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Literary Hullabaloo
Tuesday, February 28, 2006   |    Fiction

Abandoned Theme Parks

by Dale Dobson


Built on floating platforms near the famous island prison, this ill-fated venture embarrassed its corporate parent for years after its well-deserved closure. Space limitations and surface instability prevented construction of a major rollercoaster; the park was consequently forced to spend heavily to promote its only novel attraction, the “authentic and educational” Ass-Raper. Unsuspecting parkgoers on opening day were impressed by the care and precision with which they were seated and strapped in by solicitous park attendants, until the motorized leather-sheathed steel rods mounted below each seat began their slow and steady anal incursions. A climactic eighty-foot drop at the end of the ride guaranteed lawsuits and eventual closure of the entire park, despite repeat business from a small but enthusiastic cult of “Ass Men” ferried over daily from San Francisco.


Long before Universal opened its successful tourist trap, the silent-era American Biograph Company opened its soundstage doors to the new and growing cadre of motion picture “fans.” Popular star Mary Pickford was on hand to cut the opening-day ribbon and was nearly killed by unruly “flicker” aficionados unaware that Ms. Pickford was in fact only five feet tall. A “Wild West” show resulted in the deaths of several spectators after Lillian Gish replaced sister Dorothy’s gun with one containing live ammo as a practical joke, and several visitors fell from great heights or had fingers blown off by “prop” bombs at the interactive Harold Lloyd attraction. The tour closed its doors after its first day in operation with a sign reading, “We appreciate your patronage—please come and see us all again to-morrow!” To-morrow never came.


This topical Louisiana theme park exclusively featured rides named after violent, potentially disastrous meteorological events, including the Cyclone, the Twister, the Tempest, the Hurricane, and the Tidal Wave. The park was built using federal disaster recovery funds, obtained on pretense of restoring vital “tourism services” to the region, and its opening suffered from bad timing and a storm of negative publicity. A hastily assembled and thoroughly ill-conceived “Retro Day” featuring nostalgic attractions like the Pickaninny Dunk Tank and the Big Negro Pie-Eating Contest led to the park’s demise after only three days in operation. Truly a disaster in its own right.


Michael Crichton collaborated with Seoul National University’s cloning lab and corporate sponsor Dell Computer to staff this high-tech park with more than 200 walking, talking duplicates of Dell advertising pitchman Ben Curtis. Three hours into the first day of operation, unhappy visitors found themselves ankle-deep in trash, vomit and human waste, while the clones hung out at Dell’s multimillion-dollar World of Today exhibit, playing Unreal Tournament and smoking marijuana. An emergency backup plan was hastily called into action, employing clones of an earlier generation’s catchphrase queen, Clara Peller of “Where’s the Beef?” fame. The new clones’ obsessive quest for cooked meat only led to further chaos, as open firepits and impromptu cannibalistic slaughterhouses appeared throughout the park. When it became apparent that the Curtis and Peller clones were capable of rapid sexual reproduction due to a genetic engineering error, management had no choice but to burn the park and all of its employees.


The owners of the popular N.Y.C. peep-show emporium planned to branch out into mainstream entertainment with this adults-only amusement center. Land was acquired in central Ohio, rides were purchased and reupholstered for clothing-optional use, and Stephen Schwartz was commissioned to write a new musical revue, Star-Spangled Creamy Nude Tit Fucking LIVE On Ice! Unfortunately, retired “actors” hired as construction contractors proved unable to plan or execute any project lasting longer than a weekend, condemning the unopened park to a constant state of erection.

Dale Dobson writes, animates, and acts in the metropolitan Detroit area, and occasionally gets around to updating