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<your background>
1.Q Tell me about the first time you can remember being thrilled.
1.A I remember going to an old amusement park in the midwestern United States (Michigan or Illinois or Missouri, I think) when I was ten or so. There was a rickety old wooden roller coaster there. We rode the coaster. It wasn't a great ride, but the coaster was so old and in such disrepair, when we went around the first wide, sweeping turn after the first jarring drop, we could feel the wooden structure around us wobble and sway from the weight of the train.

After getting off, we walked away, thrilled the coaster hadn't fallen apart. The incredible postscript to the story is that as we went off to seek out other rides, we saw an old roundhouse with vinyl walls that could be dropped down in inclement weather. Inside the roundhouse were mules, slowly trudging around in a circle, tied to a large horizontal wooden wheel. Wondering what the mules were powering, we followed a slowly moving chain out of the roundhouse and over to the roller coaster. The mules were powering the main lift of the roller coaster we had just ridden on!

2.Q What's been your most frightening thrill ever?
2.A My most frightening thrill ever was when I was a stupid young man and a friend of mine and I decided to make a dummy out of old clothes stuffed with newspaper. Then we hid in the bushes and threw the dummy out in front an oncoming car. The dummy smacked the front of the car with a satisfying "thump!" and we ran into my house -- literally 30-feet away from our shenanigans -- and hid, looking out the window to see what would happen next.

Needless to say, the driver of the car was apoplectic with rage. His car still in the street of our busy residential neighborhood, he charged to the porch of my parent's home, and began banging on the door and screaming for the "little fucking bastards" inside to come out.

As stupid as we were to have done this prank in front of my own house, we weren't stupid enough to have done it with my parents home. No one answered the door, but the victim stood out on the porch for what seemed an eternity threatening to kill us. We were terrified, because we knew with absolute certainty he meant every word.

Of course, that ties with what happened later, when I was in high school. Attending a high school church camp on the campus of our church college in Iowa, my buddies and I were playing Dungeons & Dragons in the dorm we were temporarily occupying. It became dinner time as a torrential summer rain storm poured down outside. Running across the quad to get to the cafeteria in as short of a distance as possible, a strike of lightning hit mere feet away from us as we ran through muddy grass. Our hair stood on end. Our mouths filled with the taste of ozone. We looked at each other wild-eyed and continued running to the cafeteria, screaming our heads off.

3.Q What's the smallest or slightest thing to have thrilled you?
3.A That's a tough question. Most likely, if I really stop to think about it, it's getting a "sneak peek" of my wife naked. I've been married to her for 19 years, but it's still as thrilling today as a high school kid accidentally seeing into the girl's locker room when the door was open just right and he was walking past at that exact moment.

4.Q Tell me why you're not a sensible person.
4.A Ah, but I AM a sensible person.

5.Q What were you doing the last time you were really bored?
5.A Waiting in an airport.

6.Q What's the most uninhibited thing you've ever done?
6.A Ran naked through a public park at 1 a.m.

7.Q What things have you considered doing for thrill, but were too concerned about the risks?
7.A Parachuting, hang gliding.

8.Q I always dreamt about being a paramedic, driving an ambulance and saving lives; what about you?
8.A I have always dreamt about being an air traffic controller.

<your thrill>
To answer these next 14 questions, you should think about a particular time you were thrilled.

9.Q Describe this thrill in a nutshell, in one sentence. (there's time to expand later)
9.A Mastered an amazing device that made you feel you were riding a
skateboard in a half-pipe.

10.Q Where and when did it take place?
10.A In Tokyo about five years ago.

11.Q Tell me a bit about yourself around this time.
11.A I was working for a large corporation at the time and traveled a lot.

12.Q How did the moment arise? Was it planned?
12.A The trip was planned. The visit to the particular location where this device was located was also planned, but I didn't know anything about the device and I "discovered" the device.

13.Q List the sequence of events leading up to your thrill, and how you felt at each stage. The smallest detail could be important (this is your chance to expand).
13.A The device was scary to look at. Getting on it and allowing it to swing you horizontally through the air required a great deal of trust in a machine. Then, at the apex of the half-pipe, when your body is fully horizontal, throwing your weight toward the ground in order to do a 180-degree or 360-degree turn on this device required an even greater leap of faith.

14.Q At the exact moment of thrill, how did your mind and body feel?
14.A Exhilarated. Surprised. Electric.

15.Q What thoughts were going through your mind?
15.A "Wow! I can't believe I'm doing this and not face-planting myself in the diamond plate down there!"

16.Q What did you do immediately afterwards?
16.A Do it again.

17.Q What were the most likely things that could have put you off going through with it?
17.A Fear the device was unsafe.

18.Q How were other people important to your thrill?
18.A They weren't. I was essentially alone.

19.Q What do you imagine other people were thinking throughout your thrilling episode?
"Check that guy out. He really can do that."

20.Q Some people probably don't understand how such a thing can thrill you; could you explain it to them?
20.A Yes.

21.Q Why were certain objects or equipment important to your thrill?
21.A It was a ride device with sophisticated motors and hardware. Without it, I could not have experienced the moment at all.

Is there anything you want to add?
In taking this interview it dawned on me that I don't do a lot of things in my life I'd qualify as thrilling. It made me realize I need to get out and do more.




what do you find thrilling?