I've talked about my love affair with Cedar Point
I've also talked about ways to upgrade theme parks around the country.
But, my very first memory of Cedar Point that still lingers in my brain involves a gang who looked like cast members of the hit 70's flick The Warriors.
I'll try to keep this short.
I was about seven or eight years old (maybe younger) and it was a warm summer day. My mom, dad, brother and I were waiting in line to ride The Blue Streak at Cedar Point.
This summer, I had just made the 'you-must-be-as-tall-as-this-stick-to-ride-this-ride' height to be able to conquer all of the rollercoasters at the park. Much like getting a driver's license, this was an important badge of honor in a young boy's life. Myself included.
My brother - a rollercoaster aficionado to this day - had a simple strategy on this particular trip: take his younger brother on a couple smaller rollercoasters (i.e. the Mine Ride, The Corkscrew and The Blue Streak) and get him ready, willing and able to ride biggest, baddest, newest rollercoaster of them all, The Gemini.
Sure it was extremely selfish on his part. But, in a way, it was helping me overcome my rollercoaster fear as well. Thanks bro.
Anyhow, when you're waiting in line, you have to walk these metal gates that send you through this endless maze that stretches back and forth, back and forth until, finally, you reach your ride.
If you love to peoplewatch, then waiting in line for a ride at Cedar Point is the thing to do.
Here come the fat kids!
So there we were waiting in line. All of a sudden this group of guys approached the ride and took their place behind us in line. As I stated above, they looked like extras from the hit movie The Warriors. I remember that they were a little rowdy, giving each other high fives and the like. I also noticed that they were all dressed the same...black t-shirts and blue jeans. Which seemed a bit crazy to me considering the humid temperature.
My dad (with his big-ass curly head and big-ass sideburns) kept looking back at the gang with this annoying scowl, almost like he was keeping them in check. At least that's what it seemed like to me.
Anyhow, we made our way around the first turn of the gate, advanced one gate forward ahead and headed back down the line.
That's when something frightening caught my eye.
As the gang of dudes approached the turn in the gate, the leader of the gang (I'm not sure but I believe he had one of those roach clip feather things in his hair) walked by and put his left hand on the top of the railing.
That's when I noticed his knuckles. They were busted open and covered in blood.
My heart started racing.
Then I looked at the rest of the gang. They too had similar battle wounds.
One guy had a black eye. Another guy had blood dripping out of his mouth. A couple of the other guys had bloody knuckles as well.
Being a young kid, this threw me for a loop. Questions that I knew would never, ever be answered started swirling around in my little brain.
Did this gang just beat the shit out of some other gang in the parking lot?
Did they beat up a Cedar Point employee and charge their way into the park for free?
Did they get into a rumble before breakfast? (I should note that it was around 10 a.m. at the time.)
Did they just get finished robbing someone's house a' la The Clockwork Orange and rape one of the homeowners with an extra-large porcelain dildo?
I mean, I couldn't think of a better thing to do after a big street battle then to to hop in my van (that's what I pictured them driving), heading to Cedar Point and riding The Blue Streak.
All before 10 a.m. and without cleaning your wounds.
Every time I passed the leader in line, I thought he was going to take a swing at me with his fist full of steel and kept my distance from his bloody guns. They must've got a kick out of that.
Then I imagined that I was part of their gang. And that I, too, had just got finished kicking the shit out of some gang members.
Then I imagined that my mom, dad, brother and I were a gang and we were going to beat the crap out of some other family in the park.
Then I thought that I was going to be a part of a gang someday and possibly kill someone and go to prison.
Then I started thinking about prison. Then I got really, really nervous.
My memory was going so fast that I didn't even realize we were on The Blue Streak.
When we hit the first hill, I wasn't excited, scared or anything. I couldn't stop thinking about bloody knuckles, gangs and prison.
For the rest of the day, I was completely messed up by the bloody knuckles and the gang of droogs at The Blue Streak line.
That was the only time I really, truly didn't enjoy myself at America's Roller Coaster Capital of the World.
Thanks a lot you wannabe Warriors assholes!