The Walk of Shame

I’m not above embarrassing myself just a wee bit from time to time…  As proof, I submit the following for your reading pleasure.  Ultimately, there is a reason I am sharing this story with you.  Until then, enjoy while I embarrass myself!

Two years we took the kids to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America (or, as I like to refer to it  as… The “Maul(ing) of America”).

With all day passes, we were able to let the kids go wild – riding to their heart’s content.  At that time we had three that are daredevils and willing to take on any ride, and two that were a little more timid.  The “Daredevils” of the group asked me to join them on a ride known as “Tak Attack”.

Tak Attack - Flip upside down on this gravity-defying thrill ride. You’ll harness the power of Juju as you hurtle skyward, twisting and turning on Tak’s gigantic magical staff.

Having ridden several of the other rides with the kids throughout the day, I allowed them to talk me into it.  We patiently waited in line until we were able to take a seat.  The ride attendant went through the typical ride rules and instructions for securing oneself into ones seat (which, is largely automatic).  Once the mechanism has completed its job, the attended asked everyone to test their shoulder/lap harness.

Mine was not locking.

Looking closely at the mechanism, I noticed that the electro-magnetic latches were not latching because…  Well, because there was too much of “me” in the way.

I needed another inch or so before the mechanism would latch allowing me to ride without fear of falling off the ride while upside down three stories above the ground.

I sucked in my gut.  I skootched down in my seat.  I sucked in my gut AND skootched down in my seat.  Nothing was not working.  Honestly, I was a bit nervous that the ride would start before I could secure the safety bar (not thinking there must be some sort of safety interlock that would prevent the ride from starting up unless all the harnesses were locked in place).

That’s when the ride attendant must have been alerted to this hazard, and approached me.  He looked at the harness, and even tried helping by giving the harness a “push” in while I sucked and skootched.  Unfortunately, there was no way that harness was going to latch.  The harness was just “that much” too small.  I was just “that much” too big. 

The attendant told me I would not be able to ride Tak Attack.

I looked around.  All eyes were on me (all eyes that were strapped into their seats – waiting for the ride to start – wondering what the delay was all about) as I stood up with what little dignity a fat guy who does not fit on the amusement park ride can muster and took the first of many steps in that long “walk of shame” past all the other riders and observers.

Once back at the attendant's station, he apologized to me and mentioned that if I really wanted to ride the Tak Attack, that there was an optional seat that could be put on the ride for me when it was a little less busy.

I thought about the staff calling for assistance on their walkie talkies.  I imagined a full complement of specially trained maintenance staff responding with special tools, a TIG welder, two small cranes (maybe even a front-end-loader), and the special “big boy seat”.  I pictured the staff shutting down the ride as they bolted the “big boy seat” in place and conducted their numerous safety checks - finally giving their A.O.K. for me to ride.  Then, once the ride was over, they would have to remove the “big boy seat” from the ride before putting it back into “normal” operating service.

“No thanks” I said politely, as I watched my kids ride.

There is a reason I told you this story… Stay tuned!


  1. I know! I know! I bet you rode with the kids last trip with room to spare! right?! Right?!

    And your heart is as big as ever

  2. HaHaHa... "big boy seat"... made me laugh!

  3. Interesting. I would never look at you and think you were TOO big to ride any ride. Perhaps you were in the kiddie section? ;)

  4. Yeah, looking at me is deceiving...

    I "spread out" like a bad case of urban sprawl...

  5. I'll be honest, when I read the title "walk of shame" i was expecting an article, and possibly a picture, of a sorority girl leaving your home under the cover of darkness.

    This was funnier though.


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