It's a Roller Coaster Life

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A sunny day with just a slight breeze and the smell of funnel cakes and hot dogs around the amusement park: it’s a perfect day for roller coasters. However, after a three minute ride on the biggest roller coaster, that smell of funnel cakes and hot dogs will create a need to empty any remains of food from your stomach onto the ground. Yet year after year people spend a lot of money for the opportunity to ride the roller coaster over and over. Birthdays run along the same lines. There may have one bad birthday, yet year after year they come around. However, there is always the hope that the next one never seems quite as bad as the last.
Roller coasters are present worldwide. The two basic types of build are steel and wood. Wood is obviously older, but still reliable. Many wooden roller coasters are still running today. The degree of difficulty depends on the height, the speed, and the length of drop of the roller coaster. Many roller coasters also have loops, swirls, and massive drops. The fastest roller coaster is at Six Flags in New Jersey, 128 mph Kingda Ka. Kingda Ka is also the tallest roller coaster at 456 ft. and has the greatest drop of 418 Ft. The tallest roller coaster reminds me of the best birthday I ever had. I turned twelve and my parents helped me throw a Road Rally. I invited all the friends I had (only about 25 kids.) We had parents drive us around to perform the scavenger hunt. But, of course, all good birthdays have to be accompanied with the bad birthdays. For my thirteenth birthday, my family was moving to a new house, literally the day of my birthday, therefore I didn’t have a party. My presents were “the great benefits of a new house”, and the best pink sweater with an accompanying kitty purse, courtesy of my grandmother. Don’t get me wrong I love my grandmother, but, I don’t think you could convince a dog to wear that sweater.
New Roller coasters are being built every year in order to be bigger and better. Why do people keep coming back? The thrill of the ride? The pride of riding the coaster? Some excuses I’ve heard include, proving “manhood”, “to throw up funnel cakes,” “to prove my dad wrong,” and of course, “TO SCREAM!” or sometimes no reason at all. More and more people ride roller coasters every year, the increase from 2005 to 2006 was 5%. People of all ages are choosing to test their bravery with huge drops, fast cars, and big loops. Birthdays however aren’t by choice, regardless of whether or not we want to, we become a year older year after year. My dad constantly dreads his birthdays, he wouldn’t even tell my sister and I when his birthday was. My sister and I, on the other hand, love every birthday and count down the days. When younger you have many mile stones that require passing, such as finally being able to watch PG movies, able to drive, or go to rated R movies. Growing older, however, doesn’t always mean “over the hill”; instead it means becoming wiser and having another year of knowledge.
Now I realize that roller coasters may not affect our entire lives, but little effects stick with us at least for a day. The delicious funnel cake that was shoved down our throats before we went on the ride is now finding its way back up. Headaches and the “floating feeling” have also been known to accompany the ride. Newer roller coasters have cameras attached to the ride and as the car passes the camera snaps a picture; you may end up with a picture, of your hands over closed eyes, haunting you the rest of your life. Some people will ride the ride over and over just to get that “perfect picture.” But even with a picture, the effects of a roller coaster won’t change lives, birthdays, however, can. Think of the major turning points in lives. Each year means something to different people, but there are major ones that affect almost every US citizen: 5 years old, and finally being able to go to pre-school; 10 years old, hitting the double digits; 13, officially a teenager; 16, being able to drive on your own; 18, becoming an adult; 21, finally legal and able to drink; 30, over the hill; and 70, a grandma. Now I realize that 70 years may seem a long way away, but when I think back to my 13th year: watching PG-13 movies was a huge deal while driving seemed a century away. Yet here I am at 17, remembering “kid times” as though they were yesterday.
Life comes and goes faster than it seems. This is the main reason that as you get older, you start to dread birthdays. People realize that their age is out of their control, and “the good ‘ole days” are past. Birthdays, however, are meant to be celebrated, as are roller coasters. There are ups and there are downs, yet regardless of the ride everything turns out the same in the end. So why not make the most of it? Love every bad sweater sent from grandma and every amazing party thrown. And of course throw your arms into the air and scream every-now-and-then. Life is only lived once, so enjoy it.





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