My First Time on the Mindbender
By Marie Drake
It was a warm day for February, so warm the snow was melting to the point where you couldn’t step anywhere without getting your pant legs wet. Saturday, stuck in the belly of the great orange beast known as Grant MacEwan Centre for the Arts, the design foundation certificate (DFC) students struggled through drowsiness to focus on the task at hand, dealing with the concept of perspective. Sitting on the uncomfortable donkey’s waiting for the clock to strike noon, Marie and Brittney where having their usual morning conversation with their friends. The idea was hatched even before class had started, “Me and my cousin are going to go ride the Mindbender after class today.” Brittney casually brought up, “Anyone can come, if they want.”
“The Mindbender?” Marie asked. “Sure, I’m in.”
After what seemed like an eternity, the DFC students were finally free to start their weekends. Brittney and Marie headed out into the warm winter sunlight and towards the Jasper Place bus depot to wait for the 125 bus. While waiting for the bus, the girls reminisced about all the eccentric people they had encountered while traveling on Edmonton transit. Eventually the 125 made its appearance at the depot, the girls boarded, and so their journey to the Mindbender began. Arriving at Brittney’s house to wait for her cousin, the girls dumped their stuff in a corner and went to the basement to play Wii sports. As the time dragged by without a single sign from Brittney’s cousin, the girls decided to go and get some lunch.
Abandoning their game, they grabbed their wallets and trudged through the monstrous puddles of slush to Kingsway Mall. It was about 3 in the afternoon and the mall’s food court was still quite congested. Through the throng of people the girls managed to obtain some food and a decent table. While eating, the girls decided to give Brittney’s cousin until four’ o’clock; if he didn’t call or show up then they would go without him. After lunch the girls wandered around Kingsway looking in some of the stores just trying to waste time. Eventually four’ o’ clock rolled around and there was still no sign of Brittney’s cousin. Having made their minds up, Marie and Brittney headed back outside into the rapidly cooling air and towards the bus depot of Kingsway Mall. The girls dealt with another bus ride of silence and idle chitchat, a stopover at the Jasper Place bus depot, and a group of rather interestingly dressed teenagers.
Finally the girls had arrived at West Edmonton Mall; full of nerves and eagerness they exited the bus and headed to the front doors. Inside, the mall was like a giant maze filled with endless crowds of shoppers, all headed in the same direction. Maneuvering through the crowds in the opposite direction reminded Marie of salmon swimming upstream fighting the current. After getting lost and wandering around for a few moments, the girls finally found the entrance to Galaxyland. Marie and Brittney paid for their admission and stepped through the archway that opened into the wondrous and colourful amusement park. The girls headed straight for the monstrous rollercoaster known as the Mindbender. Unfortunately, when the girls arrived they discovered that the ride had been put out of order for, at the very least, a half hour. Although Marie and Brittney’s confidence, and courage, was considerably shaken, they were resolved to wait the half hour and go on the ride anyways.
Instead of wandering aimlessly through the park, the girls decided to go on some of the smaller rides to help build their courage up. Starting off with, something easy, the mini rollercoaster seemed like a safe bet. The old, red, and rickety coaster took the girls around the park at a nice safe speed. Safely returning to the beginning of the ride, the girls decided to be a bit more adventurous. The swinging pirate ship, known as the Gold Galleon, was the girls’ next destination. They sat in the back on the right-hand side and waited for the ride to start. The first 5 minutes of the ride was entertaining and stomach-churning. Going into what seemed like the tenth minute, the ride became tiresome and redundant. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the ride was over.Marie and Brittney headed back over to the Mindbender only to decide that they weren’t quite ready for the behemoth coaster. Instead they decided to brave the haunted house. After they had paid the 6 dollars, Marie and Brittney ventured into the spooky and very dark haunted house. Marie remembered that her mobile had a particularly bright light on it. Although the light made the ordeal a bit better, things would still jump out and shock them both. The girls left the house shaken but laughing, Marie checked the time. “Almost 5,” she said, “I think it’s time to go on the Mindbender.”
The girls made their way down the stairs to wait in line. Brittney joked, “We can still get out,” she would say every so often.
Not even 15 minutes later and it was their turn to brave the rollercoaster. They sat in the big seats and waited for the employee to come by and lock the huge safety harness in place. “We can still get out.” Marie joked as she tried to calm herself.
Click . . . click . . . click . . . the sound of the cars climbing higher and higher, Marie kept her eyes shut, not wanting to see the massive drop that was going to eventually occur. Finally the cars hit the highest point of the track before the big plummet. Marie chanced a look as the cars started to drop. As their car started its plunge the profanities that burst forth from Marie’s mouth would have put a sailor to shame. The cars looped, went over hills, and spiralled before finally coming to a halt back at the beginning. The girls gathered their purses and headed for the exit. “We’ve been on the Mindbender,” Brittney said full of enthusiasm. “We can do anything!”
“Even perspective!” Marie added. With that the girls left West Edmonton Mall and began the journey home.