THE COMET

For obvious reasons, it was called “The Comet”
since riding on her would cause you to vomit.
A high-rolling streak of yellow and green
would make you take notice when it was seen.
A wooden behemoth, one of the last of her kind,
this old roller coaster was my very “first time”.
On the Lake Erie shoreline of Crystal Beach Park
in Ontario, Canada. I rode on a lark.
A field trip from school had provided the occasion
that brought our young group to this Canadian station.
I eyed her from a distance, she held no allure,
she beckoned me softly, that son-of-a-cur.
But I just wasn’t biting, I don’t roller coast,
if I even got on her, I’d surely be toast**.
I had that thing beat I was filled with elation,
I was proudly avoiding a bad situation.

Enter the girl. Her name was Terry.
She didn’t think coasters were the least bit scary.
She glanced to the top of this treacherous slide
then looking my way she asked, “Go for a ride?”
My plan had been thwarted, I started to panic,
I’d have much better luck going down on Titanic.
But, machismo kicked in and it said without shrinking
“Sure”, as my brain screamed “What the HELL are you thinking?”
So we stood in the line for the cars to come ’round,
(or we stood in the queue, if you’re true to the “Crown”)
And often she’d smile every time she would glance
while I stood there quietly crapping my pants.
We boarded the car, strapped the belt, crashed the bar,
as the pulley grabbed hold of the very first car.
Clack, Clack, Clack, Clack, the Comet did rattle,
we were just half way up, this was purely a battle.
Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, she came to a stop,
Perched every proudly at the very tip-top.

And then it happened. The pulley released.
(This was the part that I liked in the least.)
With her arms in the air, Terry gave out a scream,
which was just louder than mine (if you know what I mean).
It looped and it turned as it made a few passes.
And at the top of the next drop, I lost my glasses.
My mother would kill me, and besides, I can’t see.
And she was having the best time there could be.
I almost lost lunch as I tightened the strap,
and by some crazy miracle, the specs dropped in my lap.
The ride came to an end and Screaming Terry turned meek,
and she leaned up and planted a kiss on my cheek.
But just as it seemed I had made a new friend,
she said, “That was fun, let’s go do it again”.

**(Or french toast, in keeping with the bi-lingual laws in this fine Canadian Provence!)

Walt                                                                                                                  Photo by M. Cusimano

RIDE THE COMET – A front seat ride await you on the Crystal Beach Comet

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