentioned lately how glad I am to have been restored to sanity? Impulsivity is a lot like being shot out across the air in this ride. Nine times out of ten, you'll just land in the bushes and get scratched up all over (if you're lucky).

There but for the grace of God go I.

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