Octopus Legs and Spinning Heads

In the early summer when I was four, my family visited a famous amusement park in the mountainous North Kanto region. It was the one and only time we went there since the park was quite far away from our hometown.

My family rarely visited amusement parks, and after the long drive, I couldn’t have been more excited about the new adventure I was going to make in the amusement park. On the way, my parents told me that this amusement park was much bigger than the one we had in our hometown and that there would be a wider variety of attractions. What kind of attractions? I wondered.

Once we got inside the park, there were indeed many large and small attractions, most of which I had never seen before. After trying a few, it was almost lunch time. We were looking for a place to sit when I found an enormous octopus towering over us.

“What’s that?” I asked pointing to the octopus.

“Oh, that’s another attraction,” my father replied. “You see the boxes attached to the end of the octopus legs? That’s where you sit.”

As we spoke, the octopus started to move his legs wildly. People sitting on the octopus’ legs were screaming. Somehow, it looked a lot of fun.

“I want to try it, Daddy.”

We had just found a bench to sit, and there were food vendors nearby.

“You two can go,” said my mother sitting on the bench with my baby brother, who was about to turn one year old. “We’ll be waiting here, and once you finish, we can all eat lunch.”

Thus my father and I went to greet this enormous octopus. There was no waiting line, and we were immediately brought to one of the boxes on the octopus’ legs. We sat inside and pulled down the safety belts. We were ready.

The next moment, the octopus started to move its legs and we ascended. The fresh air caressed our faces and the gorgeous view of the park and the surrounding mountains appeared before us. I screamed with joy. I thought we had made the best decision to take this ride on the octopus.

However, that was only the beginning. As soon as we ascended to the full height, the octopus’ leg movement became wild. It started to move its legs in random directions. Up and down, right to left, left to right. It didn’t take long before my father and I started to feel dizzy. I was no longer screaming, but praying in my head that the octopus would soon finish moving.

It felt like an eternity before the octopus finally finished its exercise and our box started to descend. Once it touched the ground and the seat belt signs were off, my father and I both jumped off the box.

“Motion sickness!” said my father as he pressed his head.

Our heads were spinning so badly that we could barely walk. When we finally made it to the bench where my mother and brother were waiting, we collapsed on the bench. I was hungry, but feeling too nauseous to eat anything. In the midst of this physical discomfort, I heard the news that my baby brother had walked on his own for the first time. My mother was very excited.

I wish I had been in a better state to properly celebrate my brother’s milestone that day. I was too sick from the octopus ride to think of anything else for a few hours. I couldn’t even enjoy the lunch. As I looked up at the octopus from the bench, I promised myself that I would never ever ride an octopus again in my life.