When I was a wee lass, about eleven, my entire sixth grade class went on a field trip to this theme park called Fun World. I know, I know. Such an original name. And generic as the name was, you’d expect the rides to match. They...did for the most part, the only exception being the focal point—a behemoth rollercoaster known as Crow’s Landing. Crow’s Landing was a rickety contraption that ascended seemingly thousands of feet into the sky. Then would come the drop, a 90+ mile an hour experience. Twists, turns, loops. It was so fast you’d feel the skin on your face threatening to peel off the bone. I went on with a couple of classmates, not my closest friends. The staple ‘mean girls’ found their way aboard. The shy geeky kid. Well, I was there, so the second shy geeky kid. We loaded into the cars, nothing in common, silently keeping to ourselves. Let’s just say by the time we unloaded, we were all best friends. The illusion of impending, agonizing doom has a way of spurring folks to set their initial differences aside. One ‘mean girl’ was even hugging the geeky boy next to her. At the time, it was probably the best day of his life.
You’d be amazed how close the political arena is to a middle school hierarchy. You have the cliques, the populars, the underdogs, the geeks, et cetera. I’d know this, as I am now the president of this here United States. My PR people have me constantly livestreaming to show the citizens how down to earth I am. Because of this, a recent poll found me ‘hashtag relatable’. It may sound like I’m riffing on this, and—well—but overall I’m cool with it. It doesn’t offend me that the American folks are so engaged. If they want to watch my political affairs unfold, who am I to say they can’t. They elected me.
My PR peeps have been livestreaming meetings lately, with diplomats from far and wide. But diplomacy is on the wane, so rather than one-on-one, I’ve arranged for a meeting with about twenty big names. Time is running out to negotiate peace. Still. I have a plan.
My wonderful VP has somehow managed to convince them to meet me at Fun World. When we get there, Crow’s Landing will be waiting. Hehehe...
I remember how as an eleven-year-old my parents would have the news on all our TVs seemingly 24/7. It was noise, if nothing else. A sound machine to kill the silence. Somewhere along the way I started listening. My brain picked up on more than I expected. After my brush with mortality on the coaster, I recall thinking “Woah, if all those world leaders would just ride on one of these things, there would be world peace in a day.” Differences would dissolve right quick. And yeah, it’s a weird means to put things in perspective. But whatever works, right?
The morning of the meetup, I advised the diplomats not to eat before they came. I wanted to disarm them of their pride, but us barfing all over each other would be a little too disarming, if you catch my drift. Strange thing about pride, a lot of these people kinda’ snubbed the Crow’s Landing idea at first; but when apprehension about the coaster spread, all it took was one piping up. “I’m braver than you.” Not to be outdone, the next diplomat stepped forward, then the next. Cowardice was not an option, lest they risk bringing shame to their nations. The livestreams were set up at every turnpoint. It became a test of endurance.
The coaster car began its crawl, creeping forward in leisurely stride. It’s not gonna’ be so bad, was their general consensus. But I knew. As a veteran coaster frequenter, I was well aware what we were in for.
First second over the hill, the plummet began. We caught air, and a cacophony of screams went up. All these suited and gowned individuals now shrieked for their lives. My inner eleven-year-old howled with joy. Wow, this thing was even funner than I remembered.
We braved the twists, the turns, the loops. And by the time it was all over, I was pleased to find a deja vu of sixth grade. A few diplomats hugged each other for dear life—the same few that had previously held contention. What I saw was no longer a room full of uncooperative, stiff-expressioned individuals, rather a collection of opposing nationalities, embracing, gasping, recovering, laughing, and setting everything aside to bask in a shared humanity. Some even wept with relief that it was over and they were still in one piece.
The meeting ended a relative success. A few possibilities for treaties floated around. And everyone was a bit warmer towards each other. Though they’d probably never admit it, I think the majority—if not all—had fun.
I was impeached shortly after.