Tuesday, May 06, 2003

North Carolinian Warlord Lays Down Gauntlet

Kenny Bob Long III, feared dictator of the North Carolina portion of Paramount's Carowinds, escalated that park's ongoing crisis by making what he deemed the "final" offer. "If Paramount does not provide this part of the park full funding for a dramatic expansion of the Dippin' Dots franchises, the good people of North Carolina will have no choice but to consider usage of the funnel cakes for which we now have all of the necessary ingredients," said chief negotiator Billy Ray Robert. Long added in a written statement: "The suppression of the People's Republic of Northern Carowinds by the aggressors south of here must end, and our possession of flour, powdered sugar, and certain artificial flavorings will help us end that suppression."

The park has been a simmering hotbed of tension ever since Long acknowledged that the insular North Carolina part of the park had been developing a funnel cake program for several years, despite an agreement that such development would be put on hold in return for full funding for the northern shows, in particular Long's favorite, "I Married My Cousin and Didn't Have No Mutants As Kids!," a rollicking musical romp through the culture of North Carolina. Despite that agreement, operatives from Paramount headquarters determined that the funnel cakes were not solely in South Carolina, and indeed, that North Carolina had purchased the key ingredients from rogue parks such as the now-defunct Race World in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

The free-market South Carolina portion of the park, with its thriving economy based largely on high-tech (on-ride photos) and the arts (caricatures and "old-time" photography) has been living in fear of a full-blown funnel cake onslaught, and has been dependent on Paramount Parks to prevent catastrophe. With Long's ongoing threats and ever-more-quirky behavior (including a recent proposal to replace the water in the Flying Super Saturator with calf's blood), that fear has been increased.

Gary Slade, publisher of Amusement Today, has been called in to mediate the dispute, but experts fear that he will merely distract the parties with his constant barrage of grammatical and spelling errors.