My powers of persuasion apparently at their peak, I had scored unheard of privileges in the weeks prior to my high school graduation.
First, I had gone on the Senior Class Trip. True, it was only to Grossinger’s, a now-defunct Borscht Belt resort in the Catskills, but still, it had been an overnight trip. In fact, it was the very first time that I had slept in a bed away from home, not counting hospital beds.
Next, I had gone to the Senior Prom. My mother would have killed me had she known the after party had alcoholic beverages but no parental supervision. No matter, the zipper on my dress jammed two inches down leaving my options for trouble (and comfort) extremely limited.
Finally, I had arranged to go with school friends on a completely unsanctioned visit to Great Adventure and Jungle Habitat in Jackson, New Jersey. Sure, it was just for the day but it was my first time outside the state of New York. The only items on the agenda were mayhem and high jinx.
Great Adventure, an amusement park known for its wild rides, was where we got stuck on the Log Flume.
They only allowed four people per “log”, but we snuck in two additional friends to make a snug six-some. With the stowaways on board, our log was overweight and got frozen at a 45° angle halfway up the big ramp. The whole ride came to a screeching halt. We were up there for about an hour during which we could not stop laughing. The employees? The other riders? Not terribly amused.
Jungle Habitat, a drive-through “safari” known for its wild animals, was where we got attacked by the baboons.
The park required a waiver exempting the facility of liability for any damages to your vehicle, property, or person caused by the freely roaming wildlife. Though he was driving his parents’ brand-new convertible, my friend Danny signed without giving it a second thought. Turns out we were lucky it was only the canvas roof that got mauled by the large monkeys. Future visitors were not so fortunate.
All-in-all, it was a great day. Despite our brushes with danger, we returned home exhausted but unscathed.
My freedom, alas, ended the same way it had started. Suddenly and for no reason. My mother restored my normal status of “grounded” for the duration. Even so, my brief parole had indeed been a great adventure.
© 2013 Jaclyn Schrier. All rights reserved.