As a colleague and I ascended in the elevator at lunch today, he mentioned rather casually that he didn’t like elevators. Naturally, my first instinct was to ask why. Claustrophobia? Mistrust of machines? Embarrassing erections?
The answer was “no” to all three questions. The closest I got to an insight was that “people would be scared if the elevator had a glass bottom.”
I wasn’t going to press the issue any further; he’s a Java developer, I’m a Flash developer, and our people don’t intermingle. It is forbidden.
He did have a point, though; glass bottoms and heights can be pretty freaky.
But not really. I mean, when you think about it, there’s not much chance you’ll be plummeting to your death via the see-through floor. Like Michael Jackson, the glass floor might look scary, but it’s based on the perception of dilapidation rather than the presence of any real danger. Mikey’s struts’ll hold a while longer.
This isn’t too far removed from the rides at Canada’s Wonderland. With modern materials, construction techniques, and ongoing maintenance, any real threat is pretty much eliminated. You’re safer being held in place by the padded lap bar of Behemoth than you are crossing the street.
The only ride at Wonderland with even a hint of real danger is the Mighty Canadian Minebuster, where the rickety wooden structure and ancient cars make for a potentially deadly experience. I believe the wheels briefly leave the track roughly three-quarters of the way through. Now that’s a ride!
Really, isn’t it infinitely more exciting to be on a ride where you can actually die?!
Traveling carnivals, the kind where prisoners on the lam or ex-cons accompany your children to steel cages for the expressed purpose of making them scream, have a huge advantage. The carnies themselves, aside from looking dangerous, have all sorts of thrilling diseases coursing through their veins. The rides they set up are equally shifty. You just can’t go wrong!
I’d be hideously remiss if I didn’t mention Toronto’s greatest carnie gathering, the Canadian National Exhibition. Sadly, the prima donna of unsafe roller coasters, the Flyer, was retired some years ago. But I’m heartened to hear that despite a ten-year absence in real accidents, the spirit of danger lives on. As if that wasn’t enough value for your money, the food at the Ex is likely to leave you clinging to life as well. Even the curbs are sharp and pointy!
I’m willing to bet that, with the weather improving daily, you’re going to find a ramshackle Ferris wheel in front of your local Walmart. I bet it’s not even going to be busy. So why waste money on skydiving or riding funny objects down ski hills when this option is so much cheaper?