Thursday, July 21, 2005

Kennywood Armband Still Won't Come Off

Russell Hightower, 16, had a great time visiting Kennywood last Friday with some friends from his summer camp. However, the young man says that he has picked up an unexpected and somewhat undesired souvenir from the park. It's his pay-one-price armband, and, as he eloquently puts it, "the f*cking thing won't come off."

Kennywood, a traditional amusement park located outside of Pittsburgh, is one of the few American parks that still offer multiple pricing options. Patrons may buy tickets for individual rides, or, if they wish to experience a large portion of the entire park, they may purchase an armband that allows them access to all attractions. However, some of these patrons, like Hightower, have great difficulty removing these armbands.

Hightower was not initially concerned that he could not take his armband off. "I was in the bus with the other guys on the camp trip," he says. "After I got on, I tried to pull it off, and it wouldn't budge. I thought maybe it was just a little tight, so I pulled harder. But it stayed right where it was. That's when I grew concerned."

Hightower then asserts that he tried numerous methods for removing the armband, including chomping on it with his teeth, bracing it against a window latch, trying to insert his foot into it to rip it loose, getting a burly friend to tug on it, and whimpering like a little girl. None of these methods proved useful, particularly not the last one, which seems likely to have led directly to the unpleasant incident later that night where dorm-mates covered the toilet bowl with saran wrap and broke the bathroom lights immediately before Hightower went to defecate.

Unable to remove the armband by any obvious means during the bus ride back to camp, Hightower eventually decided to wait until the next day and attack it with new vigor. "It still wouldn't come off," he tells ARN&R. "I tried a pocket knife. I tried scissors. I tried broken glass in the parking lot. Nothing. What are these damn things made of? Some sort of secret, indestructible space-age polymer?"

"Help me," he added in a strangled whisper.

According to one friend of Hightower's, the armband is "really sexy," and "all the chicks want him now," before either coughing loudly or possibly laughing into his fist.