Sunday, April 27, 2003

Enthusiast Avoids Having Crap Coaster as 200th

It could have been a complete and utter disaster for enthusiast Bubba McGurkas. Turning sheet white and bursting into gallons of flop sweat, according to eyewitnesses, McGurkas realized at nearly the last minute on his spring coaster tour that his 200th coaster would be a piece of crap. Although such a revelation would have felled mere mortals, the intrepid enthusiast found a solution to the dreadful problem: frantically rearrange his life and spend gobs of cash.

“It was my greatest nightmare,” McGurkas later confessed to ARN&R. “I had already experienced the humiliation and shame of accidentally miscounting one year while touring in New England. Instead of getting Boulderdash at number 75, it was actually Zoomerang. And later on, I screwed up and got the stupid Trailblazer instead of Great Bear for number 100. This time, the major round number was going to be a great, memorable ride. Not a pile of s%&$.”

McGurkas was in the midst of a ride on Kennywood’s Jack Rabbit when the terror hit him. “I went to a couple parks in Pennsylvania that I’d never been to before. I had thought adding the new-for-Bubba coasters at Knoebel’s and Kennywood would get me up to 198, then when I went to Six Flags America I’d add the Mind Eraser for 199 since it was closed the last visit, and then I could have Volcano as my big 200 at King’s Dominion. Well, I forgot that I had stopped by Idlewild for a ride on Rollo Coaster. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I thought I was experiencing an impulsive bit of fun on a classic woodie with fixed lap bars, but I was dooming myself and future generations of my family to insufferable torment and hell. Will my future children be taunted because their fool of a father left a ride off the count and ended up counting a Mind Eraser as number 200? A Mind Eraser, for the love of all that is holy? No! No! Nooooooooooooo!”

Then the budding genius hatched a daring and brilliant plan: McGurkas would fly to Texas in order to add coasters worthy of being a nice round number on his count list. “I had some limitations,” said McGurkas. “I live in Iowa, and I’d already booked a flight back from BWI after I got done with PKD and Six Flags. I’ve missed lots of work at Wal-Mart lately to ride coasters, and the boss insisted I’d be fired if I was back a second after I told him I’d be. I had planned in a rest day to visit my brother Randy in Virginia between park visits, which would have been fun since I haven’t seen him in three years. So, I was thinking that, if I told Randy that in order to see me this year he had to come to King’s Dominion with me, and then used the extra day to fly to Texas, I could get some suitable rides in down there, fly back, hit SFA and PKD as planned, and fly home just in time not to be fired!”

At a mere cost of $1007.34 for a last minute cross-country flight from BWI to San Antonio with no Saturday stay-over, $25.49 for rental car, and $6 parking at Fiesta Texas (his Six Flags Northeastern New York pass gained him free admission), McGurkas was able to add several new coasters. Superman Krypton Coaster, a well-regarded B&M Floorless, was his 200th ride.

Raising his hands aloft, McGurkas cried out in a booming voice, “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”


[Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, this heartwarming tale of warm cuddly sweetness and triumph of the human condition has a tragic ending. It turns out McGurkas completely forgot to list Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure Ride when he rode the kiddie coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure early in his trip. Instead of adding Superman Krypton Coaster as his 200th, the ride in that position was actually the loathsome Boomerang Coast to Coaster.]