"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Thursday, February 10, 2011


It would be a helluva commute.

But what I wouldn't give to be able to work at Paramount's Kings Island Amusement Park in beautiful Mason, OH this summer.

Four thousand seasonal jobs up for grabs. I can apply online.

Think they'd hire a 54-year-old former ride operator with bad knees?

KI back in the day
Of course, back when I worked at KI, it was owned by Taft Broadcasting not Paramount. And no doubt most of the rides I worked on -- like the Giant Slide -- are long gone.

But the fond flashbacks remain.

Sexy Slide Girl
Hard to believe looking at me now, but there was a time when I could run up the slide at breakneck speed, leap between lanes with the grace of a young gazelle, and pull park patrons to safety from their burlap bags stalled atop the first hill.

What a hoot it would be to return once more to the scene of my first crime, er, job.

OK, so inhaling the helium from that kid's balloon for the sake of temporarily sounding like Alvin the Chipmunk instead of just holding the balloon like I promised the kid I would while he rode the Troika was, indeed, stealing.

However, just so's ya know, I paid him back three times the cost of the balloon after  his brother called my bluff that the balloon had blown away.

A costly, guilt-producing comedic moment. Lesson learned. (Still can't believe I did that.)

Getting smacked in the face with vomit a-whirlin' after some dizzy woman tossed her cookies while twirlin' around and around and up and down on Haley's Comet was certainly a high point of my ride operating career. Occupational hazard.

Alice and Mrs. Brady at KI
And yes, I was there when The Brady Bunch filmed the episode "The Cincinnati Kids" back in '73.  Alice was nice. Mrs. Brady not so much.

The best part of working at KI?  Certainly not the pay -- back then, a whopping $1.85 an hour; maybe $2.25 if you stayed on and worked weekends in the fall.

No doubt about it, Kings Island was all about the friendships forged summer after summer.

And thanks to Facebook, I've recently reconnected with a couple of my old KI cohorts.

Sprinkle liberally where needed
Oh, the misty, cotton-candy-and-vomit-absorbent-scented memories of the way we were.

Adding to my bucket list as I blog.

One more day as a ride operator at Kings Island.

Will work for helium.

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