This past week I took an unexpected trip back home to visit the family, and we went to the shore to hit the boardwalk. Aside from stuffing yourself to the gills, the boardwalk is most famous for ride piers. As a public service, I thusly bring you...
RATING THE BOARDWALK RIDES
People ride the bumper cars to escape real life and enter an arena where cars are packed in like sardines and smash into each other with glee. I drive in Los Angeles every day, so I'm afraid for me it's nothing more than a busman's holiday.
The traditional ride for grandparents, pussies, and dudes who slip the pimply ride operator a fiver to stop it when he's at the top with the girl he wants to maul. Three groups of people I have no use for.
The Tidal Wave looks fun enough from the picture. But let me tell you, it is an absolute deathtrap. The cars jerk up and down in such a violent manner that spinal injury insurance is sold at a cost of four ride tickets. I suggested to the ride operator that they rename it the Tooth Chipper, but he looked at me like *I* was the one shaking people up like so many soda cans. Yeah, and you know what happens after you do that? Exactly.
GRADE: D (Upgraded to B with purchase of spinal injury insurance.)
Kiddie Log Flume
The idea of the Kiddie Log Flume seems like a good one. Until you look at it and realize that it's probably converted from an old dumpster or car crushing machine. And that dad looks WAY more scared than the kid. Hold on, dude, that looks like a stomach-churning five degree drop there. I hope your will is updated.
I was all into the idea of the Riptide until I learned to my chagrin that Perry King and Joe Penny would not be along for the ride. Besides, any ride connoisseur knows that this is just the Himalayan with a different name. They should call it the Ripoff.
This was inexplicably my favorite ride when I was a kid. For those of you who don't know, the point of the Tilt-A-Whirl is for the riders to sit in a circle around a wheel, which they then turn to spin the car faster and faster until a member of their party surrenders the contents of their stomach. People do this. For fun. I swear.
GRADE: C (Upgraded to C+ if someone in your car pukes and none of it gets on you.)
What kind of fools do ride companies take us for? This is clearly just that hoary old pirate ship ride with a new coat of paint and sparkly lights. Oh, and it's XTREME, DUDES! Still, that old pirate ship was fun, so...
This is how I imagine the pitch session at the ride company that makes the Wipeout: "Okay, you know how we keep making rides more twisty and dangerous, but people just keep lining up anyway? Fuck it. I say we just strap them to a piece of metal, throw them up in the sky, shake them until they get concussions, twist them around, and pound them in the ass with metal rods. If they keep coming back after that, then screw it, I give up. I'm moving back home and working in my dad's hardware store."