austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

It was fascination, I know

Back to the trip report, and Friday: we returned to Knoebels as early as we could, although we didn't quite get there for the opening. I forget why; I think we had to stop in at the Weis store for something or other but can't think what. It was a crowded-looking day, though, and we decided to have dinner and hope the line for wristbands would subside. We had, I believe, eggplant parmigiana fries, which by the way are a thing you can get at an amusement park, if it's Knoebels, and sat beside the river that floods the park near the Grand Carousel, and saw numerous fish hanging around and swans gliding about.

We also got to overhear a rather deranged-sounding puppet show going on in this puppet-theater lighthouse stage. I could swear at one point the story was going on about journeying to another planet, but there was also something about a mischievous chicken moving a buzzard's can of whipped cream, and at some point they were doing a princess-and-the-frog story (the princess was that of Liechtenstein, which I remember because it struck me as of course they'd insist on that funny name) and the vulture was trying to do up her hair but every time he looked away the chicken would swap his hair spray for the whipped cream and I realize this all sounds like a fever dream, but, the kids were having a great time with it so who could argue that? We were delighted to just keep noticing more of this weirdness going on, and compared it to the live puppet shows that go on at furry cons. (Mostly, we figured, shows like this have more time to write and to rehearse and rewrite, helping them turn out rather better.)

The line for wristbands wasn't showing any signs of getting smaller and we would worry that maybe, given the crowds, the number of rides we'd get in would make it more economical to buy tickets rather than the wristband. Never mind. Someone from park staff came around and pointed out another booth where you could buy wristbands, and the line got short enough to actually wait through.

After we'd been to Knoebels last year we ran across a mention that they had one of the last Fascination parlors left in existence. We'd discovered the game in Wildwood and were disappointed to have missed it, but also, surprised that we could have missed it. The parlor turns out to be actually pretty hard to miss, as it's in a building right by the food stand where we had fries and also beside one of the major booths for buying tickets and wristbands and getting the hand stamp (a disappointingly routine ``FRI'' that day) for roller coasters. As ever, go figure. We sat down to play some; the parlor wasn't crowded but had enough people for the game to be pretty competitive. bunny_hugger even won several games, rolling balls into the Bingo-board-like holes to fill out lines and, I think, even an X one time. We failed badly on the complete-the-whole-board challenge, but that's one with a big prize for a reason.

Besides the usual sorts of odd prizes you can win with tickets --- toys, coolers, Crock-Pots, toasters, jar openers, plastic tubs --- they also have a kind of rental library: for ten coupons you can take one of the used books from their (small) shelf, and even bring them back for coupons ``as long as they are in gently used condition''. So if you're ever in northeastern Pennsylvania and want to play a game so you can borrow an Ed McBain or Janet Evanovich novel or maybe catch The Cat Who Said Cheese, you know where to go.

Flying Turns, though, was a wonderful ride and we enjoyed it so; still, we went from there to the Knoebels roller coaster we'd missed the day Before. That's the Twister, a recreation of Mister Twister, demolished when Denver's Elitch Gardens moved to a new location, because of course they'd re-create a roller coaster beloved to people 1600 miles away. This had a much more normal line, something like a quarter-hour wait, although while we were waiting for it (one of the times that day; we got a couple rides in on it) somebody had the bad luck to drop his cell phone from an elevated part of the ride queue and the poor thing smashed apart.

After that we noticed the Twister gift shop had quite a large number of ride T-shirts, and resolved to come back and get one (we did, bunny_hugger picking one that's surely got to glow under black light, or at least looks like it does). They have, and I am not exaggerating in any way, something around sixty different T-shirts and several dozen sweatshirts or hoodies for this one ride alone. I'm not positive they haven't got more Twister T-shirts than they have different shirts for the entire park. Why Twister has this abundance of wearable merchandise, when, for example, we couldn't find anything for Phoenix, is one of those many, many mysteries of the strange and wonderful park.

Trivia: Mowry's Tavern, constructed by 1655 by Goodman Mowry in Providence, Rhode Island, was one of the few buildings in the city not destroyed by fire in King Philip's War, and it survived, the oldest building in the city, until being torn down in 1900. Source: The Old Post Road: The Story Of The Boston Post Road, Stewart H Holbrook.

Currently Reading: It's An Old New England Custom, Edwin Valentine Mitchell. Included chapter titles: ``To Have Pie For Breakfast'', ``To Talk About The Weather'', ``To Have Haunted Houses'', ``To Adopt Peculiar Place Names'', and ``To Eat Cheese''.

PS: Machines That Give You Logarithms, or, an algorithm at last! Fourth of these since the last roundup.

Tags: amusement parks, casino pier farewell tour, knoebels

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