When A Friend Wants To Go On Scary Fair Rides But You're Terrified

This week we have a guy who wants to go to the fair with his buddy, but he's afraid of riding all of the intense rides his friend is excited about. Should he buck up and strap in, or find a way out before he hurls hot dog on his shoes?

Photo: Derek Giovanni

Some people have problems that require delicate advice from a qualified professional. Others just need a random guy on the internet to kick 'em in the teeth (with honesty, that is). I'm the latter. Welcome back to Tough Love.

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Note: I'm not a therapist or health professional of any kind. People ask for my advice and I give it to them. End of transaction. If you have a problem with it, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with it.

Hey Patrick,

This week my best friend invited me to go to a county fair with her. Normally this would be great except I'm terrified of most of the rides they have at fairs, such as the Zipper or the swinging ride or the Tilt-a-Whirl. I later found out that she is excited to go with me because she wants someone to go on the really scary rides with her.

I know I'm a grown man so I shouldn't be so afraid of rides like that, but they scare the crap out of me. But I also don't want to let my best friend down, or make her invite someone else. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Scarris Wheel

Hey Scarris Wheel,

I'd like to start by saying DON'T BE SUCH A WEENIE. Controlled fear like that is good for you, and it's the ultimate bonding experience. Nothing brings people to together quite like the shared feeling that you've survived something, you know? I bet after you manage to overcome the first heart-pumping, nausea-inducing ride, you'll feel a gnarly adrenaline rush that will carry you through the rest of the rides. Have a beer or two beforehand and you'll feel invincible.

That said, you're most certainly not invincible, and injuries on those rides - while highly unlikely - are possible. But you're just as likely to hurt yourself on a mobile fair ride as you are on a fixed ride in a big amusement park, so if you aren't afraid of the fast stuff at Disneyland, you don't need to be too afraid here. Still, maybe there are some other options for you, Sir Weenie, that make the experience fun for both of you.

First, be honest with your friend. There's no need to try to impress her - she's your best friend after all - so let her know the really scary rides aren't your cup of tea. Tell her you'll ride all the less-scary rides and look at cute animals and eat all the delicious, artery-clogging fair food (the real killer), but that you don't want to ride something called the "Death Spinner".

If she wants to ride the scary stuff, tell her you'll take photos of her on the ride, or go on a treat run while she screams her head off. Who's going to say no to someone saying, "You have fun and I'll go stand in line for beer and fried Twinkies"?

Also, why does it only have to be you two? Your other easy option is to invite a third person to the fair - someone you know loves to test their mettle in the Gravitron. Surely one of you knows somebody that would ride the rides and be fun to hangout with. They can do the scary stuff and you can enjoy everything else.

Or you can suck it up, knock back some liquid courage, and scream bloody murder like everyone else. You'll live - probably.


That's it for this week. I probably didn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes what you need is some tough love. 'Til next time, figure things out for yourself.


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