We step in line. A sign several feet ahead: “The wait time is approximately 1 hour.”
“Only an hour! Let’s do it!” Naively telling ourselves that they’re overestimating. At the very least, some people are going to chicken out when they get to the front.
So we get in line, pretending that the only reason we are in line is for the 60 seconds of ride at the end of it. But that’s not really it, and something in our hearts knows that it isn’t. It’s actually about standing in line.
Several people before me have made the spot-on observation that going to Cedar Point is really about spending the day waiting around, more than it’s about the rides. I’d go one step further: the line is the ride.
The line makes up at least 90% of your day, whether it’s waiting to buy your ticket, for your turn on the roller coaster, for greasy fast food, for the disgusting bathroom, for your turn to vomit in the nearest garbage can …
The line is where you have endless conversations about past visits to the park, favorite rides, worst rides, forgotten rides, future rides, really bad jokes, endless Kevin Bacon games, weird freshly invented games based on the Kevin Bacon game, recitation of as many lines as you can collectively remember from “The Princess Bride” (we were pretty gorram good at that one), perpetual opportunities to randomly spew non sequitors of your group’s favorite catchphrases …
The line is where you have endless fodder for people watching, and mock what they’re wearing, and get jealous of what they can get away with wearing, and eavesdrop on what they’re saying, and mimic how they’re standing, just to see how long you can get away with it before they notice and give you the side-eye …
The line is where you zone out, let the general hum of the place fill your brain and then somehow fade away, where it’s just you and your thoughts and the comfort of not having to stand in line alone.
I love Cedar Point, because I love the line, and everything that happens there. That’s the good stuff — not what lies at the end of it, but the getting-there, with people that I adore.
I can’t wait to get in line again.