Cliff Jumping? Oh, Hells No.

Back in January of ’09, I wrote  a post here called Cliff Jumping – not about actually jumping off of cliffs, but about seizing your dreams. About not letting fear get in the way of your career. About taking chances.

I’ve been feeling rather hypocritical about all that lately. You see, while I take chances all the time in my work, real leaps and bounds, in my personal life, I don’t.

In fact, I’m a bit of a scaredy cat.

Say it ain’t so, JT!

Oh, but it is. I’m afraid of heights, spiders, clowns. Speaking in public – one that I managed to conquer. I hate staying by myself overnight when Randy is out of town. I don’t like scary movies, or scary books. I will steer clear of anything that includes the words “nerve-wracking” “surprise ending” “spine-tingling” or “the last five minute will blow you out of your seat.”

I’ve never been a big fan of being scared, but there’s more to this. It’s becoming almost phobic. Something deeply rooted in my psyche. And the worst part is, when I get frightened by something, it manifests, and then I start to dream about it. And the dreams are a thousand times worse than anything I can experience in real life. Which starts a really bad pattern of not wanting to go to sleep because I don’t want to experience the dreams, then having to knock myself out with Ambien and the like to get to sleep, lather, rinse, repeat…. Unhealthy, to say the least.

When I start down this unhealthy path, I realize this, recognize it for what it is, and try to move on. But last year, looking at this phenomenon, I started to see a pattern.

The more cliff jumping I do in my business life, the more reticent I get in my personal life.

I am getting quirky.

Maybe it’s age. Maybe as you get older you have a tendency to pull back, to be careful. To allow your rational mind to say no instead of hells, yeah, bitches. Let’s roll! Or maybe it’s more than that. Because I didn’t used to be this way. This sense of must control everything started about ten years ago, and with it came the fear.

I don’t know. All I can say for sure is I don’t want to be scared anymore.

Which involves, as you can imagine, some desensitization therapy.

Last year, when I did the autopsies, and managed to get through it without fainting, falling down or throwing up, I realized something. If I can watch people being cut open, I can handle just about anything.

When Randy and I went to Santa Fe for Left Coast Crime this spring, we drove north and stayed overnight in Taos. I adore Taos. It’s a funky, eclectic ski town, filled with art, cool shops and galleries, amazing food, and really laid-back people. I first went with my parents to meet the artist R.C. Gorman, ten or so years ago, and fell in love. So I wanted to show my man, and during our explorations, we found ourselves out at the Rio Grande Gorge.

And the Gorge has a bridge. A bridge without any safety controls. No nets or wires or anything to keep people from going over the edge.

Now, ten years ago, with my parents, my dad could barely get me to agree to get out of the car. I most certainly wouldn’t go anywhere near the bridge. He, fearless, strode out into the middle, took pictures, and came back, obviously exhilarated.

I was just feeling blessed I didn’t get anywhere near it.

Being afraid of heights is a little different for every person who experiences it. For me, I get vertigo. Bad vertigo. And experience this bizarre desire to fling myself off the edge and see if I can fly.

Which wouldn’t be a good thing.

But in my newfound recklessness, I decided I was going to go out there, come hell or high water.

Or steep drops into the abyss…..

So out we went, me clinging to Randy’s arm like a limpet. The first glance down I nearly threw up. Literally. Everything started to spin, I felt dizzy and nauseous. It was awful. But I kept walking.

And I discovered something really amazing.

Once I have a chance to orient myself, the vertigo stops.

It took about five minutes – yes, I stayed out there that long. Standing in the middle of the road, mind you, until the very end, when I edged closer to the railings, and actually looked over into the gorge.

I was still nervous, but at least the urge to fly receded.

Here’s proof that I really did go out there.  

Fast forward to this week. Randy and I went to the Harry Potter park at Universal Studios. If you know me at all you know I am a huge fan of all things Potter. I had some seriously high hopes for the day. We went in, and I was giddy with excitement. You see, there are roller coasters. And I had decided that come hell or high water, (or steep drops into the abyss…..) I was going to ride them.

We started at the castle itself. I’ve heard amazing things about this. You tour Hogwarts, seeing all the nooks and crannies of the castle, Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor common room, meet the sorting hat. It takes 45 minutes to wind your way through. And then you get on a ride that is called the Forbidden Journey experience.

I don’t know what I was really thinking, but as usual, I was wrong. The castle part was… meh. It had some cool stuff, but it wasn’t a 45 minute tour through Hogwarts in the way I was thinking. (That was my reaction to the whole park, actually. There was no charm. But I digress.)

And then came the ride.

And that’s when the wheels came off.

All throughout the lines were big signs and warnings: if you experience motion sickness, you should not go on this ride.

 

I loved the sign… but it had me a little worried. I do get motion sickness. Always have, ever since I was a kid. But I ignored the signs. There were kids all around me. How bad could it really be?

I don’t know what I was thinking. I expected something like the old Disney Haunted Castle ride. Boy was I wrong.

We got seated, they tucked us into the carriage, we went sideways, Hermione blew some powder at us, and poof, we were off.

Almost immediately we went upside down, tilting backwards. The screen in front of us started to move, come to life, really, and the next thing I knew, we were flying.

I had to shut my eyes.

I had to shut my damn eyes.

It was like IMAX, where you are literally in the scene. I got queasy immediately. Didn’t even take a heartbeat before I knew if I didn’t shut my eyes, I was going to boot.

I tried opening them a few times, and caught glimpses of the amazing technology. But the ride is a gyroscope, so add gyroscope to the already unbalanced feeling I get from IMAX and you have a recipe for sure disaster.

I didn’t barf, but I also didn’t get to see 85% of the ride.

And I was so mad at myself.

This wasn’t fear. I wasn’t afraid of what was happening. This was a bona fide physical reaction. I’ve always had motion sickness problems. Like reading in a car – hell, looking at the email on my iPhone while riding in a car makes me nauseous. Strangely, I don’t get sea sick. Ever. I love boats. So if anyone has a medical answer for that, let me know. Because I want to go back and go on that ride, and experience the whole thing.

Didn’t get on any rollercoasters either – right after we left Olivanders, it started to rain. And I mean pour buckets from the sky rain. They shut down all the rides.

So we left, taking with us my new wand, and a queasy bellyful of regret, which was part fury at myself, and part that second butterbeer (which is very good – like cream soda with butter)

Oh well. You can’t win them all, right? I conquered the gorge, but a children’s ride undid me. 

So tell me, ‘Rati – when’s the last time you were terrified?

25 thoughts on “Cliff Jumping? Oh, Hells No.

  1. Reine

    Heights. Awful awesome fear. I still have nightmares about the floors in the Div School library stacks. Glass. With empty space around the shelves. Seven stories up you can see through to the basement. I was shaking so bad one day I dropped a book and it fell down that empty space – the whole seven floors. When I got back to the librarian's desk she just smiled and handed it to me. "We heard."

  2. Barbie

    Oh, JT, I can't believe you missed the Harry Potter emulator. It was one of the most fantastic things I've seen in my life, and I'm not even a Harry Potter fan. I just sat there, my jaw hanging open because it's so damned real, that I was pretty much IN Hogwarts, you know, there. I'm so sorry you felt sick there πŸ™

    I get terrified and have bad panic attacks with fear of my mom dying. She goes out at night sometimes, and I know she's drinking and driving, and when she won't pick up her phone I just have the most brutal physical reaction. Panic attacks, I feel sick. Last time was about a month ago? Horrible. She's going out of town today for four and a half days and I'm staying alone with my brother. To say I'm panicky is an understatement.

  3. Chuck

    Great descriptions today JT! I once had a major fear of heights too. I won't bore you with that story now; it requires a beer in hand. Would love to have hit that bridge with you guys. A rush!

    Speaking of terrified, about a year ago, my wife woke me up one night. It was probably two a.m. This wasn't a "hey, Wyatt's crying" or "Ginger needs to go out" wake-up, this was a gouge-my-arm-with-her-nails-while-hissing-in-my-ear wake-the-hell-up-you-snoring-beast wake-up. The first words I heard her say were, "Someone's in our house!"

    Somehow I knew she wasn't talking about our children, who were three and one at the time.

    Without getting political, I like guns. I like to shoot, never animals, but targets. I grew up with guns. I was in the Army. You could say I'm comfortable with them. Well…my wife's not. And when kiddo number one arrived, under some degree of spousal pressure, I sold my government edition M1911 Colt 45. A hand-cannon for sure, and probably not the best weapon for home defense. But it didn't matter, because it was gone and I had to go down our creaky stairs carrying a sawed-off baseball bat.

    On the way down, I heard a noise. It was pretty loud, and it sounded like it came from our garage. If we were being burgled, they certainly didn't seem to be concerned with being quiet. I felt a fraction better, but the sounds confirmed for me my wife's fear.

    It's one thing to be on a battlefield with an M-16. While certainly more dangerous, it's like being in a football game. You can hit; you can be hit. Everyone knows the rules. But creeping around in a dark house is a different story. You have no idea if someone is lurking in a black shadow, ready to ice you the second your foot hits the landing and then do God knows what to your family.

    It was an unsettling feeling.

    Okay, I'm way over my word limit so here's the punch line. The noises continued. After a bunch of big breaths and reminders that I do own a pair of balls, I gripped my little bat and went storming into the garage, ready to make hamburger out of the meth-addict's head when I found my garage littered with my yard tools.

    They had fallen harmlessly to the floor, one by one, depending on their weight.

    Huh?

    The peg board I installed in this house (we'd only moved in a few months earlier) was fairly soft. And with the monsoon rains we'd just had, and all the unusual humidity, it had grown softer. Because of that, the hooks in the peg board decided to give way on that night, and things like my seed spreader, my pruning shears, and my pitchfork had tumbled to the concrete.

    Adrenaline lost, I had a beer in the garage and didn't sleep again that night.

    And yes, the Army boy had been frigging terrified. Of falling yard implements. πŸ˜‰

  4. Sarah W

    Congratulations on conquering that bridge!

    You couldn't get me out there on two legs if Karl Urban *and* Benedict Cumberbatch were standing in the middle waving a four book contract, a six-figure advance check, and signed agreements to star in the movies of the second and third books with special codicils allowing the novelist to sit in their laps whenever she visited the set.

    My parents still do not speak of the time they took me on that ill-fated hike in Natural Bridge, Kentucky.

  5. Pari Noskin

    JT,
    I'm glad you went on the bridge; it allows you to see the beauty of the gorge in a way you just can't from the sidelines.

    Truly terrified (other than daily with my kids? <g>)?

    There've been moments during the last few months when I've felt that way in a more abstract "Oh, my goodness, what am I going to do?" way. There've been a couple of almost car wrecks — careless drivers in front of me or slamming up behind and nearly missing slamming into me — that have scared me. But terrified?

    Maybe when I went up in the hot air balloon. I gripped the sides of that wicker basket until my finger and knuckles hurt. However, once we got up a few hundred feet something clicked inside me. "If you crash, there's nothing you can do about it," I told myself. "You'll be dead. So you might as well enjoy the moment."

    And you know what? I let go of the fear and the rest of the ride – until the landing — was fabulous.

  6. PK the Bookeemonster

    I can't do rides. It's not fear it's the motion sickness. I get ill in hammocks.
    My theory of fear is that it is a function of imagination. You're a writer. You probably have a healthy, well-muscled imagination. In almost any situation, you can imagine …. the worst, a disaster, etc. that leads to fear. I haven't had a recent encounter but when my husband and I were dating we went to the Lewis and Clark Caverns. I learned I'm not a spelunker. My fear — my imagination or my thought projections — just knew that while we were underground beneath tons of rocks there would be an earthquake or we'd get stuck or the lights would go out, and on an on. My biggest fear going back to childhood is fire, in particular involving people. Haven't dealt with that one yet.

  7. Dana King

    "The more cliff jumping I do in my business life, the more reticent I get in my personal life."

    This makes perfect sense. Your personality may only be willing to accommodate so much risk. The more you take in one area, the less you're prepared to accept in another. It's a finite resource that can only be expended so much at a time.

  8. MJ

    I couldn't do that Gorge bridge 15 years ago when we were on vacation. I should try again now.

    I did get to the top of that CN Tower in Toronto with husband who is bothered by nothing but rough water, but when I stepped out of the elevator and turned green (to his and the elevator operator's dismay) he let me hug the inner wall in peace until we could leave. I was nauseous for the rest of the day, oh well.

    I TOTALLY want a tee shirt with that "don't get on this ride if you woof" logo. That's the best public service logo I've seen in a long time!

  9. Jake Nantz

    Honestly, I can't remember the last time I felt pure terror. Now normal, that-was-some-scary-shit-and-I ain't-going-to-sleep-tonight fear? Anytime I have a nightmare, which usually focuses on something happening to my family that I am somehow unable to stop. Or the time a friend gave me a copy of THE RING on DVD, and because I didn't know what it was I watched it when I was bored at 3 in the morning and the cable out. Imagine how I felt when the movie ended at 4:30 or so, it was pitch black in my house, and the cable was still out (so there was snow on my tv…if you've seen the film and are the least scared by that stuff, you'll understand). Oh, and for those who know the story, there was even an extra kicker. Realization suddenly dawned on me that SOMEONE HAD GIVEN ME THIS COPY OF THE MOVIE.

    Slept with the light on for three days straight, and I was in my 20s at the time.

  10. Rosa St.Claire

    There is an episode of The Middle, where Brick, the youngest son, is terrified of bridges, and his parents attempt every approach to help him conquer his fear. The show was so well done, specially since it's a comedy sitcom.
    I suffer from agoraphobia, so I understand this fear of bridges pretty well. I'm fearful of bridges, but not to that extent. Congrats!

  11. Gayle Carline

    The movie Alien scared the pants off me, mostly because I wasn't paying attention to the ads and thought it was going to be like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Somehow I missed the whole "in space no one can hear you scream" part.

    I, too, have motion sickness. Oddly, I can handle roller coasters, I love the Soaring Over California ride at California Adventure, but don't ask me to get on Star Tours. I did it once, ignoring the Don't Do This If You Have Motion Sickness signs because I'd just been on three coasters. The ride started, my seat began shifting and jerking while a giant screen made me think I was racing through space, avoiding asteroids and fighting The Empire. And I thought, hmm, maybe I DO have motion sickness.

    I made it through the ride without barfing, but I was sick the rest of the day.

    From your description, I'm afraid I'd never be able to do the Harry Potter simulation.

  12. Louise Ure

    Love Chuck's falling lawn implement terror!

    Bruce had your trait of trying to throw himself, or the car, off cliffs. Not fun for him or the passenger.

    I can't think of a recent occasion or phobia that terrifies me (other than political ones, and those can be pretty scary).

  13. David Corbett

    I once turned utterly horribly chickenshit in front of "the cool kids" in 7th grade on an open corrugated fiberglass something-or-other that crossed a not particularly canyonesque ravine near where I grew up. Fell to my knees in terror, in front of a girl I had such a crush on. Still ashamed of it. Cannot remember the rest of the day to save my soul. (Great grist for fiction, those moments.)

    During Terri's illness I was numb with dread, and afterward got stuck in a more selfish, craven little fear, which I eventually crawled out of.

    But now the terrors are the reckless blind car-wreck of love and the indifference of life to those of us dragooned into living it. To wit:

    I'll marry myself to you and take my chances,
    stepping onto the rock
    which is a whale, the ship which is about to set sail
    and sink
    in the danger that carries us like a mother.
    –Denis Johnson, "Proposal"

  14. Gar Haywood

    Okay, J.T., I'm about to tell the story of the most embarrassing scaredy-cat moment of my life.

    When I was seventeen (eighteen?), my two best male friends and I went to see THE EXORCIST together, having little or no idea what we were getting into. All good Catholic boys with a rock-solid belief in God and, far more importantly, the devil.

    We slept that night — and I use the word "slept" very loosely here — on the floor in Tim Ghess's living room. With the lights on.

    What a wuss, huh?

  15. Cornelia Read

    I'm pretty terrified right now, looking at all the crap I STILL HAVE TO PACK!!! Luckily, the guy who's going to help me load the truck blew me off for this afternoon and is showing up in the morning. This is A GOOD THING!!

    You are so brave, JT, to go out on that bridge AND on that ride!!!

  16. Tammy Cravit

    Congratulations on making it out over the gorge! And I totally get the roller coaster thing – last time I rode one, I did exactly as portrayed in the sign.

    Fear of heights is a funny thing for me. There's a bridge near here, the remains of an abandoned railway trestle, that one can walk out on. I got terrible vertigo there and NEVVER felt comfortable. But 2,000 feet up in a Piper Cub, or standing in the glass elevator at the CN Tower? Neither of those bothered me a bit. I tried rock-climbing once, and wasn't too bothered going up or down, though the first step over the edge when rappelling was a bit scary. I never got good at that sport, though – not enough upper body strength, given my not-skinny physique, I'm afraid.

    The last time I was totally terrified? Probably the time Megan and I were walking home from dropping "Pua" (our flower-adorned Scion xB) off for an oil change, and a group of rather "rough" looking guys started following us and making lewd comments in our direction. We got out of that okay, obviously, but I was definitely scared sh**less for a few minutes there.

  17. Jenni

    Oh boy, do I ever relate to your experiences, motion sickness, growing older reticence, and all. When my husband tries to push me to do more, go higher, faster, with more risk, I tend to pull back. I know what could happen. Part of that is due to a lengthy career in law studying accident & medical records and autopsy reports, and part is fear of heights and that tendency towards motion sickness. Even as a kid, I couldn't ride a merry-go-round without getting sick.

    Last time I got fearful like that was at the end of July, when we went for what was supposed to be an easy hike up Mt. Pilchuk. The trailhead starts at 3000 ft, then quickly climbs to over 5,300 ft. We had my husband's two teen boys with us, and we were all in shorts and t-shirts, and the boys had on tennis shoes with no tread. Pretty quickly, we were into snow, crossing huge snow packs with the sun beating down on us, making the crossings slushy, mushy and a bit treacherous for our footing.

    I turned around after we went across a narrow little path which dropped off below – there were only the footprints of other hikers to step into with sheer walls of snow/ice above and below with a narrow footpath. With the snow melting it was slippery. I was holding onto the mountainside with my hands buried in the snow as I stepped, stomping my feet into the mountainside to get my footing, trying not to look down. My hands were freezing. My husband was telling me to "scamper across," and I was almost paralyzed with fear of falling. Somehow, I got across and looked up the mountain and yelled up to him, "I'm not taking one more step." I had to work up my nerve to cross back over that scary part again with deer flies and bees buzzing around me every step I took. My husband kept going up because the boys had "scampered" out of view.

    I headed back down the trail in shame because I had lost my nerve. My husband said after he got up that first part, he knew I would never have made it. After that there were more even scarier crossings and climbs, all in deep snow, and he began to doubt whether he could make it, but his boys were out of sight and he had to keep going. My husband ended up with pulled muscles in his thighs and hamstrings. He said he stepped down once between two boulders and sunk into the snow and the momentum propelled him forward – it took all his strength to keep his balance and stop from going forward and breaking a bone. I'm just glad I turned around when I did and no one got hurt. Well, except my husband, really – pulled muscles are no fun.

    The lesson is, it's good to know your limits.

  18. Allison Davis

    I woke up in the middle of the night in my New Orleans house, hearing glass breaking. I got out of bed and the lights wouldn't go on, none of them. I thought, what was going on next door with breaking glass and what happened to the electricity? I looked out towards my back door and there was a hand reaching in a broken window trying to open my door.

    I crossed in front of that ominous door to try and get to the phone, which was also dead. I thought, my god, he's turned off all the power. I headed back to the bedroom for my cell phone. Now anyone who has a house in New Orleans knows to be put key locks on both the inside and outside, which I had. So he could fiddle all he wanted, but without a key, that door would not open. Of course, for me to flee out my front door I had to get a key so back to the kitchen where they were hanging and once again crossed in front of the struggling burglar. This time I spoke to him in a loud voice telling him rude things (my neighbor later says to me, "I heard what you said to him, I heard you.") I grabbed the key.

    By this time Ms. Fannie next door is yelling my name and her dog is barking. I run from my front door into her arms and her front door. The first thing she said, "Thank you Jesus that we all are safe." By this time, they had called the cops, I had called the cops on my cell and we had a cruiser there — but Ms. Fannie had seen the burglar take off on his bicycle. The cops drove around, looking for him but he was gone. The Crime Lab folks came ("ridiculously fast," said the uniform) — two gorgeous young women, who went everywhere looking for something — nothing. That wasn't when I was scared. Not even that night (and the next day a friend came over, fixed everything, including a lock on my outside switch that turns the electricity off so you can hook up a generator — left over from Katrina and some bars on the back windows and wouldn't take any money, so New Orleans) where I insisted on going back to sleep in spite of hole in my window.

    I got scared the next time I was back at the house, and the next time and probably the next time after that when I was there alone. And, it was late, and dark. I kept looking out that back window….

    Not much scares me, really. That was scary.

  19. Reine

    PS: Worse than my fear of glass floors is my fear of being alone, of losing people I love, of feeling vulnerable. That is all tied together somehow. Fear of feeling vulnerable has hit my town, and my little neighborhood in huge ways recently.

    Not long before Gerald Loughner killed and disabled my neighbors and the little girl down the road, there was the man who stalked old and disabled women. He left his shoe prints and hand prints on my doors and windows. He even left a window open in my husband's study. I discovered it in the morning. When Kendall and I went for a walk, there was an ambulance outside our neighbor's house. He had killed her. He had done all that shit at my house, and then he went and killed our friend Betty.

    He had targeted her, because she was old. He had targeted me, because I am a quad (tetra). But I am not as vulnerable as I might appear. I have learned to use electronics creatively. My new electric wheelchair is a powerful device that can be used as a defensive tool. Its ability to move very quickly can be life saving. When running away is not an option it can be an offensive tool by effectively using its ability to tilt and ram. And as an ex-cop I still have my service weapons.

    Now we learn that republicans in our district are auctioning off a Glock – the type of gun that Gerald Loughner used to kill and disable my neighbors. http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/207698/20110902/gabrielle-giffords-gun-raffle.htm They are doing this to raise money for their political party. The sanest of Tucson heads are afraid of this movement within local politics and wonder where it will lead. What is it symptomatic of? I want to move. I want to go home to Salem and Marblehead.

    Electronics are my world. My very existence and my activity depend on electronics. I embrace them gladly and gratefully. For those of you who have messaged me in the last couple of days out of concern, I just want to say that I get too wrapped up in my escape through electronics, but it is the only way I have of dealing with the shit that is my life right now– with my husband's cancer, my daughter's end-stage renal failure, my beautiful and darling niece's stage-four breast cancer, my inability to be there with them when they gather back home . . . I escape all this . . . or deal with it with electronics. I am not in any danger. I am not suicidal. I live in the beautiful land of ElectroniKa. But I'd rather be home in Salem.

  20. JT Ellison

    My friends, I am awestruck by your stories. Some are funny, some are terrifying, and I can't thank you enough for sharing with me today. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own worries that I forget how good I have it. Being afraid of heights seems to be a small sacrifice to make.

    Mr. Ellison took me to a place that had no access today in an effort to force me to do some vacationing on my vacation, which I haven't been doing well. Reine, I totally understand the desire to connect electronically – I've been fretting all day that I couldn't get on here and answer your comments.

    It's wonderful that we can all be here for one another, and share these incredibly personal feelings and stories. Thank you. I adore you all.

    And since I forgot:

    Wine of the Week: Passo Dei Caprioli http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1046569
    – I loved the leaping stag, and the wine was yummy. I raise a glass to all of you tonight!

  21. Fran

    I get the motion sickness, I really do. I've got a cast iron stomach except. . .I can't participate in Second Life at all because I'll hurl. Every time. And, strangely enough, I tried finding something using Google maps and actually looking at the street, moving down it.

    Nope. No way, no how. Had to go lie down and concentrate on not throwing up some fabulous frozen custard (caramel and salty pecan). Eventually I lost myself in Eve Dallas and Roarke's time in Dallas, Tx, before I could stand up again. Totally get the motion sickness.

    Clowns terrify me, and I swear they were designed just to do that. Spiders still do, although I've gotten past the part of having nightmares induced by "Charlotte's Web" which happened for a while. But I'm better now (thank you, Harley Jane, and "Arachnophobia" which really did help).

    Congratulations on the bridge!

  22. Servo drives

    Hey, I just hopped over to your site via Stumbleupon. Not somthing I would normally read, but I liked your thoughts none the less. Thanks for making something worth reading.

  23. ZoΓ« Sharp

    Hi JT

    Sorry to come late to the party. Andy and I are both rollercoaster nuts, but Andy cannot ride simulators – they make him instantly sick.

    I'm terrible with scary movies – even ones I've seen before. You remember the bit in JURASSIC PARK, when the power goes out, and in one lightning flash the tethered goat is there, in the next it's gone, and the next what's left of it lands on the roof of the vehicle? We watched that at a home cinema store in their demo room. With the great picture and surround-sound, I jumped so hard I threw half a cup of tea all over their sofa and the salesman. He was not impressed.

    And if I'm in the house on my own, I can't go into a room without checking behind the door …

    By the way, I had REALLY bad vertigo earlier this year, which turned out to be an inner-ear problem. My doc gave me some weird exercises and they totally cured it. Email me if you want the details ;-]

  24. PD Martin

    Hi JT! Congrats on getting on that bridge! I love rollercoasters, with a passion. But I am scared of the dark and being home alone!

    But your story about the feeling of wanting to fly made me immediately think of one of my bizarre impulses. Every time I see a cop, I have this desire to see if I could get his/her gun out of the holster. Seriously bad news, bad impulse. But there it is, fingers itching, whenever a cop is in sight.

    Back to rollercoasters…now I want to go to the Harry Potter Park!
    Phillipa

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