austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Put on a happy face

It wasn't drizzling right away. We got into the queue for Lightning Run, the roller coaster nearest the park, and there was ... something or other making people leave the queue. Grey skies, yes. Intermittent drizzle, yes. And that shut the ride down as we got in view of the launch platform. The drizzle would put riding roller coasters off for another hour. We were getting a bit worried nothing would ever open up. We decided to have lunch, since that seemed the best way to use some of the time until hopefully better weather would arrive.

Kentucky Kingdom is a small park, with only a couple of food stands and fewer of them enclosed. We got to one that offered pizza, usually a safe bet for vegetarians. The place wasn't packed, not really, although the family group ahead of us was involved in one of those fantastically complicated, slow transactions that people in line ahead of you somehow are always in. I think they were waiting for the kitchen to finish making something to serve up, and there were just enough people that we couldn't grab slices from the cafeteria-style hot table without being rude. When we did get it, though, it was rather good pizza, especially for an amusement park. It was flatbread, extremely long and triangular, and quite filling.

With no sign of sun emerging, or the temperature warming up, I gave in to bunny_hugger's polite suggesting and agreed to go back to our car and get my hoodie. I hadn't thought it would be needed when we went into the park. We did take the chance, since we were leaving and reentering the park, to shop for souvenirs, next to the pizza place. Turns out the park leaves its souvenir booths open until well after the park closes, but we couldn't know that and we've been burned before. They've got a nice lion dressed as a king for their mascot. I picked up a ``The New Kentucky Kingdom'' mug from the discount rack; The New was how they billed the park last season when it reopened after years of being shuttered.

Walking back let me really feel just how far away our car was. The park isn't very large but walking all around its perimeter, with the occasional jogs away needed so as not to have to run back up a culvert, really emphasized how many cars were there. And National Rifle Association con-goers were the majority of people walking around. There was just no end of people walking around and having conversations about eating pork chops and shooting things, an actual conversation I swear to you I overheard and that I'm not making up for the purpose of promulgating a stereotype. I grant that, as meats go, pork chops are pretty fine ones and if you're into shooting things I suppose you will talk about shooting things sometimes. It's just the combination struck me as inexplicably funny.

They had a shuttle running around the parking lots and one of its stations was in the annex to the annex to the far lot we were in. The bus driver confirmed he could take us to the park's entrance, although he'd have to go to the convention center first and wait a while. And he warned us that the shuttle would stop running before the amusement park closed for the day, since the shuttle was properly for the convention center. That was all right; we were glad to save one walk around the park and thought it might be quicker to take the bus. The time spent waiting for the bus to load and unload probably means we spent longer than we had to. But we did get to sit in-between groups of twentysomething males dressed in camouflage T-shirts and sixtysomething men carrying their tolerating wives along, all holding bags full of free promotional ammo guides and shooting charts and all that. I savored the feeling of being so ridiculously out of place.

The park was still wet when we got back to the entrance.

Trivia: For the 1932 Linit Bath Club Revue hour Fred Allen was paid $1,000 per week, from which he was to pay the whole cast. (Al Jolson and Ed Wynn received $5,000 per week at the time.) Source: Fred Allen: His Life and Work, Robert Taylor.

Currently Reading: The John McPhee Reader, Editor William L Howarth.

PS: Reading the Comics, July 2, 2016: Ripley's Edition, and I get out from the pile of last week's mathematics mention in comic strips.

Tags: amusement parks, kentucky kingdom

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