Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Coaster Decaptitates Twenty-Four Passengers; IAAPA Blames Rider Error

A roller coaster running at the new "Old Oklahoma" Theme Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma, decapitated twenty-four passengers, its full capacity, on Monday. The coaster, called "The Head Remover," was considered a new breed of thrill ride, most notably due to its eight three-foot razor-sharp blades spinning rapidly approximately one foot above the trains -- or at roughly head level -- at its conclusion. The twenty-four dead were the first to ride the coaster after its opening after being assured by ride operators that the blades were "just for show" and that they would retract well before the train went under them.

Spokesmen for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, or IAAPA, blamed the deaths on rider error. "Upon examining the ride, it appears that any passenger could have easily avoided any injury by either extricating themselves from the restraints and leaping over the side or by merely doing the sensible thing and wearing plate mail armor on the ride. This clearly is purely rider misconduct and should not detract from the amusement park industry's excellent safety record."
Paramount Parks to Offer Free Lettuce for 2003

Recognizing the success that such parks as Holiday World and Lake Compounce have had offering free, unlimited soft drinks, Paramount has announced that all of its theme parks will offer guests free, unlimited lettuce for the full 2003 season.

"We'd heard about these independent parks giving away free soda, and we thought it was an interesting idea," said spokesman Brian Margolis. "But this is Paramount Parks, and you're not going to get something so lame as soda from us. We decided that the most exciting and extreme possibility for our giveaway would be the universal food, lettuce."

Like the parks giving away soda, the Paramount lettuce offer has some restrictions. Visitors can only fill one small salad bowl at a time and dressings are a quarter extra per bowl (fifty cents for Caesar dressing), with Baco-bits costing a dime.

If the promotion is as successful as expected, Margolis told ARN&R that it could be extended into the future and possibly include other green leafy vegetables.