I was about to write off the American Adventure theme park as a run-down inland version of a dilapidated seaside amusement park. But then I got into JCB Land. The idea of driving a large machine with a hydraulic arm at first didn’t appeal, especially given that the tracks are disabled as the whole thing is bolted to the floor. I believed the ‘ride’ offered nothing more than the chance to move dirt from one place to another. How wrong I was.
The JCBs on offer have large shovels on hydraulic arms, and you operate them from within a perspex cabin atop a pair of tank-style tracks. You can move big metal shapes into holes with these enormous beasts. Well most people can’t, but it turns out that I have somewhat of a talent for it (after graduating from the moving dirt from one place to another section). I even got a crowd of fans, amazed at the daintiness with which I brandished a large iron triangle at the end of a JCB arm, before flipping it into the corresponding triangular hole.
If you, like me, enjoy hitting things and chopping stuff, this ride could be for you. You get to hit big things very hard. And I’m not just saying this because my brother works there, and got me free tickets to the park. The evidence is on my phone, on which there are several photos of me in bliss in a JCB. My pocket has carelessly decided to send these photos to Amy Accolla – the person unlocky enough to be the first in my phonebook. My pocket has a mind of it’s own – must remember to lock the keypad when I leave my phone in there, before it starts dialling the Indian Speaking Clock.