austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

He gets the situation well in hand

Picking the direction which it happened was toward the nearer amusement pier, bunny_hugger and I headed north (Casino Pier), past several arcades and shops with the sort of attractions it's easy to forget actually exist outside of old Popeye cartoons set at amusement parks if you don't go to amusement parks that often. Our goal was finding the place selling tickets. In fact, they'd be literal tickets, charged per ride, and while I could find the number of tickets each ride cost online I failed to find any hint of what a ticket cost. But since we were there on a Wednesday there was a single-price ($15) admission to everything on the pier from noon to 6 pm.

Finally by concentrated wandering we found an admission booth, got into a line with a couple of people in it, and were approached by a woman who asked if we were looking for the single-price admission. We were, and trusting that she was in fact employed by the pier paid our money and another woman came over to wrap plastic straps around our wrists. Someone quipped that they almost ran out of holes for mine -- I've got big wrists -- but we fit, so that was the important thing. The first thing catching our eye were the bumper cars, because the walls were painted with odd little representations of ... kind of the public-domain tape version of Saturday Night Fever, if that gets the composition and style across. It also had parts that looked vaguely like Tom and Jerry, and Blues Brothers, and such.

But that wasn't our first ride. (As it happens we didn't get on the bumper cars at all.) bunny_hugger is, among other things, a roller coaster enthusiast and what we first encountered was a Wild Mouse ride. This is a type of coaster with wheels hidden snugly underneath the car, allowing it to make, from the rider's perspective, sharp and surprisingly timed turns. She also pointed out this one had solid steel tracks, rather than hollow aluminum ones, which would make for a slightly bumpier ride. But we fit in, snugly -- I'm enormous, and she's not, and we were worried about fitting into the same car simultaneously. (In fact, I could have scrunched up a bit more so the restraining bar would better restrain her.) And so this with lovely twists where you seem to be turning in midair before reaching some tight final spirals became my first roller coaster ride in years, and our first together, and she discovered that when I'm having fun on a ride like that I get very giggly.

Matching the public-domain-tape theme of the bumper car decorations, outside the wild mouse coaster was a statue which looked enough like Mighty Mouse to fit the whole mouse theme, but looked enough unlike him so as not to raise the ire of whoever currently owns the Mighty Mouse trademarks, if anyone. Public-domain-tape statues of the whole pier would become a reliable source of comment for us during the day, in fact. It was peculiar.

Trivia: After the Battle of Gravelines, around 112 vessels of the Spanish Great Armada were still intact. Source: Empire: How Spain Became A World Power, 1492 - 1763, Henry Kamen. (I find, looking about the web, that estimates to the Armada's size and survival are not as unanimous as I would like. Please don't try using this trivia point at your thesis defense without further support.)

Currently Reading: The Rise And Fall of The Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict From 1500 to 2000, Paul Kennedy.


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