Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Daisy is on Spring Break this week, and given that she's still only 7, that means play-dates and amusement parks rather than beer bongs and chlamydia. So, we took our 4th annual trip to Marine World, our nearest amusement park.

I've written about Marine World many many many times, but it's either this or another video of me staring at the rubble that was my lawn.

Actually, it's not even called Marine World any more. Now it's Discovery Kingdom. Of course they didn't change anything except the name and logo. You can almost visualize the Six Flags executives sitting around a gold-plated boardroom table, eating freshly peeled harp seal sushi, and ruminating on the lack of financial success of Marine World.

"Higgins, give me your best idea for turning around Marine World!"

"Um, making the rides less crappy?"

"No! You're fired! Bosworth, your turn."

"Moving it to a location that isn't in the middle of nowhere?"

"Moronic! Off to the gallows! Tewksbury?"

"Changing the word 'World' to 'Kingdom' ?"

"Genius! Higgins, give Tewksbury a Rusty Trombone!"

I can't even imagine what kind of bonus the "Discovery" prodigy got.

Not much else changed. The employee population still seems to be comprised of slow-moving teenagers and adults who weren't visionary or motivated enough to pursue their true calling in the field of sloth. These employees, who man the front line in Six Flags' war on fun, spend the lion's share of their business hours doing one of three things:
  • Monotonously repeating the legal height requirements for their assigned ride. This is the Six Flags version of the MPAA announcement you see at the beginning of each DVD. I pantomimed the pressing-the-fast-foward button each time I heard that speech today, but it was just as effective at Discovery Kingdom as it is against my DVD player.
  • Moving tragically slowly. These workers moved around like they don't realize that there was an entire line full of eager children whose spirit had not yet been broken. They moved at a glacial pace, as though the rides actually involved watching glaciers melt. Actually, that wouldn't work at all, because the employees would only move fast enough to run that ride once per day.
  • Stopping the rides at incorrect times. We didn't go on a ton of rides today, but on three separate occasions we saw employees press the Stop button on a ride when the cart/boat/coaster was mere feet away from it's start/end point. Each time the riders would be forced to remain quietly in their seats while the Master Ride Fixer would be summoned from his under-the-bridge location in some remote corner of the amusement park. Each time, this ride-wrangling genius, the very same guy every time, would evaluate the situation, and then hit the Go button. Masterful!
I only tried to engage the employees in conversation once. When Daisy lined up for one of her kiddie rides, I casually asked the pimply employee (not to denigrate my fellow members of Zitoslavia), "How many kids have died on this ride?"

"Died? None. Well, I mean, none since I started my shift."

Good enough.

Actually, today we didn't spend 90% of our time in the toddler section. For the first time ever, we brought another kid along on our annual trip, one of Daisy's friends, Baboo, who was a big fan of adult-sized roller coasters. Baboo is the tallest 7 year-old I know and met the height requirement for every ride we saw in the park. So, we split time between Daisy rides and Baboo rides.

Daisy still loves the very timid rides. She'd be delighted to go on a ride where all you did was close your eyes and pretend that you were hugging a rainbow. She'd squeal with delight.

Baboo, on the other hand, either wants to be flung upside down, or doused with water. If there was a ride where you just stood in front of a fire hose and it propelled you ass over tea kettle, that would be her little slice of heaven. Even when we went to animal shows, she wanted to sit in the front row so that we'd get splashed by jumping dolphins or whales.

The kids compromised pretty well though. Baboo put up with the kiddie rides and Daisy expanded her horizons a bit by going on some rides that were actually appropriate for seven year olds.

All in all, a successful day. Meanwhile, the beer bong continues to collect dust. And I'll assume that my crotch itchiness is unrelated to a chlamydia outbreak.


Tasty said...

Tewksbury. Hee!

Mike said...

It's good to be Tewksbury.