Margo Roby, for her Tuesday Tryouts,, wanted us to remember an incident like a ride in a theme park and write a poem of sensory imagery. Well . . . I kind of did that, except it came out as prose. It may be possible to turn it into a poem, but I doubt it.

by Mike Patrick

I’ve never been afraid of anything. Spiders, snakes, bats, heights, crowds, they’re all the same: piece of cake.

Went to Disney World with the grandkids. It had been a few years. There were new rides, and one caught my eye: The Hollywood Tower Hotel.

They tried to build a little tension during the wait in line with a sign warning those with heart problems to skip the ride. Very psychological. Big whoop.

It looked like fun; started innocent enough, an attendant strapped me into a seat—all pretty normal. The ride started sedately with a rolling tour of the hotel boiler room (suppressed a yawn). Then, into the freight elevator.

A leisurely ride to the top, albeit a little bumpy. Everything stopped . . . for about three seconds, then there was a shudder as the wall dropped away from in front of me. It was high, but no big deal, I saw that wall drop about five times while standing in line outside.

Then, the elevator started down. It didn’t fall down, it was launched down—like a rock from a slingshot.

Mother of God, something’s wrong! My thinning hair disappeared in a puff. My eyelids flapped like a flag in a hurricane. My underwear performed a self-wedgie with a full twist and my testicles crawled up and hid inside my navel.

The stop at the bottom was abrupt. I lost four inches in height due to disk compression. My testicles left my navel at the speed of sound and flattened to the thickness of a penny on the seat while my hemorrhoids jotted off their last will and testament before self-destructing.

Just as I was regaining control of my sphincter muscles, the elevator began to rise—like it was strapped to a ballistic missile. My shoes reached escape velocity and entered another dimension as my already abused testicles began doing a drum roll on the seat. Tears, forced from my eyes by wind pressure, hit my jeans hard enough to rip holes. Just before I passed out from lack of oxygen, we went into freefall.

The three hotdogs I’d had for lunch exited my mouth and attempted to reassemble before my eyes. We left them there at our apogee as the damn ride started down again. I could feel myself lifting out of the seat so I grabbed the lap bar. Finger by finger, I was slipping from the bar to certain death when the thing abruptly stopped again with all the joy of its previous plunge into Hell.

I started shouting the Lord’s Prayer as loud as I could in hope of divine intervention . . . but the thing rolled sedately back to the debarking area. The whole ride took nine nanoseconds.

I would have gotten off if I could. The attendant was laughing when he told me he’d never seen the fire department use the jaws of life to peel someone off the lap bar before.

The Disney people told me I couldn’t ride The Hollywood Tower Hotel any more—hah, like I’d want to.

This entry was posted in Aging, Humor, Hyperbole, Prose and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. vivinfrance says:

    You wouldn’t get me on one of those things for a million pounds! Your graphic description had me laughing and groaning. Ouch is probably not one of the words you used, when you were able to speak. I’m so glad you survived.

    ” lost four inches in height DUE to disk compression”

  2. earlybird says:

    I laughed out loud at this Mike. (sorry!)

    Nightmare. And some people think this sort of thing’s fun. Beats me!

  3. Tilly Bud says:

    lol! Some great descriptions here, Mike, especially your eyelids flapping. I think you could turn it into a poem, but why would you want to? A fun piece of prose. You should send it off somewhere.

  4. margo roby says:

    No, this would not make a poem, because you wouldn’t be able to include all the description that makes the piece hilarious to those of us who know better than to get on a ride like that. I hope you have learned your lesson!


  5. Janet says:

    I am laughing with tears running down my face…Your ‘vivid imagery’ is um-m-m-m…very entertaining:) Yet, kids LOVE these rides.

  6. Ruth says:

    This is wonderful, Mike – an awesome write. I laughed, I shuddered, I cried… And wild horses couldn’t drag me on that ride (I hope).

  7. This is hilarious writing but I wouldnt go through that for – seriously – a million dollars. And you dont KNOW how badly I need some money:) Such great writing, Mike. I loved it and feel great empathy for you in your ordeal.

  8. Love the thrill of it. Good write. Would do that ride in a heartbeat, no testicles to worry about! LoL

  9. Brilliant! The description of the distortion of the family jewels is outstanding. I was nearly there with you.
    PS Is it Disney Word (or World?) Only wondering . . . I would have to be dragged there.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      It’s World, Harry, and you were the first one to catch that. Fixed now. Thank you.

      Other than being too loud and too crowded, it is a lot of fun. I want to go again.

  10. gerimomg says:

    I actually laughed out loud at this one, Mike! I felt like I was there with you. What a wonderful story.

  11. pmwanken says:

    Mike…you really cracked me up with this one! I should have read it earlier in the evening…as it is, I’m about to go to sleep and am not sure if I’ll be kept awake from the chuckling that keeps rippling…or have nightmares from the terror of it all. 😉

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