My Son Slowly Killing Me (Holiday Update #1)

It was the first day of five spent in Blackpool, and he was eager to try out the rides on the South Pier. So, after a Maccies breakfast, we had a walk over. The day was young but was already heating up, our stay coinciding with another August heatwave.

We purchased tickets from the booth – twenty five tickets for twenty five pounds – and he nudged me towards the first one that he wanted to go on. I can’t now recall its name, but that became the least of my worries.

We were locked in and the ride began as the music started to blare, the speed building as we began to spin in our seats as the mechanical arms holding us moved us in and out of the attraction’s outer edge.

In/out In/out.

Within minutes I thought I was going to throw up (did I mention that this was straight after a Maccies breakfast?).

How embarrassing would that be? Me, at fifty, by far the oldest person on it, surrounded by young children with my eleven-year-old son cheering alongside me. As the speed increased so did that feeling in my stomach. I painted on a smile for James every time he glanced at me in this, our great shared experience, and tried my best to contain myself.

The relief I felt when the ride began to slow. I’d managed to get through it without raising any suspicions of how I was feeling, thus maintaining an aura of heroic cool in his eyes.

But soon I discovered that the only reason we had stopped was because a kid, about seven years old, had banged his head and they were letting him off as he was upset.

And then, over the speakers: “BECAUSE WE STOPPED EARLY, WE’LL SEND ALL YOU ‘ROUND AGAAAAIIINNNN !”

Jesus.

“SCREAM IF YOU WANNA GO FASTER!!!”

Keep your fucking mouths shut I thought to myself.

I could hear them over the music.

In an effort to distract myself from what was building within, I began reciting a mantra: don’t think about food/don’t think about food/don’t think about food

But the only word my tormenting mind was focusing on was ‘food’.

It got worse. I kept my mouth closed and my eyes down to avoid the swirling, dizzying landscape around me. Somehow, I’m not sure how, I managed to contain myself until the ride’s end and clambered out of the carriage on shaky legs.

An oblivious and excited James was eager for more fast-thrill stuff, rhyming off a list of all of the rides that awaited us. I managed to convince him that if he went on the rides alone from now on his tickets would last longer and he’d get to go on even more rides. He appreciated this altruistic gesture as I waved him off on the Waltzers and then hurried forthwith to the toilets in the amusement arcade. I thought that if I could induce myself to vomit, getting the seeming inevitable out of the way, then I’d be okay after that.

There was no toilet roll. With there likely to be someone waiting outside to use the toilet after me I couldn’t afford to miss the target. I’m going to have to get this right. I lifted the seat to avoid any splashing, bent right over the pan and stuck my finger down my throat. Twice.

Nothing.

I abandoned my plan as my still unsuspecting son would be coming to the end of his ride. I went outside to be confronted by the sight of a boy being sick at the pier rail. He was about ten. A security guard was asking him if he was alright, speaking into a radio when the lad shook his sweaty head in response in-between heaves. I started in horror at the idea of him having to deal with middle-aged me if I followed suit. The current casualty list age being: seven, ten, fifty.

I looked out over the seafront and took deep breaths, hoping the sea air would help but the sight of the rolling waves made me worse.

That was great!” James said when he found me, his hand finding my sleeve to tug me towards the next ride in his sights.

And again. And again. Literally: ad nauseam.

Eventually he ran out of tickets and we ran out of morning.

Which meant only one thing: lunch time.

Although feeling a little better, I was still slightly queasy, and everything he suggested sounded greasy. Chips; burgers; hotdogs.

I tried to play it cool. “How about a nice salad bar?”

“What’s one of those?!” he asked with barely disguised disgust. “A salad bar? On Blackpool front?” While pointing out a stall nearby that had onions frying at eye-level. I needed to avert those eyes.

There’s four days to go.

It’s a thousand degrees.

Traumatic Scene

8 thoughts on “My Son Slowly Killing Me (Holiday Update #1)

  1. Sounds horrific, I feel your pain. Spinny rides are not for everyone. At least the Maccys stayed put and you and your fellow passengers didn’t end up wearing it. I hope the rest of your hol was less traumatic. I’ll probably find out by and by as I catch up with my emails after my own holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

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