austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Vikings and Beekeepers!

The wrist straps we bought were for unlimited rides on the pier from noon to 6 pm, although I didn't think they really meant 6 pm all that literally. After all, 6 pm is an awfully arbitrary time, with few visual cues to anyone wandering back and forth on the pier. Noon may be arbitrary to, but that's when all the rides open so there's no real disputing when that event occurs. So following the Safari Train we wandered across the pier and looked at Pharaoh's Fury, which the web site describes as `The Thrilling Pirate Ship That Everyone Loves'. The ride is one of those swinging ship rides, where everyone crowds into the front or back end so they have the best view at the peak and hope (incorrectly) that they have the longest feeling of zero-gravity at the top of the arc.

That it's described as the pirate ship everyone loves, while the name is Pharaoh's Fury, may suggest some thematic confusion about the ride. The name seems to be more nearly correct for the ride, since it's painted up like one of those vaguely Egyptian boats, with the head on either side made to look like the mask of Tutankhamen. So the pirate connection appears to just be an odd web site glitch, maybe left over from the other rides on the pier which are clearly pirate-themed. Except that standing outside the entrance stairs to the ride are a pair of statue Vikings. They're not those Egyptian-Viking fusions you hear so much about; they've got the axes and anachronistic pointy hats and all that. So it's more of a Pirate Viking Egyptian ride.

But as we walked to the entrance there was shocking news from the ride operator: our wrist straps had expired. It was after 6 pm, and to get on, we would need tickets.

Well, what we could do was to sit on the bench by the ride, and rest a while, and talk a good deal. An enormous deal, in fact, since it turns out that bunny_hugger is fascinating and is very easy to sit and talk to all the way through the sun's setting over the Barnegat Bay, which happened while we weren't looking. We did notice the various lights turning on, because they subtly changed the appearance of so many things, and the pier was surprisingly soon lit in this strange, somewhat magical twilight with the glow of the rides all around us.

Trivia: The five-ringed Olympic flag was unfurled for the first time at the June 1914 meeting of the International Olympic Committee, along with the program for the 1916 Berlin Olympic Games. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.

Currently Reading: The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968, William Manchester.


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