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Since a bunch of degenerates could play hooky for a half day and I haven’t started the new job yet, a bunch of us headed to Six Flags on Friday. Since school hasn’t started for everyone yet, the park was a bit crowded, even on a work day, but not as bad as I’ve seen it. The sun seemed like an inferno just above our heads, so hot we half expected our hair to spontaneously combust. But we trudged resolutely from coaster to coaster, stood in lines as patiently as we could muster, and sucked down any cold drinks we could get our hands on. It was almost worth the half-price admission we’d paid, thanks to some coupons courtesy of degenerates JH and LH.
We took a break for dinner on the tailgate of our truck. We’d packed a cooler so we didn’t have to pay $8.86 for the cheeseburger and fries that they sell in one of the diners in the park. Then we looked at the schedule and found the park closes at 9 on Fridays for unknown reasons. Saturday and Sunday it’s open late, but Fridays it closes early. Go figure. It was 7 at that point and we knew the line for the new Superman ride, at the opposite end of the park, was likely to take the rest of our time so we packed up and hustled back into the fray.
After a weary forced-march through the park we got in the long line for Superman Ultimate Flight and watched as the happy folks flew overhead, obviously enjoying the ride. But the line moves painfully slow and the only positive aspect was at least it was late enough so that the sun didn’t boil us in our own sweat. The line moved so slowly that some folks had to step out and go get drinks or use the can and return, so it always felt like someone was slipping past you and cutting in line. But inch by inch we shuffled, on throbbing and weary feet, closer to the head of the line. As we reached the bottom of the steps leading up to the boarding platform it was a few minutes before 9 o’clock. We joked with the folks in front of us that if they shut down the ride before we got there we’d have to riot and maybe we should pick up a few of the decorative rocks around the sidewalk for potential missiles.
We reached the platform and headed for the line for front row seats. One of the dozen teenage girls running the ride looked at the long line of folks waiting to get in and looked utterly defeated. Apparently someone was supposed to stop the line a while back but it hadn’t happened and there was at least an hour’s worth of people waiting.
Ominous flickers of lightning flashed in the distance as we waited for them to load up the people in front of us. Then a raindrop hit my shoulder as the cars pulled out and the next train pulled in to unload.
Then one of the teen staff got on the loudspeaker and said the ride was closed due to inclement weather. The previously sulking teenage staff girl danced with glee and turned to see the crowd gathering rocks. If she hadn’t done that celebratory dance they might have gotten off with some minor property damage – a pulled-down fence here, a smashed window there, but after standing in line for over an hour and getting to the head of the line only to be denied at the last possible moment by a laughing teenager was just too much.
The attack happened with shocking speed. A volley of rocks first, followed by the charge of the infantry. The teen girl was lifted into the air and slammed into one of the seats on the waiting train, upside-down. The safety bar held her in place as she was spit on and pummeled by countless people as they reached the head of the line. Then each person would move on to enact their own personal bit of vengeance on the staff and structure of the ride. It would have taken Superman himself to stop the riot.
The lightning flashed overhead and the rains came down, too late. Sure, the kid was right – the weather was dangerous. But by now it only matched the crowds’ rage.
“You think the ride was dangerous, huh? Let’s find out!” yelled one of the people who had been standing in line just behind me with growing impatience.
He shoved the helpless teen into the seat beside the bloody, upside-down girl, clamped shut the safety bar, then walked over to the control panel with a rock in hand. A button flashed “ready” in green a few times, before the rock came down and smashed it. The train of cars eased out of the station with its victims screaming in the front row. The crowd laughed and continued their rampage, matching the raging storm the skies had unleashed. But apparently God agreed that the transgression was just to much because just as the cars reached the top of that first hill, the teens still locked in place in the front row, a bolt of lightning came down from the skies and electrocuted the rails. The male teenager’s head exploded instantly, but somehow upside-down girl survived and rocketed around the course, her screams fading as she slowly choked on her own blood and bile. As we fled the scene I looked back over my shoulder to see the train speed through the station without stopping. I could see the outlines of a man standing at the controls, still raining down blows with a rock in hand, sparks erupting around him. I wondered how many times the train would run the course before the whole structure collapsed. Perhaps, if God was still with us, the ride would explode and burn down the entire park. I only hoped we could reach the truck in time...

(OK, so maybe there wasn’t a riot at Six Flags, but we did get fucked out of riding the Superman ride by a laughing teenage girl just as we reached the end of the line.)

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