Last week I had a serious case of ennui. I was bored out of my brains and against all reason I couldn’t help but find every single thing in life, dull, dreary, and mind numbingly tedious. Given the truly wondrous nature of existence I find it absolutely extraordinary that humans can achieve this state of existence without the aid of dire circumstances. Nevertheless last week I was in relative luxury and experiencing it! To make matter’s worse I had a spell of unprovoked grumpiness; that horrible state where one feels one ought to be annoyed about something but can’t bloody well find anything to be annoyed about. Finally all of this was topped off by the fact that some git had lent me a ‘fantastic’ book on suicide. In short last week I was a Parisian on existential steroids, given another day of monotony, I swear I would have written an opus on the futility of existence. At times like this, one needs a cunning plan, a mad scheme that will inject a sense of whimsy into one’s life. Unfortunately the state of ennui is not conducive to finding solutions. So in the end I deferred to happenstance and asked a friend what I should do. She told me to get on a rollercoaster and scream my head off like a lunatic. So that’s exactly what I did.
I settled on Thorpe Park as my destination for the simple reason that it was the closest theme park to London I could find. I arrived, spotted what looked like the biggest bad ass rollercoaster there (Stealth) and immediately joined a very long queue. Fifty minutes of uninterrupted grumbling later and I found myself nonchalantly getting on the rollercoaster. It was at this stage that my sense of ennui went AWOL. I was about to experience something incredibly real and in all that grumbling through the queue I had never once considered that I might not want to go on a rollercoaster. The caveman part of my brain had awoken to find itself in the perilous grasp of a mighty beast. A 21st century woolly mammoth with laser tusks no less. Thirty terrifying seconds later the caveman lived to tell the tale. I was suddenly filled with a sense of elation. The Parisian part of my brain tried to counter the mood by pointing out that life was still inherently futile. The caveman part of my brain retorted, by bonking him over the head with a club. I was having fun again!!!
Over the course of the day, I discovered that there was so much to do and that everything brought an exhilarating rush. Given its relatively small size Thorpe Park packs in a lot of great rides. All five rollercoasters are absolutely fantastic. I particularly enjoyed ‘Stealth’ which shoots you up and then down a hill at 80mph, and ‘Colossus’ which has an incredible ten inversions. The smaller rides were also great and I would seriously recommend ‘The Slammer’ and ‘Rush’. The former spins you upside down while the latter swings you about like crazy. (Readers need not thank me for my detailed and accurate ride descriptions). The only ride I’d recommend avoiding is ‘The Detonator’, which is a lift drop thing. I was lulled into going on this ride by a deceptively short queue. Unfortunately the throughput on this ride turned out to be dreadfully slow and the tiny queue turned out to take forty plus minutes. Once on board, the ride proved insanely short and incredibly tame, put simply the cost to screams ratio here was economically unsound.
In conclusion, I had an absolute blast at Thorpe Park. I also learned that boredom is no match for a thoroughly horrific experience.
What do you do to counter the incessant meaninglessness of it all?