Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This One Time At Gillian's In Ocean City. Scrambler.

This may sound mean but I’m stating the facts.

Years ago while vacationing with the family in Ocean City New Jersey we went up to Gillians Wonderland Pier with the kids. Gillians is on the boardwalk and has rides for the tots.

We’d usually get our happy hour in, then fill up a water bottle with booze to sip on during the time we had to spend at Gillians. Well, I would bring the booze water bottle but the others were babies so they didn’t. Well, I think my friend Debbie later did. I forget.

Actually that part of the story doesn’t even matter. Here’s what does. We’re standing at the “Scrambler” - you know, that ride where you sit and it looks like a giant spider? And it spins and stretches it’s long legs?

So I’m standing next to the ride operator and every so often when one of the cars swings over for the split second near us I could hear someone saying, “Stop the ride.”

Then it would go away. Then, “I gotta get off!”

Then it was gone.

Well it turns out that there was a retarded man in one of the cars that obviously wanted to get off. And the ride operator - a eighteen year old kid - was just looking at him. And kind of smiling. In a demented way. As if saying, “You can ask me to stop the ride as many times as you want Pal but it ain’t happening. Because I’m having too much fun torturing you.” It was so obvious he heard the dude screaming to stop the ride.

It’s the kind of thing where somebody should have stepped in but…you know… the management office was all the way back there and all so….

And here’s what’s even funnier, I look on the other side of the operator and the retarded man’s family is leaning up against the gate. And they’re laughing. Hysterically. I mean roaring with laughter.

The car would approach, “STOP THE RIDE!”

And a family member would yell, “Nope! You wanted to go on it!”

This went on for a good five minutes or so. There’s no real ending to the story. He didn’t throw up or anything but I just saw a picture of a scrambler and remembered the story. It’s pretty wrong don’t you think? Funny. But wrong.


Jessica said...

I agree: So wrong, but so funny.

Shannon Green said...

I couldn't find any funny. Just wrong.

It's a good thing I wasn't there. I would have had Mr. Scrambler Operator by the balls until he stopped the ride. Then I would have left him one nut short anyway just for making me have to remind him how to be a decent human being.

Then I would have bought that poor man an ice cream cone so that hopefully he could have one small moment of joy before the next time his own family got their jollies at his expense.

TC said...

it's funny. But I'm mean.

Kristen said...

I thought this story was going to end with you being a hero and making the carny to stop the ride.

Still there was something so funny about the visual of standing there and hearing "stop the ride" each time the car swung by.

Plus we still chuckle about how traumatized our littlest is over a couple of rides at disney. Crying can be funny!

sybil law said...

Hey - if his family isn't screaming for them to stop, well - whatever. Then again, I'm heartless.

Dr Zibbs said...

Shannon - I know. It was mean. But my friend Rich was there and was like, "Look at what's happening here." And was trying not to laugh. Which got me thinking it was funny.

So basically...I think it's my friend Rich that's the problem. Not me. Yeah. Rich.

Scope said...

Man, that reminds me of this one time I was on the Scrambler, screaming to ... Hey! That was you?!?!?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Shannon.Nothing funny about it.

Dr Zibbs said...


TC said...

Oh come on now...if the kid wasn't retarded (and I'm surprised nobody has attacked you for using the R word) then we'd ALL think this was funny. This happens to most people at some time or another. Sheesh.

CrotchPains said...

Do you possess retard radar? How can you tell when the thing is spinning around in a blur? And don't say "he looked retarded" cause that wold be with your sport bottle filled with Crown Royal. Geez.

Shannon Green said...

Retarded is an outdated word but it's not offensive to me when used to describe someone who has a developmental disorder such as mental retardation. Mentally disabled is more p.c. and preferable but both are accurate.

The only time I find it offensive is when it's used in a derogatory way, like calling someone a retard because they did something stupid.

It's all hilarious until it's your disabled child or your brother on that ride that everyone us making fun of. Then it kinda sucks big time.

I may just be overly sensitive about it because my adult daughter is autistic. Y'all say hi to her the next time you're ridiculing her over something she can't control.

We've taken her to Disney World several times and there were some rides that she freaked out on when she was little. It's kinda cute when normal kids get afraid of a ride that can't hurt them. You smile, you comfort them and tell them how silly they are then you move on. Eventually they learn.

Kids and adults with mental disabilities don't understand. Their fear is very real and often will genuinely think that they are about to die. It sounds like this man had no one to tell him that he was safe and it was okay. That makes me sad for him.

Didn't mean to get all preachy there, but these things can look a lot different depending on your perspective.

Son of a Thomas said...

Jesus Zibbs!!!!! Look at what you started.

You say there's no real ending. Then I'll give you one.

The ride operator decided not to allow mentally "challenged" people on the ride anymore. But he was sued because it wasn't fair.
So he let them on again but would stop the ride at there request to be fair.
He then have to give their money back because they didn't take the whole ride and that wasn't fair. When a not mentally "challenged" kid wanted to get off of the ride he had to stop it to be fair. People didn't want to ride with the "challenged" because they didn't want the ride stopped because it wasn't fair.
People called them selfish because they weren't being fair.
The operator wanted to open a second ride for challenged people only but that wouldn't be fair.

The operator shot himself and the ride closed.

Fun Over

The End

Dr Zibbs said...

Shannon - yeah I know the reality of it is mean but I guess sometimes I see something and can't not think it's funny when it's happening. Like once a girl broke her arm while roller skating and she was wearing one of those big puffy skirts..and I couldn't stop laughing. Of course I made sure she didn't hear me laughing but still..

Son of a T - Thank you for the alternate ending. Come to think of it, that's what I think happened.

Mrs. Crotchpains said...

I remember that Scrambler very well. I will never forget the time, when we were all at Gillian's, that I took one for the team (you couldn't cause you refused to put your bottle down) and went on the ride with my oldest and yours. I sat on the outside which is the torture seat. Your son and my daughter pushed so hard against me that I fractured a rib and was in agony for the next few days. Although I'm sure I continued to drink a lot and have fun. I also remember your son, who was on the outside, hanging on for dear life trying not to get pressed against my daughter.

TrinaLikesWine said...

I was once loaded incorrectly into a Scrambler. The ride operator placed 60 lb. me on the centripetal force side of two 200 lb. women. I too screamed for the ride to stop because I thought my rib cage was going to explode. The ride didn't stop...probably because my voice was weak from not being able to breathe...that's what I'd like to believe anyway...I stuck with Tilt-A-Whirl after that incident. Just as fun without the risk of getting crushed.

Dr Zibbs said...

Trina - Haha. Sorry but the visual of you getting crushed cracks me up.

Platy said...

It would have been funnier if the "retard" puked on the operator. It's your blog, you can write any ending you want for it, but I'd go with the kid getting covered in vomit.