November 19th, 2014

krazy koati

She began to wail jealousy's scream

Cedar Point got to feel really weird at night, in the dark, with so few people around. Most of the Halloweekends attractions were still running, but the atmosphere of walk-through areas turns bizarre when the number of performers is greater than the number of patrons. We started to see clumps of performers hanging out and just chatting, with maybe one breaking away to run up to a likely-looking passer-by. We would have our most peaceful walks through some of these areas since, well, we spotted many of the performers well ahead of time and at that point there's little reason their coming up trying to startle us.

For a while I thought we were going to ride on every one of the open roller coasters, but we were foiled by the Mine Ride. The Mine Ride was open, but the operators were just kind of hanging around chatting with each other, and when bunny_hugger and I walked up to the empty car and sat in the front seat they told us, apologetically, that they couldn't send the ride out without some absurdly large number of passengers; I think it was something like 24 passengers to be sure the ride would not valley out on the track. Possibly if we asked everyone in the park we could've put together 24 people to ride the Mine Ride, but that was impractical, as Cedar Point lacks a parkwide public address system. We shrugged and walked through the ride.

As we were leaving one of the operators gave us a ``cut to the front'' pass good for any of the haunted houses. Someone had apparently won it at a redemption game and then lost it, and they recovered it and what the heck. We had been to more haunted houses than usual this year, but, hey, another one wouldn't hurt and it would be indoors. This also inspired us to talk a little about the ethics of line-cutting passes and various other ways that you can subvert the democratic amusement park principle that your admission is exactly as good as anyone else's, and the ways I'm not sure I'm consistent with that principle I like.

The nearest haunted house was the Eternity Infirmary, housed in what used to be the Frontier Carrousel's building, but the ethics of using the pass evaporated because there was no line. There was, one of the ride operators said, my twin inside, though and so there was. Tucked far in the maze of hospital- and sanitarium-themed rooms was a guy who looked tolerably like me. I've now encountered something like six people who could pass for me, at least for casual contacts; go figure. It's a good haunted house, very creepy and a little trigger-y, and I'm glad we were able to see it without waiting in a two-hour queue. Also if I'm not mistaken now there's only two haunted houses at Halloweekend that we've never been to, the one in a corn maze and the one that's high-school-themed. So we have something to shoot for next year.

We closed out the night noticing that the kettle corn stand had never opened and supposed that it had run out of kettle for the season (we'd see it open on Sunday), and walked slowly out of the park to enjoy the weird way its lights play in the dark.

Trivia: By October 1814 British negotiators in Ghent were pressing for the settlement of the war with American on the grounds of territories in possession of the battling armies. American negotiators, aware that the British had recently seized Bangor and Machias in Maine, pressed for the status quo ante bellum. Source: Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought The Second War Of Independence, A J Langguth.

Currently Reading: In Pursuit Of The Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed The World, Ian Stewart.