Thursday, August 31, 2006

Amusement Park Malaise II

So, since there was a part I, there should be a part II. Shouldn't there?

I'll take your nasty little smirk as a resounding "Yes, please!". Yes, Foo, I'm talking to you.

So, anyway, let's go back in history and review the Park of Doom (actually, the marketing name they promote is The Lagoon).

My dad was not an optimist. He was pretty much sure that we would kill ourselves. As it turned out, none of us so much as broke a bone while under his pessimistic care. I bring dad up because he would have viewed The Lagoon as almost the worst possible scenario. Here's the rundown as he would have seen it (I admit that he has changed and mellowed. He just may even enjoy this place now. Nah. He wouldn't).

1). Expensive. This place cost me more for two adults and three kids than almost any one of the cars I rode in as a kid. No ^(&%#W@! (Sorry, Foo, I'm not as good at fake cursing as you and the Old Man). My dad had a strict upper limit of $500 as the total purchase price of the vehicles I was squired around in as a kid. And that had better include tax, title and doc fees.

2). LOTS of icky people. Lots of people just in general, but more than its share of people with bad teeth, fanny packs, cheap jewelry and tatoos. This is not good. These people steal little kids (I was the oldest of six, so why the heck did it matter?)

3). Dangerous looking stuff. More on this in a minute.

4). Expensive food and drinks. Enough said for now.

5). Lots of opportunities for the kids to say, "Hey Dad, can I try to guess the Bearded Woman's breast size so I can win a jumbo sized Mickey Mouse to take home? It only costs $5.00 for one try. Pleeeaase?"

6). Long lines everywhere.

So, that's what would have puckered my dad all up.

I am an optimist. I start every day assuming that it will be full of wonder, adventure and excitement. I was completely bouyant on the short trip from our hotel.

We got there and discovered that not only were these pirates planning to financially rape me for admission, they also planned to nick me for a $7 bill to park. Anyway, I got all girded up and hauled out my credit card.

If I gave you a blow by blow account of the whole day, you'd get so bored that you'd fall asleep...hey! Come on, Foo.

Let me just say that I hated the ride called "Wild Mouse". Yeah, I know it sounds like a sort of little kid's ride. Well, it scared the dill puckery out of me. You'd come around, it would fling you headlong toward an impossibly sharp corner, whiplash you around after convincing you that you were going to launch out into the suburbs of Salt Lake City. I screamed a few very un-Mormon words, I think.

That wasn't even close to being the scariest ride. It was definitely the scariest one I tried. The scariest one was something called "The Iron Sky Wrist Rocket of Terrified Death". Basically, the victim sits in this steel cage ball and gets strapped down. I didn't get real close, but I'm pretty sure they'll sell you up to 5 shots of bourbon (at $9.00 apiece, naturally) before you get in. Once you are sufficiently unable to meaningfully protest, they crank this ball-o'-death waaay back on some kind of steel cable between two uprights at least 200 feet high (almost no hyperbole here). Then, ignoring your shrieks of panic, the ride operator laughs maniacally and yanks the lever. I watched this from the vantage point of the Wild Mouse and nearly lost my free buffet breakfast for that poor slob in there. Like a good slingshot should, this ride flings the victim heavenward. If the victim doesn't die and go to hell (I mean, where else would an unrepentant amusement park-goer end up?), then he will crash around and puke for awhile until the #$@ thing finally slows down enough for him to fall out on his knees and pray to God and promise never, ever again to waste precious life again.

I think that's enough for now.


Jack W. Regan said...

Great post, PW. But you may want to tread carefully where Foo is concerned. At work, we call him "Sudden Death." He'll be all fine and smiley, and take our taunts with good grace. Suddenly, without warning, he goes berserk and rips up his tormentors with arms of steel.

Then he returns the Arms of Steel to Rentway and goes back to being smiley.

Jack W. Regan said...

Yeah, you can rent anything these days, with a nominal downpayment and 4 easy installments of $19.99.

Jack W. Regan said...

I don't think he'd get away with abusing the cats. Sprocket has a black belt in karate. And as soon as the belt graduates, the Brand residence is going to be a lot more dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 70s I worked at Lagoon... it wasn't quite the wallet drain it is now, but it was a fun way to spend a summer!!

The pay wasn't great, but we all worked so many hours that we didn't have much time to spend it... on the days we did have off, where did we go? Lagoon of course, afterall, it's where all our friends were.

Once school started again, we became reaquainted with our "non Lagoon" friends... and had plenty of money to do stuff with them. ;~D

Dan said...

The Wild Mouse? That's the best name they can come up for this thing?

I had a "wild mouse" sneak into my house a couple of months ago. My cat boxed its ears for about 15 minutes before I realized that the squeeking I heard coming from the den wasn't the cat's toy ... oh course my cat thought it was the best toy she ever had.

I mercifully let the exhausted mouse out the back door to safety and we've never seen a mouse since then. He's probably undergoing psychological counseling.