Posted March 15, 1999 at 2:03 am | 1 Comment

When my friends and I made an excursion to the local Wet ‘n Wild water park last summer, we rapidly came to the conclusion that the rides were tame.  Plunging down chutes of rushing water can be thrilling the first few times around, but the experience rapidly wanes in excitement once you come to the sobering realization that the park’s rides are really nothing more than glorified playground slides.

Ethan and I decided that we needed to revolutionize the water park industry.  We would open Hydro-Extreme, a park that was truly wild, furnishing novel ride opportunities burgeoning with excitement and adventure.

Our first ride concept was called the “Whirlpool O’ Fun”:

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After crossing the entrance bridge(top right), guests plunge into the infundibuliform container (center) filled with water swirling rapidly in a wild, foamy rage.  Riders fight the powerful current as long as they can, until they are eventually sucked through the narrow drain into the large pool below.

It soon came to our attention that the “Whirlpool O’ Fun” was extremely hazardous.  Riders could become lodged in the narrow drain opening, or find themselves stuck on the funnel edges.  They could land on top of each other in the pool below or be knocked unconscious against the pool walls.  All in all, an extremely dangerous proposition.

But why should that stop us?  After all, for those who survived it, the Whirlpool O’ Fun would be a fantastic ride.  What better way to elicit screams of unfeigned exhilaration from thrill-seekers than with the promise of true danger?  And with a talented team of attorneys and a comprehensive set of liability waivers, I’m sure that we could escape legal prosecution.  With these principles in mind, take a look at some of our other ride concepts:

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The “Hydro-Extreme Hydro-Cannon Blast” is a team activity.  One participant enters the cannon; the other participant lines up the sight, takes careful aim, and rockets his or her friend high into the air.  Points are awarded to the team based on the pool into which the airborne rider eventually splashes.  Note that the more distant pools are worth more points.  The last two pools, worth 1000 and 5000 points, are also much smaller, providing a true challenge to daring parkgoers.  Naturally, no points are awarded for landing on the concrete surface between the pools.

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“Bayou Clem’s Gator Junction” is an energetic ride for the adventurer at heart.  Swinging precariously across a wide chasm on a sagging rope slide, the courageous guest must skillfully evade the ravenous live alligators below.  Since the occasional unlucky rider provides the gators with a tasty morsel or even a wholesome meal, there is no cost to the park owner associated with keeping the animals fed.

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Finally, there is “Pirate Pete’s Guzzle-A-Rific Pirate Sea Adventure”, a ride whose concept I must admit I don’t entirely understand.   You’ll definitely have to ask Ethan for clarification on this one.  As I understand it, the rider lies down next to a keg of beer (presumably some sort of pirate lager) and drinks a lot of it.  That’s about it.   Since this ride is right next to the theme park’s exit, it does give rise to one final “extreme” ride, entitled “The Hydro-Extreme Inebriated Parking Lot Challenge”.  Yes, at Hydro-Extreme, the extreme fun starts the instant you enter the parking lot, and doesn’t end until you’re safely back home, vomiting painfully into the toilet.

Convenience Store Mysteries

Posted March 10, 1999 at 2:03 am | No Comments
slushees.jpg (23503 bytes) So what is with the slush drink pricing scheme at SuperAmerica, anyway?   I can’t help but marvel at its stupidity.
Let’s see… I could buy a 44 ounce cup for $2.49… or I could buy a 32 ounce cup and a 12 ounce cup for only $2.18.The price per ounce is supposed to decrease as the size increases, isn’t it?  So why does it suddenly skyrocket when we get to the 44 ounce size?

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The slush drink prices at SuperAmerica.

Size Cents per Ounce
12 oz 5.75
16 oz 5.56
20 oz 4.95
32 oz 4.46
44 oz 5.57

I pointed this out to the clerk, but it didn’t seem to bother her as much as it bothered me.  I think that she had already decided to ignore me after I complained to her about the sign on the donut case.  The sign read:

Try one of our long johns!  Chocolate-filled or white-filled!

I complained that “white” was supposed to be an adjective, not a noun.  She told me that it could be both.  “Well, what exactly is white, then?” I asked.  “You know,” she answered, “it’s like, white.”

Chicken Separators

Posted March 1, 1999 at 2:01 am | No Comments

Have you ever read the ingredients label on a Slim Jim? In case you haven’t, an image of the label is shown below. Doesn’t the second ingredient on the list sort of stand out?

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That got Ethan and I thinking: what exactly would a chicken separation machine look like?

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Monzy’s rendition of a
chicken separator.

I envision the chicken separator as a box with cones at each end. The chicken enters on one side, and a bunch of whirring, clicking, and squawking is heard emanating from the box. Several minutes later, a pile of separated chicken parts drops out of the bottom of the machine.

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Ethan’s rendition of a chicken separator.

Ethan sees the chicken separator more as a device for separating whole chickens. The separator consists of a number of large mechanical arms; these arms push families of chickens apart, separating them to opposite sides of the pen, sort of like the process that occurred at Nazi concentration camps.

What do you think? Which chicken separator do you like best?

Monzy’s Chicken Box Ethan’s Chicken Arm

To view the results without voting, click here:

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