I went to the Iowa State Fair today. I nearly met my match in the midway. It was a ride called Extacy. I must say, I was awed, as this is the only amusement ride that has ever brought me close to the Technicolor yawn.

Let me describe this ride to you: There are four arms radiating out from the center hub. At the end of these four arms is a hub with four cabs, each cab having two seats. A restraint comes down over your head and torso to hold you in. The arms orbit in a clockwise direction, and the cabs orbit the hubs at the end of each arm in a clockwise direction as well. The rider is facing forward. The ends of the four main arms are able to rotate 360 degrees, so that eventually, the riders are upside down, and then brought rightside up again.

I got on this ride, thinking it was a different ride I had seen from a distance. I had no idea what I was in for. I had just recently heard the song Tilt-A-Whirl by Insane Clown Posse, and it was running through my head. I was clueless to the fact that this ride was going to take me to the brink of blowing chunks. Mind you, I've ridden more than my fair share of amusement rides, never feeling sick from them. But then, I had never been on this ride.

As the ride begins, you being going around, and the hub is elevated off of the ground. The ends of the arms begin to rotate so that at first, you're dipping up and down as you turn around and around. When the arms get to a 90 degree angle, you're seeing ground, then sky, then ground. Finally, you begin to be inverted, seeing everything around you upside down. Then, for about a minute, I think, we were all upside down. The blood rushed to my head, and I could feel the pressure from my stomach contents wanting to spill forth. I don't know if we were upside down as long as everyone else is, or if the operater was just toying with the very few people riding this amusement at that time of day. I do know I was silently praying that that I wouldn't spary the immediate area with chunks of foot-long brautworst and grilled onions.

As we began to be turned rightside up, the pressure ceased, and I thanked God for my intestinal fortitude. As I got off, I was definatly awed: for the first time, I was brought to the brink of vomiting by an amusement ride, and I was impressed.

Yes, I posted this writeup on August 15th, 2001. I went to the fair on the 13th, and was too tired to finish writing then, and just finished the writeup tonight.