Ups & Downs
C. Derick Miller – Head Writer
Your Stories on Video
Have you ever witnessed the true face of fear? No, not from an actor or actress in Hollywood hamming it up in front of a green screen as some CGI nightmare barrels down upon them, but the nerve shaking, overpowering face of fear? It was out in full force yesterday and I was fortunate enough to catch it on camera.
My six-year-old son isn’t exactly the epitome of bravery, but he talks a fairly big game. After watching me play hours of Roller Coaster Tycoon on my gaming laptop (yes, that 20-year-old game is still popular), he wanted to try his hand at being a thrill seeker. Even after he watched me design virtual steel monstrosities for the sole purpose of killing my park guests, he wanted to be a coaster junkie. Well, who was I to deny him this opportunity?
I decided to document the entire day on my new Canon since it’s been sitting on my dresser collecting dust like a professional. I’d originally purchased it for the purpose of filming a documentary movie, but I won’t have the opportunity to get that first scene out of the way until January first at the stroke of midnight. At least, that’s what I’ve promised myself. There are some substantial changes coming into my life, but I don’t dare release them to the public until the moment occurs. That’s how you jinx yourself. There are people out there in this cruel, unforgiving world whose sole purpose in life is to crush the hopes of dreamers. Not this time, society. Not this time. I’m finally going to win for once, no thanks to you!
The morning started out with my son running around the living room in his Underoos being as happy as a Lark on a sunny morning because he was going to get to ride the rollercoasters at Six Flags Over Texas. We joked and jested with each other, saying childish things on camera like the word “poop”. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, even in the year 2021 in the height of a global pandemic, there is still nothing funnier than recording a six-year-old saying the word “poop” on camera. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself! After all, we have a camera in our pockets, right? Use it! Pull it out now (the camera) and record yourself saying the word “poop” without laughing. Now, if you’re successful, upload that video below in the comments. I’d personally like to see it because I don’t think it’s possible. Show me your “poop”!
We arrived at the parking lot, and I tried my best to park near the largest, most terrifying coaster in the park. It’s a twisted mess of steel known as The Titan. I recall when this coaster first came into existence twenty or so years ago because it had a sister coaster out in California at Six Flags Magic Mountain called Goliath. I was living in Long Beach at the time and recall the local news covering a story where a guest had arrived back at the station after riding and was dead. Yep, suffered a heart attack while riding the beast. At that moment, I couldn’t wait to try it!
Here’s a video of what it’s like to ride The Titan. It just so happens to be my wife’s favorite rollercoaster on the planet!
Still, my wife and I knew our son was still too small to ride The Titan, so we headed into the park for a little test ride on Six Flags Over Texas oldest rollercoaster, The Runaway Mine Train. Without whipping out Google, I believe it may have been the world’s first tubular steel coaster, but I can’t officially back that up with paperwork. I’ve watched it change a lot over the years and it’s still pretty fun, as long as you don’t mind a few bruises here and there from the numerous bumps and jerks caused by time.
You can check this one out below as well. This was the bomb back in the day and the favorite ride of everyone’s inner child who was born in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
My camera caught the smiling face of a young boy with his entire life ahead of him as he entered the que line. I followed the ride around the corner, catching every second of joy remaining in his soul. Then, the rollercoaster cars disappeared into a tunnel where he’d encounter the first of three chain lifts. If you watch the video I’ve placed above, what follows is a twisting and turning trail of tubular ease leading you into a replica saloon. That’s when things get a little tricky.
Not only does the rollercoaster decide to drop you while you’re distracted by the cowboys playing poker, but it forces you into the total darkness of a tunnel. To make matters worse, you exit the tunnel only to realize that you’ve been underneath a lake! Yes, the ride goes underwater! I was already standing by the exit to the ride when my wife and son came walking toward me. I believe he left his happiness somewhere up in the replica saloon.
With my trusty camera rolling, I captured the true face of fear in a six-year-old child. The false courage brought on by the kid’s wonder in a videogame came crashing down due to his other senses. The force of the drop, the rumble of wheels on steel, the feeling of being out of control in his own skin, and the sounds of the surrounding screams unraveled the nerves of the once brave young boy. He rode nothing else other than the back seat of a Toyota Tacoma on the way home. He’d been beaten by the real thing, and I doubt very seriously he’ll be interested in rollercoasters for a while. He’s a different kind of kid, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
What was your greatest fear from childhood? Here at Your Stories on Video, we want to know! Did you ever stand up to and overcome them? Do they still haunt you today? Did you gain any new fears as you got older? Tell us about all of them! Who knows? Perhaps the story of your life is a horror film? Now, that’s MY kind of movie! There’s only one way to find out…