Did you hear about the amusement park ride that got stuck and left the riders stranded?  Fortunately, no one was hurt.  This has always scared me about amusement parks–things break.  I could never enjoy amusement parks because I was always all-too-cognizant of this fact.

In other thrilling activities, like mountain climbing or deep-sea diving, you at least have the illusion that you are in control of things.  (Note: I have never done these things; I am just saying that’s how it seems to me.) You are not, but you have the illusion of it.  Thrill rides purposely strip away the illusion, leaving you completely at the mercy of some old machinery.

I don’t want to be at the mercy of some stupid gear or pulley system.  I’m no mechanical engineer, but I’ve disassembled and reassembled enough home garden equipment to know one thing: gears and pulleys and levers and all that stuff break all the time, often for no apparent reason and with no warning.

I know that the rides are inspected and everything, but there is always a chance of something going wrong.  “Murphy’s law” and all that.  Apparently, this does not strike some people as a reasonable fear.  And I do understand why amusement parks could be fun; it’s just that whenever I go to one I find myself doing less relaxed enjoyment of speed and thrills, and more amateur engineer inspection of every ride and machine to see if any are actively falling apart.