austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

We're born again, there's new grass on the field

And after the stadium minigolf it was my birthday, so you can gauge how far behind things I'm running again. We observed it in one of our traditional ways. We went to Saginaw.

Not for Saginaw alone, although we should get back to the zoo. We were visiting Kokomo's Family Fun Center, which has the nearest roller coaster to us. It's the Serpent, a modest steel roller coaster of the kind that could work the fairgrounds circuit. It's been in Kokomo's for several years, the remnant of what looks like an expansion plan cut short by all that fiscal unpleasantness of the most recent Republican administration. It's a fair walk away from the rest of the attractions, as though they hoped to fill things in and haven't had the chance yet.

Kokomo's had changed some since we last visited. The big thing is they'd taken down this inflatable dome shelter that covered something we had never seen before because it was covered by an inflatable dome shelter. Now it looked like a football or soccer field. This threw off our whole sense of where things were outside, at least when we were in view of what should have been a dome like that. They also took down an outdoor dry-erase announcement sign on which you could still make out the non-dry-erase-markered welcome to the American Coaster Enthusiasts, from the party inaugurating the Serpent roller coaster.

Kokomo's miniature golf course was challenging and weird as ever. Dryer, though. They had nearly all the water elements turned off, distracting us at places where we expected waterfalls or little rivers or such. The only water turned on was one that provides the current for one of their many weird holes. For that one, though, you have to shoot your ball into the water and let the current carry it to the green. The ever-impossible 13th hole, the one with three separate levels of green and that's a par four, was difficult for us again. I got an honest six on it, which is doing pretty well. Not like the time I somehow managed to do it in the theoretical-minimum two strokes but, still.

We had dinner at the sushi place we usually visit. And thought as we were going in that it was a Monday, what if they're closed? They were just as good and speedy as we had expected, though. I think we learned they were closed Sundays, which is an odd choice but I suppose every restaurant needs some time off. Won't hit us for a my-birthday visit for a few years anyway.

The most distracting thing at Kokomo's this visit was how lonely it was. Late September is usually a slow time but this was almost dead. I think we only ever saw one other party out on the golf course, and they joined when we were nearly done. There was one group on the go-karts, that got started just as we got up to that ride, and so we made a separate pack of two racing about.

Next most distracting is the changes in their arcade. Still no pinball, alas. They replaced some of the Skee-Ball and other games with newer redemption-type games. One was a Plinko-style game dropping chips into virtual goldfish bowls. While that's an improvement on the old-fashioned kind of harassing actual goldfish, it was also one (1) drop per dollar. Also they switched from tokens and redemption tickets over to a card system. This might be more convenient and save everyone from heartbreaking mechanical failures. But isn't the point of a redemption game getting an avalanche of tickets from something that you turn into a great heaping pile at your feet, rather than getting your charge card re-charged?

We'll be back, of course. It was such a warm late September day we wondered idly if they'd be open and running the roller coaster for bunny_hugger's birthday, in early November. When the tiem caem we didn't think of it then, though.

Trivia: A 1970s window display at Halston's department store in Manhattan included a seven-day soap-opera style development, with a pregnant mannequin in a hospital bed growing larger daily, with a baby born on the last day. Source: The Grand Emporiums: The Illustrated History of Americas Great Department Stores, Robert Hendrickson.

Currently Reading: 1919: The Year Our World Began, William K Klingaman.

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