Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Amusing Social Experiment

I'd often wondered if I'd be allowed on a particular type of rollercoaster; you know, the type where your legs hang down because the ride is suspended from the track above?

Now, I know the laws of physics and I understand friction, momentum, etc, but I also know I could probably bungee jump with my leg on and be quite confident that I wouldn't die. If you don't believe me, check out my "Sky Jump" post from New Zealand!

With this nagging question in the back of my mind a few weeks back, I found myself buying a ticket to an amusement park and heading straight for the upside-down rollercoaster line.

I was shocked to see a little icon on the "You must be at least this tall" sign that said "no prosthesis" right next to the one about "no pregnant ladies". It appears they've really thought this one through!

Ignoring the sign, I decided I was in the mood for a social experiment in "amusement park ride operator competence". Would anyone even notice? Would they tell me I couldn't go on it? What if I'd been wearing jeans instead of shorts?

It turns out the answer is a resounding NO, they didn't notice or at least didn't say anything if they did. I wasn't turned away, in fact the girl walked right by me as I climbed into the seat and did up my buckle!

Don't worry, I didn't take it on the ride; I wouldn't put others at risk like that.

When everyone else kicked off their loose shoes, sandals and flip-flops, I kicked off my leg. The squeals of two excited boys in the line behind me were priceless. When the ride got back in, I quickly stepped down into the socket and without missing a beat, walked off as smoothly as anyone else.

Remember kids: friends don't let friends ride the upside down rollercoaster wearing prosthetic legs!


  1. Mike,

    I too have tried this back when I was younger, except there were no signs about "no prosthetics."

    I remember one time I swear my leg was gonna come off and I held on to it with one hand, while the other on the ride harness.

    I got too scared about it happening again, so I have never rode one of those types of rides again.

  2. Okay Mike, your next challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to try and get into one of those zero gravity chambers and randomly float around to see if there is any effect upon your leg/prosthetic. I am already giggling at the mental image of your sock footed leg gently floating through space to the sounds of the soundtrack from some cheesy space movie. Are you game??

    Miss you guys!


  3. That's awesome :) Mind, I used to keep mine on, but back in the days when I'd hit the roller coasters (I'm a bit boring now, not a big fan of crazy rides ;) ), the prosthesis wasn't being held in by suction, there used to be a nice big metal and leather belt attached to the prosthesis that wrapped around my waist under my clothes. It's great that technology has chained, that style of leg was a royal pain in the rear compared to the suction legs I wear these days.