at 225 feet and 85 MPH, perhaps size does matter
chapter one
photos by Sonny I, LaVista

when the teen slave David showed up to the most famous battle of all times with no armor no sword scrawny and dirty, Goliath shouted to the Israelites, "Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?"

Goliath wore a suit of armor that weighed 150 pounds, he stood ten feet tall and carried a spear who's tip alone weighed 20 pounds. So this is what David said to the Philistine warrior:

"You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled. This day the Lord will deliver you in my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's and he will give you into our hand."

And Goliath and David ran at each other, "And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone, and he slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground."

Ten feet tall might sound like bullshit but if I had to describe how high and how steep Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia is, it might sound equally over-exagerrated Oh well, fuck em if they don't believe.

Goliath is a huge sonofabitch. You can see it from everywhere, but unlike the other rides you can't hear it. Throughout the day and into the night of working our way up to the newest freakride we heard people screaming on almost all of the attractions, but when we finally got in line under neath it we understood why it appeared so quiet: fucker's so high up you cannot hear the people screeching!

All of the rides I tried to avoid the drop.

Fortunately, on all of the rides, I did avoid the drop. You know, the feeling where your stomach twists inside-out and tries to shoot through your esophagus and our of your nose. I didn't do anything, technically - I just lucked out and none of these fine pieces of machinery had a steep enough drop that caused the uncomfortable sensation, thankfully..

Goliath has a drop that you cannot avoid. You stand in line to take it on. You approach it with no armor, no parachute, no tools. Just your guts, your foolishness, your prayers, and your girlfriend.

And because Halloween was approaching, it just happend to be time for "Goliath in the Dark." No lights to show what turns and drops were next. Sort of like Space Mountain on acid (or in some cases - on two caps and three thick stems of juicy upnorth 'shrooms).

Why was I doing this? Was my tribe in dire need of protection from an uncircumcised monster? No, I was doing this because my girlfriend loves this shit and it was my birthday and because I had run out of excuses and because sometimes shit happens and there you are and you have to actually do something and you especially have to do it when you're the anointed one, fucker, so quit acting like a fucking pussyass bitch and show like you have a pair.

Goliath answers the question of does size matter with a hell yeah, but it's magic is it's ride. This thing is smooth like someone actually paid attention to comfort. Most of these "coast"ers rattle you around scrambling your brain in such a way that you get distracted from the intended experience. Not so here. This is a first class luxury glide which is good because just when you feel good about surviving that first drop and get a little cocky comes a corkscrew that has you feeling the uncomfortable science of G-Force where your face attempts to go back in time to a place before faces. This is where the motion of the ocean bitchslaps the size of the ship and the screams from space are silenced.

Am I happy that I today I turned thirty four years old? I am happy how I turned it and with whom and where. And may the rest of this year bring equally rewarding adventures. And may the Cubs get some fucking pitching before I turn 134 and drop dead.