Life-changing decision after being stuck on ride

Blaise Tapp.
Blaise Tapp.

It is often the case that extreme circumstances prompt folk to make life-changing decisions.

It is fair to say that my nadir came in the shape of a penguin-inspired ride at a theme park.

Knowing that you’re overweight is one thing, realising that you better shift a stone or four because you have broken a fun ride aimed at children is a different thing altogether.

I should have known there was trouble on the horizon when I struggled to get even one buttock into the snug seat on the Penguins of Madagascar ride but I did not take the hint, such was my desire to please my wide-eyed five-and-a-half-year-old.

The second sign of trouble for me was being eyed suspiciously by the elegant blonde mum who had shepherded her shy youngster onto the ride, her furtive sideways glance suggesting that I was somewhat out of place on an attraction designed for under sevens.

Of course, I ignored her silent jibe and strapped myself in, safe in the knowledge that this was a sedate ride and absolutely nothing could go wrong. Could it?

It wasn’t long into, would should have been, a two minute journey taking us no more than thirty feet above the ground that I began to zone out.

‘It’s stuck’ spat the elegant blonde mum and that is when I came back to Planet Earth and realised that myself and five fellow passengers were suspended half way up a giant pole.

Rather than bounce up and down, the expensive piece of technology slowly shuddered while the plucky teenage attendant below vainly tried to reassure me that it wasn’t necessarily my fault that we weren’t having the time of our lives.

Our descent back to terra firna would bear comparison to a race between a disabled tortoise and a hefty pensioner on an even more ancient stairlift. All I could do was grin at the smirking crowds below.

This was a new low for me, my very own skirt in the knickers moment, and one when I realised that 19 stone is probably as heavy as a man who doesn’t do weights should ever be.