Friday, March 4, 2011

The Donkey and My Acute Fear of Log Flume Rides

A personal fear rarely makes sense to anyone but the person who possesses that fear. For instance, I don't understand ailurophobia, which is a fear of cats, because I personally love cats. I'm the crazy cat lady, after all. So I wasn't surprised when tonight while having dinner at The Lazy Donkey with my husband and Aunt Claire, I was made fun of by both of them about my fear of log flume rides. 

Now, I did check to see whether or not there was a scientific term for a log flume ride phobia before writing this, and because there wasn't, I made up my own. As a victim of logflumaphobia, I have long-suffered with a nearly paralyzing fear of rides like Splash Mountain at Disney World or Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls at Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure. In fact, in the past I have totally avoided such rides due to an overwhelming wave of nausea and a case of the shakes every time I am even near one.*

Strangely enough, I haven't always been afflicted with logflumaphobia. At one point, the log ride at Six Flags was one of my favorites. I would beg to ride it! 
Look at the sheer joy! What happened to those careless days of childhood?
So what happened? Where did I derail and begin this course towards fear and loathing? I don't remember the exact moment that I went from loving flume rides to fearing them, but I do know that as a fearless young girl I didn't think about the danger of an amusement park a neurotic adult, I do. Growing up ruins everything.

Somewhere in the recesses of my over-active mind, I developed a phobia about not being strapped into the ride vehicle. With no seat belt, I concurred, what was to stop me from jumping out of the vehicle mid-ride or (gasp!) standing up on the ride at the very top of the drop hill?

While explaining this at dinner, Claire made an excellent (and not thought of before by me) point. If that is the basis of my fear -- the standing up in or jumping out of the ride vehicle --, then what stops me from having similar compulsions to, let's say, jump out in front of a car? Or stick my finger in an electrical socket? To which I could only reply, "touche." But irrational fears are just that: irrational. And yeah, mine may be one of the most irrational of them all.

In addition to logflumaphobia, I also have an irrational (or maybe not so irrational) fear (annoyance?) of loud, obnoxious people...and tonight at The Donkey, we were seated in an entire room full of them. This minor inconvenience could have ruined dinner, but we didn't let it. The food, as usual, was absolutely delicious. 

For a Mexican restaurant to be a really good Mexican restaurant, for me, the chips and salsa need to be awesome. And The Lazy Donkey has that part of the meal down to a science. I've rarely been when the chips weren't hot and fresh, and the salsa wasn't spicy and delicious, and tonight was no exception. Oh, and the cheese dip, let's not forget the cheese dip. I could write a poem about their cheese dip. "Ode to the Cheese Dip." Readers would weep. It has just the perfect amount of meltiness and flavor. So often cheese dips can be bland and nearly watery but not at The Donkey. 

Jeremy and I got our normal orders. A Burrito Texano for JR, a huge burrito stuffed with onions, peppers, shrimp, chicken, and beef and smothered in cheese. And a #28 for me: chalupa, chile releno, and tamale. I can't remember everything on Claire's plate, but she agreed that it was great. The ingredients are always fresh. Nothing ever seems just "warmed up." But the best thing about The Donkey is the fact that it is consistent. Each time we go there the food is the same: excellent and fresh!

Tonight's visit was no different, except for the addition of some great dinner conversation with Claire about my irrational fears, my grandfather's penchant for shady restaurants/truck stops, and Jeremy's liberal use of some hot hot sauce.

*Some exaggeration added for dramatic effect.

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