On Theme Parks

This past weekend, my wife, my kids and I spent a wonderful day out at the second-best cornfield-turned-attraction America’s heartland has to offer (behind, of course, Iowa’s famed Kinsella family baseball field, which I’ve heard is a lot like heaven). Our weekend family fun excursion was to Indiana’s Holiday World, formerly Santa Claus Land, formerly formerly some guy’s farm, formerly, formerly, formerly a Native American family’s land, formerly (etc) waste and void. It was a great family experience. Theme parks are also great places if you enjoy making random observations about oh-so-quirky humanity, which is a past-time I apparently cannot help. Indulge me as I share a few:

Theme Park Observation #5:
Something happens to the human psyche when you have to listen to Christmas music while it’s 95 degrees and 95% relative humidity.  I think I saw something about that being a tactic in Gitmo. I have to admit, though: The weather outside was, in point of fact, frightful.

Theme Park Observation #8
The little huts where you can get drink refills have a door clearly labeled “In” and one clearly labeled “Out”.  However, they might as well be labeled “Every” and “Man-For-Himself”.

Theme Park Observation #15:
If a grown man will taunt the park’s high divers, who are just trying to practice for their death-defying job meant to entertain a largely ungrateful audience, he is capable of anything. Watch that man.  Watch him closely.

Theme Park Observation #16:
Any inane, inappropriate, boneheaded, vulgar, plagiarized, historically inaccurate or confusing thing that mankind can dream up, mankind can put on a t-shirt.

Theme Park Observation #18:
I think the majority of people come to theme parks because they like to scream at their kids in different, somewhat whimsical locations.

Theme Park Observation #27:
It has been confirmed: I am the last living adult without a tattoo, and I need to fix that. There is no shortage of ideas at the Theme Park, and I’ve designed my perfect tat based on the most frequent ink I saw. Mine will be a simple design: a machine-gun toting bald eagle standing atop the phrase, “Only God Can Judge Me.” The eagle has its own chest tattoo of Thomas Jefferson and Hunter S. Thompson holding a dream catcher between them; within the dream catcher are the birth/death dates of several bald eagle loved ones. But the astute observer will notice that on the other shoulder is a large python being ridden by a laughing Gary Busey, the snake being readied to devour the bald eagle. I think it will really speak to my values, my personality and my budget.

Theme Park Observation #34:
If it takes 13.75 mL of chlorine per degree Fahrenheit above 80 degrees to neutralize the common bacteria produced by one perspiring person, taking into account the velocity of moving water, the void space between bodies and the skin surface area of the average human, then, scientifically speaking, everyone who entered the Lazy River on Saturday now has one of two forms of botulism.

There are more, but this entire post is serious digression anyway.  Besides, I need to head to the gym to work out my future tat arm.

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