Saturday, July 24, 2010

Still Havin' Fun

When I first started this job, I decided that Restraint was my favorite position. While it's not my absolute favorite at this point, it's still the most fun for messin' with people.

When I'm at Restraint 1 and send my Train, I like to play with the people waiting to go at Restraint 2. Since the Restraint 2 cast member is walking along the train to check lap bars, the person in the front seat is usually just sitting there, looking at the empty track stretched before them and waiting to go. If the Restraint 2 person stops to talk to anyone or help anyone, I'll step out toward the track and make a wordless gesture to the person in seat one.

Come forward! Come on, please!

They stare at me.

Come on! Move this way, please!

They start to search their seat area for a way to make the train move.

Come on! Hurry up!

At this point, I love to see which reaction will follow. Some will look confused and look around at their friends sitting behind them, wondering what to do. Some simply smile. Others, however, get into the spirit of the game. They'll start scooting and straining forward, trying to move the train. They'll pump their arms in a running motion to try and reach me. They'll pick up invisible oars and start rowing, or they'll reach both arms toward me with a playful plea on their faces, "I can't reach you!"

I've also discovered that even if words and gestures are used together, people will still misunderstand what I'm trying to say. I'll walk along the train and with my palms up, make a lifting motion, and say the words, "Please lift UP on your lap bar." For some reason, this particular motion makes them all lift their hands straight up in the air.

If the first person lifts their hands in the air, everyone behind them will do the same. It's fun to see if I can get a wave going.

The palm-up-lifting-motion-gesture causes several reactions.

Please lift up on your lap bar. (Palm up gesture.)

They raise their hands.

They push DOWN on their lap bars.

They say, "What? Do WHAT?"

They stare blankly.

People, you may be sitting on a rocket, but it's NOT rocket science.

Thursday night, I decided to try turning my palms downward and THEN making the lifting gesture.

It worked! Every single person understood and tested their lap bar as requested. I tested the theory with several different trains (the things we do to stay awake and alert). I tried some trains with palms up, then some with palms down. The palms down trains followed my instructions to a T, even if they didn't speak English. Success!

That night, I shared this with some fellow cast members on the bus back to the parking lot. My friend, Michael, came up to me last night and said, "It worked! It really works!"

Hey, anything to make the job easier.

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