If you are looking for a quick way to develop a valium habit, I suggest you take at least two kids to Wonderland. Any sunny day will do, but if you want best results, go on a Saturday during summer. Try to pick a day when it’s at least 90 degrees and humid.
The first thing you’ll discover at Wonderland is that everything is designed to extract money from you. Everything. Even the parking lot. There you are, in the middle of nowhere, and you have to pay for parking. There isn’t much else around except cows. I firmly believe that if someone bought 10 acres several hours north of here, paved it, and put up a Parking sign, people from the city would drive all the way up there, simply for the novelty of finding a place to park.
Our family has a pre-set routine for checking out rides. We watch for a little while, and it if looks quite reasonable – almost sedate, in fact – we hand over the huge amounts of money to ride the “Yah Yah Alpine Express” and climb aboard. At which point, it turns upside down and travels at a blistering speed designed to ensure we are so preoccupied with survival that we don’t care about the loss of the remaining loose change from our pockets. Usually about this time, when we’re whizzing around like air in a turbine engine, my prescription sunglasses fly off, never to be seen again. I’ve often wondered if there are millions of sunglasses parts grinding away among the mechanical workings of rides everywhere, making things safer for all concerned.
Food is no problem, unless you actually get hungry. It is probably called “fast food’ because in order to get it, incredible amounts of money has to leave your wallet at warp speed. Or maybe because eating the stuff encourages fasting?
By this time, your kids will be whining continuously from the heat, the noise, the smell, the crowds, the candy floss and the odd sickish feeling in their stomachs. With any luck, they’ll wait to throw up until you’re back in the family car, heading for home.
As for going home: they don’t allow you out through the gates until you can prove that you’ve spent all the money you have. So you may as well hand it over at the entrance when you first arrive, avoid the whole ordeal altogether, and just go home.