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The Ring of Fire
A Thumbnail of Dr. Mona Minkara's image Mona Minkara - March 24, 2016
A picture of a large amusement park ride called the ring of fire. It is a roller coaster track in the shape of a large vertical ring.


Back when I was still living in Gainesville, Florida, one of my best friends, Charissa, called me up and asked me if I wanted to join her at the local county fair that was coming through. I was excited, for I had not been to a county fair and I absolutely love rides. Also, her kids are great, and the trip just seemed like an overall lovely idea.

We decided we would go in the evening. Who wants to be out in the hot summer day in Florida heat? Besides, the lights are way better at night. Evening comes and Charissa picks me up, her two boys in the backseat of the car, me in the front. We were all so happy we waited for night to fall, as the evening was cool and breezy. We chat all the way to the fairgrounds.

As we walk up, Charissa warns me not to get too many tickets, for there won’t be that many big rides. She knows me too well! I love riding roller coasters and getting tossed around. So we go in and I ride with her kids on one of the rides. It’s exciting for the young ones, a little bit dull for me. But, it was their first ever “helicopter ride,” so I was happy riding with them. We walk around a little more and Charissa starts to name all the rides around me. She gets to one called the “Ring of Fire!”

Obviously, she needed to be with her kids and this ride to intense for her youngin’s. But the name got me. I was sold and HAD to ride it. As she described to me what it was, I got even more excited, so I took my ticket in hand and waited in line alone. My turn came up.

Now imagine a circular track that goes high up in the air so at some points you are completely upside down. I get in to this cage-like contraption, butterflies of excitement hopping in my stomach.The ride begins slowly. We rise up this circle. At this point my back is exactly perpendicular to the ground, and I am having a blast hanging my hand and legs out. The bar was loose so I was slipping, but don’t worry!—there was a cage above my head and a bar over my waist. We continue to rise, and we reach the top of the circle, and now we are hanging upside down completely. The ride stops a few times art the peak for exaggerated effect. We go around and around and I I am having so much fun, when suddenly I feel something hit my hand. With my cat-like reflexes, I immediately close my hand, allowing me to catch whatever had just fallen. I look down and I am shocked at what my hand contains.

We continue, and go around the loop just  a few more times. When we get off, I look to the girl that was sitting in front of me and ask her,

 “Is this your cell phone?”

She exclaims, “Oh my God! How did you catch it?! This is amazing! It just fell out of my pocket and I thought I had lost it!”

I told her, “Oh, no problem at all. By the way, I am blind.”