November 22nd, 2014

krazy koati

Scary monsters, super creeps

We got to notice a lot of little things in Cedar Point given the slowness of the day: that, for example, on the Magnum XL 200 roller coaster they'd carved a jack-o-lantern with the ride's logo. I'd thought it was just painted on but, no, it was carved, with paint on top of that. We went looking for other ride jack-o-lanterns but didn't notice any.

We did notice that one of the shooting galleries in the Frontier Town area had been changed. Mostly it's smaller, to make room for (sigh) redemption games. The new gallery includes things like a fox that goes after chickens and bunny_hugger realized the plush dolls used for the animals were really rather good. They turn out to be Hansa plushes, and the signs on the shooting gallery offer that you could, if you wanted, buy their plush animals from them. (They don't mention the brand name, I suppose to not bother people with the idea of buying the plushes right from Hansa.) The gallery is fairly new --- it just changed over this year, so we haven't been that oblivious --- and the one it replaced was only a decade or so old, if I understand it right.

Also along the way we discovered that the Palace Theater in Frontier Town, which used to be called ``Lusty Lil's'' until apparently a round of presentability tried cleaning up Cedar Point a couple years ago, was called ``Lusty Li'l's Palace Theater'' again. bunny_hugger had noticed the new-old name on a scrolling marquee the night before but supposed it was something where internally they still use the old name and forgot it wasn't for public consumption; no, they've got the sign there. We don't know when they did change it over/back.

In walking through the Frontier Trail we found, first, that the animals in the petting zoo were gone, hopefully to somewhere warm, and second, that the glassblowers' shop was open. While bunny_hugger decided between several appealing-looking glass pumpkins I noticed that past an open door to the stockroom was a sign, ``Murder Mystery Site --- Hotel Breakers'', implying there've been murder mystery events at the Hotel Breakers. With a nice pumpkin, featuring a fragile-looking glass stem, picked out we were ready to walk it cautiously back to the car when the clerk revealed that you could have packages sent to the front gate, for pickup at 4 pm or at closing. So, excellent.

We did get back to the candle shop that we'd visited in early October, and bunny_hugger bought one of the candles considered then, the one that looks like an ice cream float, in a metal can with the 1980s Cedar Point logo on it. We discovered also there's about eight hundred different scenes of this kind of candle; a rare other group of (younger; I guessed college-age) people puttering around were even more amazed by the old logos and that they had every plausible ice cream flavor as a candle scent. And that too could be sent to the front gate for pickup at closing, which is just magnificently convenient. We never knew they had this service.

The woodworking shop was also open, and we peeked in to find dragons in different states of carving, and a carousel-type horse looking in pretty rough shape, and the wood-carver there. I asked about the carousel horse thinking that it might be one of those destined for the new entrance to the Hotel Breakers. The carver explained that actually the horse was a kind of a counterfeit: apparently there's a Filipino industry in making mounts that look like antiqued carousel horses and this was one of them and I forget why Cedar Point had it. (As he pointed out, the horse didn't have a center pole, which really is a giveaway to what it is, and I somehow failed to slap my head when he mentioned it. bunny_hugger recognized it for what it was right away.) We got into a really wonderful with the guy, about things like the Merry-Go-Round Museum and the replica of the figure from atop the old Schwabinchen ride; after that ride was removed the park wanted a replica to use in Halloweekends decorations, and a half-scale figure was the only version that could be sensibly made. He's carved at least two of them, one of them standing outside the woodworking shop. The time we spent chatting might have been the high point of the weekend, maybe the best thing we'd done at the park this season.

Trivia: Ted Healy invented the ``triple slap'' used by the Three Stooges. The finger poke was their invention. Source: No Applause - Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, Trav S D (D Travis Stewart)

Currently Reading: Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives! A World Without World War I, Richard Ned Lebow. I question whether it's likely there'd be a Spanish Influenza epidemic without World War I; I grant Lebow's point that it couldn't be so lethal if the European population hadn't spent three years at war, but my understanding is the flu's believed to have originated in Kansas, get to a good-sized population in Army training camps, and spread across the world from there. Which is I guess the danger in reading alternate histories; you always run across something that isn't actually important (surely there'd be flu epidemics in the 20th century regardless of whether there were world wars) but where you know it wouldn't be so.