Rule 1: Assume a Power Pose
Make your body say, “none of you matter as much as the sound system upgrades I’m buying with coaster money.” Honestly, a pair of wraparound Oakleys does most of the work here. With the right shades, nobody’s mistaking you for one of the fools happy to simply ride a coaster. You can also slouch and nod along to the 3 Doors Down playing privately in your brain. Radiate the superiority of someone who actually appreciates Classic Rock. Imagine how tight those power chords will sound in 5.1 Ford Focus surround. Slouch knowingly in your power.
Rule 2: Avoid Direct Eye Contact
Keep your gaze out toward your dreams on the horizon. If you ever want to improve your fifth-place ranking in Seth’s friend group, you’re gonna need to stay focused on that goal. Ignore the coaster trash and shun your teammates. You alone have climbed the high altar of the launch button and seized the skinny microphone of destiny after all. Look out from that perch, not down. Think about the rumors you’ll spread about Drew’s home shopping network addiction. Keep your chin up as you plan Ty’s damning potted plant fetish. Turn your visor upside down and backward to confuse people about where your eyes might be on your head. Keep everyone on their toes and your eyes on the prize.
Rule 3: Shut It Down
Sometimes you just gotta flex and shut the whole coaster down. Like Seth when he ghosts you for “sweating his nuts too hard.” It hurts but it’s effective. Of course (as Seth demonstrates), this power move works best when you don’t explain yourself. Don’t even give a reason to the other teens in your charge. They don’t know how to tame the most popular coaster in Central Jersey. You do. If you hear rumors about a malfunctioning seat harness or an unresponsive switch, you’ve got them right where you want them. Send empty runs out for an hour. Slouch further down in your chair. Punctuate silences with made up coaster lingo like “booster check” and “bogey bogey nine.” Let them hang on every syllable wafting down from your launch panel pulpit.
Rule 4: Know Whom To Trust
According to AP Gov, the simple answer is no one (Thomas Hobbes ftw, am I right!?). But Seth is a hard nut to crack and it gets lonely at the top of the Six Flags mountain. The most important thing to remember when forming an alliance is that your partner must make Seth jealous. Try asking your tannest and most cologned colleague if they’ve heard of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If they respond with “post-Californication Peppers are the real Peppers,” you know you’ve found a true connoisseur of the Classics to raise your profile. The only other acceptable answer is “deez nuts.” In fact, any time you hear “deez nuts,” take note of the boss bro who said it and hitch your wagon to their star.
Rule 5: Utilize Fear
Ask yourself: when is Seth at his coolest? Deep down you know it’s when he’s doing 107 in his tricked out Civic and ignoring your attempts to slow him down (there are only so many times you can lie about seeing a cop). The key to his power is fear and you know it. Cultivate your own fear-based power with dark wit during the countdown. Say “3, 2, 1 wait— what the—” right before hitting the launch button. Or start the countdown way too early while most coaster fodder are just getting into their seats. Remember, fear is the main thing keeping you comfortable in that hard-earned coaster dais.
Rule 6: Fiercely Guard Your Reputation
Don't let anyone see your stepfather pick you up when your shift ends. One whiff of his infuriating kindness and everything you’ve worked for will vanish. You didn’t rise up from seat belt bitch to “all clear” lieutenant to coaster commander so that Barry’s gracious smile could dash everything. Tell Seth he can drive the coaster if he picks you up. Give Barry and his sensible SUV a proper ghosting. Take charge like you did with that Ford salesman who lobbied against the Sport package.
Rule 7: Appreciate the Ride
Perhaps the most important rule of all, though, is that there’s more to life than burnin’ rail. Sometimes you’ve got to take the Oakleys off, look yourself in the mirror, and appreciate what you have. Remember that Seth doesn’t rely on just anyone to vacuum Dorito dust from the captain’s chair of his Civic. You earned that duty. Only a fellow titan of the driving world could appreciate the nuance and gravity of that job. Savor your power.