Saturday, June 19, 2010



By Allison Adams 04-01-08, Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 04-01-08

All I can say is, it’s a good thing we were buckled-in.

The guy in the car ahead was bouncing up and down in his seat, giving a thumbs-up sign to somebody – I don’t know who. I glanced back to see that the pair in the car behind me was engaged in giddy conversation. My son and I sat silently in our car – just waiting for the green light.

Suddenly, without warning, we were thrust forward with a force I have never experienced. It was as if we’d been hit from behind by a speeding-jet-propelled-rocket ship-locomotive-bomb. Like we’d been fired from a cannon.

That’s it. Our car was a cannon ball.

My eyes slammed shut. I couldn’t breath.

By that, I mean – I couldn’t breath. I thought to myself, so this is what it feels like just before you die.

We were hurled ahead with so much velocity I think we had to be taking on some “G’s”. G-force – like the astronauts experience when they blast into orbit.

But I was no astronaut. I had a horrible feeling in my gut, and I really, really needed to breathe.

After what seemed like an hour, but was probably just a nanosecond – we came to a stop. Or at least a slow down.

And I breathed. Oh, thank the Lord! My eyes popped open and I peered ahead and tried to assess our situation. But before my brain was able to process any information I’d gathered in my split-second scan, I was pressed back into my seat and our car propelled forward with great speed and plunged into a black abyss.

Again – I couldn’t breathe.

I thought of all of you who have been through a similar situation, and lived to tell about it. I decided right then that I had to take control and tell my body what to do.

So, I shut my eyes tightly, and ordered my lungs to breathe. Hallelujah! It worked!

Then I made the mistake of peeking again. It was black as pitch all around; I could feel we were headed for a steep curve. I had no way of steering. I was completely enveloped in fear. My body was in shock. It quit responding to my generalized requests to breathe. I had to get more specific.

Inhale! I ordered. Now, exhale!

I knew I had to continue to command those two things, or I would die for sure. Inhale. Now, exhale. Inhale. Now, exhale.

I was sure we were hanging upside down.

Inhale. Now, exhale. Inhale. Now, exhale.

No. No. We were SIDEWAYS! (Oh, hello bagel and cream cheese from this morning!)

Inhale. Now, exhale. Inhale. Now, exhale.

I heard screaming. But I couldn’t tell if it was coming from the guy in the car ahead of me, or the pair in the car behind me, or me.

I felt another terrific jolt and I was sure our car was upside down again. I felt the sudden rush of air, and my hair slapped across my face. I couldn’t move my arms or legs – but I was breathing. Barely.

Inhale. Now, exhale. Inhale. Now, exhale.

“Momma! Are you okay?”

Oh! In the middle of this save-yourself-nightmarish event, my son was concerned for ME!

I didn’t want to frighten him. Didn’t want him to know that I was SCARED TO DEATH. But I was unable to even turn my head in his direction. And unable to open my eyes. And unable to move mouth and utter a sound because I could only concentrate on TWO THINGS.

Inhale. Now, exhale. Inhale. Now, exhale.

I felt several short jerks. I heard what sounded like the rush of air being released from a compression tank. Puhleeze, let it be oxygen!

Almost as suddenly as we exploded on this journey from H – E – double hockey sticks, our car came to an abrupt stop.

“Momma! Are you okay?”

I was finally able to turn my head and look at my son – who was laughing so hard he had to hold his gut.

“You looked horrified! That was awesome!”

Awesome? Not the word I’d use to describe that so-called “joy ride”. But I was so busy trying to control my spaghetti legs as I slithered out of the car and onto the platform, my scrambled-eggs-for-brains couldn’t come up with a come back.

Disney’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster had rendered me (among other things), speechless.

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