Cruel and Unusual Recreation

Terrorists have invaded the Midwest – and I am not referring here to the Iowa caucuses, trump clinton or even to the Illinois Nazis – illinois nazisno, I am referring here to the Ohio Swiss. It has recently come to my attention that the following instrument of terror is being built by a Swiss firm for the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. When completed, the new roller-coaster will be setting ten world records, including “Most Pants Pooped Per Run.”

Let me just start off by saying that there is nothing I like about this roller coaster, including the fact that it resides a mere THREE STATES AWAY.  I would feel much more comfortable if it were located at a safer distance from my home, say, on the moon.  Now I know there are people that will flock to this ride because they live for the rush that comes from the feeling of falling.  They’re the same people that are constantly out there with their GoPros and their Powerbars, living in tents and jumping off of cliffs and bridges; all in the name of “pushing the envelope,” “living life to the fullest” and eventually, “splattering their stupid innards all over a rock.”  I am not one of these people.  True, I’ve hung from cliff-sides and thrown things from airplanes – but in both cases I was safely harnessed to something that was specifically designed to prevent uncontrolled falling.  The one exception to this rule was when, a few years ago, I managed to talk myself and my wife into hang gliding.  I suffered nauseating stress for several days before the flight – losing sleep, and handfuls of hair – but eventually survived and greatly enjoyed it with the help of some disarmingly goofy Aussies.  hang glidingIf you ever find yourself in Interlaken, you should definitely look them up.  In fact, I find that it’s just a good general rule to look for Aussies wherever you travel because – and I am speaking in generalities here – every single one of them is awesome, friendly, and knows how to have a good time.  I base this on upwards of two memorable vacation experiences, three Crocodile Dundee movies, and a statistically significant number of meals at Outback Steakhouses across the country, so the theory checks out.  I credit the accent, and all that shrimp they’re always throwin’ on the barbie.  Furthermore, I have always found Australians to be intelligent, good-looking, generous folk, and if anyone from their tourism board would like to extend me an all-expenses-paid invitation to explore and report further on their rich culture, delicious food, and beautiful natural wonders – by which I am of course referring to the lovely Australian girls on their miles of pristine beachfront – I would be honored to accept.

But the thing about hang gliding is that, while you are airborne, you’re attached to a wing in a very stable position.  And even if it should fail for some reason, sending you hurtling towards earth at sphincter-puckering speeds, you still have someone to land on in order to break your fall.  The only ticklish part is the takeoff, which they prepare you for by saying, quote, “When I say run, run.  DO NOT JUMP.  If you jump, we die.”  So you can see how that is totally different and completely safe.  This roller-coaster, however, will likely leave no survivors, which is why I recommend you follow the time-honored mantra of keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground, where gravity has less opportunity to mash you into a lifeless pool of goo.  Had he only heeded this advice, Humpty Dumpty might be remembered today as more than just a warning to generations of children.  Of course, if he’d have had a better insurance plan that didn’t rely so heavily on medically-trained horses, he might have survived as well, but that was the risk you took for seeking the promised lower premiums of medieval Obamacare exchanges.  Very little has changed in the current system, except that the horses are now required to use hand sanitizer.

So in general, it’s a good idea to avoid both altitude and speed, especially when you’re either a) Not in control of them, or b) Texting.  Diligent adherence to this advice is what has allowed me to reach my current ripe old age.  A good example of this was when – after raising enough money to go to Disney World with my high school band by selling frozen food door-to-door – my friends decided to ride the newly opened “Tower of Terror”; a ride that raises you many stories into the air and then drops you multiple times with no warning; I wisely chose to ride the “Bench of Terror” outside.  Not only did I avoid a massive horror-induced coronary, but there was no line!   Years later I did the same thing at 6 Flags as my wife and friends rode the Mr. Freeze coaster.

Media day at Six Flags, St. Louis with David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Media day at Six Flags, St. Louis with David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals.

And lest you think I’m just being a ‘big poop’, and advising you to avoid something I’ve never even tried myself, like I might do with, say, eggplant, those same people managed to force me onto the Batman coaster later that afternoon, and while I managed to survive through a combination of sheer willpower and a death-grip that left fingernail marks in the harness, I strongly considered leaving them for new friends.

The thing that I find most perplexing about this new Cedar Point roller-coaster, though, is that it’s made by the Swiss, who are otherwise so reserved.  I find it ironic that a country that claims to be neutral would allow its domestic industrial base to produce a machine who’s sole purpose is to inflict such excruciating terror on the general populous.  Not since KFC debuted the Double Down sandwich have we seen such a wanton disregard for human life. double-down-detail-gross And we’re forced to ask ourselves – how did this happen?  Personally, I picture the entire KFC board of directors scooting into the boardroom on heavy-duty, oxygen-equipped Rascals to determine how to bring back the Atkins crowd; KFC rascalsbut regardless, if we as a nation allow this to stand, we are turning our backs on more than two centuries of moral evolution.  It’s time we put our collective foot down and bring those responsible for this blight on society to justice. Demand some accountability! I say we strap those Swiss designers into their roller-coaster and make them to ride it on repeat while being force-fed bags of Double Down sandwiches – that should serve as sufficient warning to those who would seek to do similar harm to this great nation in the future.  And while you’re picking up all those Double Downs, be sure to grab me some biscuits, ‘cause those things are delicious. But I want REAL honey, not their fake ‘honey sauce’.  I support the bees, because you have to stand for something…and when that gets tiring, you can always come join me on the bench.

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One thought on “Cruel and Unusual Recreation

  1. Pingback: Stupid Is As Stupid Does | Reluctantly Aging

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