As long and dark though our economic tunnel California has been, Native Angelenos have clung to the hope that when there is winter, sooner or later spring must follow. And after that must come summer. And then eventually, fall. And with fall would come the seasonal push our economy can always count on: the bounty we reap each year from our region’s Halloween mazes.
We may no longer make anything in California, but we haven’t forgotten how to be scary. This after all is the state whose film executives green-lit most of the Saw films and The Hills Have Eyes reboot. Come each Halloween, when the world wants to be scared, and scared by professionals, it arrives on our doorstep, saying “Take us to your creepy mazes and we shall reward you with our lucher.”
But now, on top of everything we’ve been through, these hopes may be dashed as well.
One doesn’t generally associate the Knott’s Berry Farm theme park with avante-gardist tributes to fiscal insolvency, but yesterday on the Windseeker ride, they did just that with a piece certain to be studied and imitated by Hampshire College students for decades to come.
In a representation of the state of our state, Knotts trapped 20 guests dangling at 300 feet for three and a half hours on the Windseeker tower. The 20 dangling, helpless Californians caught on a decrepit amusement park ride a living representation of 30 million dangling, helpless Californians caught on a decrepit amusement park ride all across the state.
Across America, at any PTA meeting, Mommy and Me class, pre-school yoga retreat or neighborhood play ground there are three words that will make the blood of any parent run cold, and even the most fearless of adventure moms stop dead in their tracks. Those words of course are: Chuck E Cheese.
Since 1977, innocent parents have prayed for death’s sweet embrace as they endured hours of watching their children gorge themselves with mountains of junk food to the strains of an animatronic rodent-helmed band.