Lagoon: It's what fun is, until it kicks you in the groin

Yesterday I took my family to Lagoon.  For those of you not from around these here parts, Lagoon is our biggest amusement park. So if you want to ride a roller coaster in Utah, it is either Lagoon, or the rickety one run by the scary bearded sex offender at the county fair.  

After dropping $120 at the door, $10 to park, and $40 on lunch, you’d expect me to be a little bitter, but I actually had a really good time. My kids are old enough now that they’re brave, well-behaved in public, and fun. It was one of those summer days that builds fond family memories.

Except for just one thing…

I like to ride the rides. I pride myself on being fearless, and I haven’t barfed because of a ride since three back to back trips on the Tilt-o-Whirl at Great America when I was a kid.  I’ll ride anything.  (provided I can fit, which at 6’5” and big, means that there are a few rides where the safety bars just won’t fit over my legs). But not anymore. I’ve met my match.

It didn’t look like much. It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t up high. It was made for little kids. It was cute. You ride in these little Captain Nemo cars in a circle, while cartoon dolphins squirt water at you, and you can use the hydraulics to steer between them.  The center looks like a big cuddly kraken. It even has a cute name, I think it is called the Ody-Sea or something, and it even plays happy music, while you drive your mini Nautilus through the misters on a lovely summer day. What could possibly go wrong?


That. That’s what could go wrong. Horribly wrong. 

Look at those seats.  Made of hard plastic, and designed by NKVD interrogators, nothing will prepare you for the horror of the de-testiculator.  Now perhaps, for normal size patrons, you could sit in there and not receive the biological equivalent of hitting yourself in the gonads with a garden trowel, but if you’re my size, and you barely fit in anything anyway…

One look told me this was a bad idea, but my son was too short to ride this without “adult” supervision, and he was already in. My five year old would have been heartbroken if I’d bailed after he’d stood in line. So I did my fatherly duty and stepped into the Scrotum-Smasher.   

So I get into this thing, and try to maneuver myself to an angle that won’t cause any permanent damage or internal bleeding. Finally, through judicious use of giving myself a wedgie, and squeezing over as far as possible, I thought I was safe.

Then the ride began.

Remember that part where you steer between the squirting dolphins? Yeah… About that. These aren’t smooth hydraulics. These are bouncy hydraulics.  It was five minutes of ball-busting terror, made all the worse by the happy music.  Those dolphins weren’t laughing with me. They were laughing at me. They were laughing at my pain.


Correia: “What the ****? Are you serious?”

Lagoon Employee: “It’s perfectly safe, sir.”

Correia: “If you’re already a eunch!”

Lagoon Employee: mutters under his breath as he checks the seat belt. “Ai, Ai Cthulu F’tagen.”

Correia: “Excuse me?”

Lagoon Employee: “Nothing. Have a nice trip.”

Ody-Sea: Begins to sing its unnatural song. Horrible machines powered by human tears grind into terrible action.

Son: “Yay!”

Correia: “Ouch! Crap! ****!” bouncy bouncy “Son of a *****!”

Son: “Yay! Dolphins! They’re gonna squirt us, dad! I’ll save us!”

Correia: “No, son don’t pull the lever.”  CLANG “AAARRGGGHH!!!”

Son: “Yay! Oooh a shark!” CLANG

Correia: “AAAAHHHH!!! Stop! NOOOOOO!”

Son: “Oooh, the dolphins again. I better take us up! Yay! Fun!”

Corriea: -sound of sobbing-


The Ody-Sea, satisfied that it had inflicted enough suffering, ground to an inexorable halt. Finally, I limped off, happy to be alive, glad that I’d already had all the children I’d planned on ever having. I was nauseous, as being punt-kicked in the gonads one-hundred-and-thirty-seven-times is wont to do.  As I stumbled away, I took one last look at the Ody-Sea, and I understood…

because **** you is why

I hadn’t recognized the gibbering madness before boarding. This is where testicles are sacrificed to the Elder Things.  Behold the evil of the Ody-Sea. What has been seen cannot be unseen.

So other than singing soprano for the rest of my life, Lagoon was great. I just hope my sacrifice will help appease the Old Ones.

Hey, you guys want to go bomb NPR for me?
The rough draft of DEAD SIX is done!

42 thoughts on “Lagoon: It's what fun is, until it kicks you in the groin”

  1. yea, I’m cryin I’m laughin so hard…..
    I’m gonna be a horrible dad, my kid will get told “if you really want to ride that, go get your mother”

  2. I’d be sympathetic to your plight but… I’m sure once I stop laughing the waves of sympathy will come.

  3. Why do I imagine I can predict one of the tortures to be inflicted upon the hero in the next Monster Hunter International installment?


  4. Well done, Larry. I have enough problems being 6’6″ on an airplane (“Oh, I need to put my tray down to eat. Guess I better cross my legs, tuck my feet under my seat, and take up half the leg room of the person next to me while my calves cramp”) that it’s probably in my best interest to find excuses to avoid childrens’ rides forever.

  5. I believe that there is no such thing as a tall engineer. I have a friend who is an engineer and he is around 5’9″ which must be on the higher end of the spectrum. Nothing seems to be designed for anyone over 6′ tall.

    I carpooled in the back of a two door BMW to a work lunch-in the other day. I had to unfold myself from the back seat. My seating position involved my knees up somewhere around my ears. It took a lot of grunting and struggling to get out that my co workers must have thought I was either trying to give birth or empty my bowels. Next time I’ll drive myself.

    1. I cannot agree with you more soundly…. the only person that I ride with from work has an expedition.

      First time I was ever in a plane was a 13 hour flight….. in COACH!!!!, I swear those seats were designed for and by Asian midgets….. 6’5″ 380 DOES NOT conform well to coach seats.

    2. I work with a lot of engineers. But the issue is that if you design for someone tall, then the far more statistically common shorter people aren’t properly secured.

      Design is based on accommodating the largest possible portion of the population. Since less than 5% of the male population in the US is over 6’2″, you’re basically screwed if you’re that tall.

  6. “First time I was ever in a plane was a 13 hour flight….. in COACH!!!!, I swear those seats were designed for and by Asian midgets….. 6’5″ 380 DOES NOT conform well to coach seats.”

    You ain’t seen nothing till you’ve flown in in a Cessna 150/152. Made for anorexic midgets, those are. Me, being 230lbs and 6 foot tall, does not fit well in one, but when they are the only thing I get to fly, I make that sacrifice.

    Thank god my instructor was a woman, because we spent about 34 hours pressed together closer than two people who aren’t in a relationship should ever have to be.

    I thought she was going to hug me to death when I finally decided to upgrade to the 172s….

    1. Heh. I’ve flown with you, I swear. I warned my students that they would see me walk under the wing of a C-152 or 172 without ducking. They were NOT to do this. Two did anyway, resulting in one concussion and another precautionary lesson cancellation (he was bleeding). Ah, the little diamond on the forehead that is the secret sign of the Cessna driver.

      And my flying buddies still give me holy heck for an incident 13 years ago when I had a 350 lb student in a C-182. It was kinda obvious when we taxied in that there was a slight lateral weight imbalance.

      1. Ah yes, the flaps. Because I’m hard headed, I did that at least twice before figuring it out. I got “the look” from her because of that.

  7. Did you know that it really hurts to laugh hard with two lip ulcers? I do now, though probably not as much as getting your nuts bashed by that thing.

  8. Better go put some ice on that… *snork*

    Seriously, what were they thinking with those seats? Those things would get a Guantanamo interrogator court-martialed…

    …I used to think my stomach was bulletproof as far as carnival and amusement park rides went, too, up until a couple of years ago when my employer decided to hold the annual company picnic at Kansas City’s Worlds of Fun. Among WoF’s many rides is a tall, fast wooden roller coaster called the Timber Wolf, which has a fearsome reputation for sending folks to the hospital. And a well-deserved reputation it is, too, judging from my experience with it…

    Timber Wolf’s seats are much like the Ody-Sea’s, except mercifully without the ballbuster centerpiece. That’s the only trick Worlds of Fun’s engineers missed, apparently, when designing their 70-mph torture chamber. You’re locked into the seat with a barely-padded crossbar – which barely locked into place over my ample belly – and then off you go. First up a ten story or so incline and then straight down.

    When you hit bottom of that first dip you’ll promptly Heimlich yourself (“Hurrrk!’) on that crossbar. Then when the coaster starts up the other side your head will snap back with such force that it’ll SMACK! into the headrest, which might as well not have any padding at all. And the whole time you’re being shaken back and forth like a T-bone steak caught in the jaws of a rabid pit bull. And you do it again. And again. Over and over an eternity of –

    *hurrrk!* SMACK! shakeshakeshake, *hurrrk!* SMACK! shakeshakeshake, *hurrrk!* SMACK! shakeshakeshake *hurrrk!* –

    …and you go back, Jack, and do it again, wheels turnin’ round and round, until the ride is finally, mercifully, over and you stagger off the Timber Wolf and promptly throw up all over the platform. Or, if you’re lucky, like I was, you make it to the rail and puke over that into the bushes. Or maybe, like several people each year at Worlds of Fun, you get taken to the hospital with a concussion and/or whiplash.

    I hope nobody at Worlds of Fun reads about the Ody-Sea. I really don’t want them to get any ideas…

  9. Sounds like a great time . . .
    The last time I went to Lagoon my date and I went on the Samauri. I was fine, besides the fact that the world turned inside out twice and I think my feet switched places at one point, but my poor date was screaming like a little girl because he was getting thrown against the groin guard. Poor guy. I tried not to laugh too hard.

  10. I feel your pain, Larry. Not literally, of course, thank God. Note to self: Never ride the Ody-Sea.

  11. I feel your pain.Lagoon has its charms,but for unmitigated misery and torment-I must nominate the Cyclone at Coney Island.You are sure the thing is going to collapse under you,the noise makes a KISS concert sound like the library.The bar cuts off all feelings below,you can never catch your breath-and you WILL need a chiropractor after from all the jerking and twisting.The non-English speaking crazy Pakis running the “ride” were like something out of an Indian horror movie.

  12. My bud Doc used to have a C172…

    I’m not sure, but, by the time you installed me, him, our fearless passenger, and a few boomsticks and assorted impedimentia, you had enough left on the weight capacity for about three ounces of avgas… So the tanks were filled, and by golly, we USED that runway…

  13. It’s all fun and games until someone gets nailed in the groin. Then, if it’s not you, it becomes hilarious.

  14. I was trying to muffle my LOL here at work and then I got to the transcript and went into full blown silent mode…

  15. OK, this made me laugh pretty hard. Both because, well, it’s funny, AND because I hate that ride and its bouncy hydraulics. Today, though, I’m thanking the heavens I’m a normal-sized female, and not a large-ish male.

    Wish me luck. I go to Lagoon tomorrow.

  16. nice. having a scrotum the size of a crown royal bag, i can completely sympathise.

    Just picture yourself having steamy hot monkey sex with Nancy Pelosi, it’ll make your testes involuntarily retract into your inguinal canal, and you’ll be fine, it’s my personal defense reaction anytime I feel the family jewels being threatened.

    great post. You win the internet.

  17. Went to Lagoon may times as a child. Who knows if my father had to endure anything like that. Now that i have four children, and have put myself in harms way on a few carnival rides more than once, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I will avoid anything called Ody-Sea in the future.

  18. Mike W wins!

    I can hear Mrs. Correia’s whispered conversation with Son now…

    “If you take your Father on the Ody-Sea, all the ice cream you want. It will be our secret.”

  19. I was at Lagoon yesterday, and someone sent me your link. That’s hysterical. Mercifully, my kids are beyond that ride.

    I’ll count myself lucky.

  20. When i’m having a bad day I re-read this.

    Its been two months and maybe 20 readings and I still cant get more than half way down without snorting coffee and crying with laughter.


  21. I’m tempted to move to Utah, get a job at Lagoon, and request to work at the Ody-sea. It would almost be worth it just so I could mutter “Ai, Ai Cthulu F’tagen.” and get paid for it. 🙂

  22. I was born and raised in Utah (still here) and have been experiencing the joys of Lagoon since I was a young kid. Loved your quick comments on the experience. I love your books and would like to find something else that’s a good read (action, good characters, disrespect authority). If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear about them. Thanks!

  23. I worked at kiddie land in lagoon when I was a teenage stoner with no aspirations in life. I can confirm that all testicles lost on that ride are taken to R’lyeh to hasten the approach of the tentacled terror we all love to fear. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

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