The Bag Means Your Mind

A delightful mix of insightful comments and ignorant assumptions about screenwriting... and such.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Kings Island

The Beast

Son of Beast

We woke up to overcast skies. Rain and thunderstorms ruled the forecast. Even my best Shamanic chanting and bone throwing were no match for the waterlogged clouds. I decided to leave a good tip for the cleaning lady* in order to generate some positive, My Name is Earl, karma. The tip wasn’t sunny skies good, but it could be enough to get us through the day with a only drizzle or two (I’m not made of money people).

Paramount’s Kings Island is the second stop on our journey. It is home to the Beast, the longest wood rollercoaster on the planet. Son of Beast also resides at the park. It is the tallest (maybe 2nd tallest) wood roller coaster in the world. It also has a loop. Fuck’n A.

Our spy network confirmed that Son of Beast was down for maintenance and wouldn’t open until mid June. Bummer. There were also reports that a few of the coasters weren’t operating. Double Bummer.

So we get to the park and the sky looks miserable. Riding Beast was the first and only ride on my list (because Son of Beast was down). If I ride, it I consider my day a success. So as soon as the park opens we dash to the Beast. Well, I can’t exactly dash with my ankle the way it is, but I ambled with determination. Some call it a desperate mosey. Ok, I call it that, but nonetheless, we arrived at the Beast mere minutes after the gates opened.

It was ready to go, and we were just about the only people in the station. We waited for the front seat, and off we went. If you enjoy riding rollercoasters, then you really do owe it to yourself to get to Cincinnati and ride it before the apocalypse (It’s coming).

Before Beast I did not care for wood rollercoasters. They were rickety. They were rough. They were tame. I had no patience for them and their wooden ways. The Beast changed that. Three years ago I concluded that it was number two on my list. Today I entered the ride expecting a wonderful nostalgic ride. What I got was nothing short of a re-education.

The ride was wicked fast. The front was fairly smooth, and with the weight of the train behind you, the scenery was a blur. What makes Beast so good is the fact that the first part of it is a fantastic, almost peerless tear through the wilderness. The second part is almost beyond words. There is a Nirvana. The emotional and physical coalesce in a finale that is breathtaking. I know this reeks of hyperbole, but it I swear it isn’t. It’s the truth.

The second part of the ride begins with a second lift hill. This hill drops the rider into a long gradual descent into a double helix. This gradual descent results in a train that seems to be clearly out of control, dangerously so. At breakneck speed, it slams into the tunnel to start the double helix. Light pours in from holes in the seemingly rickety boards that make up the tunnel.

You careen through the tunnel, white-knuckled, praying to the Burger King (or whoever it is you worship). The train continues to gain speed until you are sure the train will jump the track, but it doesn’t. It never has in 25 years yet no matter how many times you ride it, but that fact gives you no solace in the moment.

I finished the ride in awe, and instantly I knew that this work of art was the best coaster I had ever rode, wood, steel or otherwise. I ended up riding it four times before leaving for the day.

Back to the park. In the morning, there were a number of coasters that were closed (as our intelligence indicated). We found out that most, if not all, of the rides would eventually open. So why were they closed? They were short staffed, and wouldn’t be getting reinforcements until 4pm when school let out. I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that little Johny has to finish his spelling test before I could ride Top Gun.

The unexpected highlight of the day was that Son of Beast eventually opened despite what the intelligence gatherers said, and I rode it exactly one time. It was all I could bear. Like it’s father, Son of Beast is fast and furious. It is long and has a loop, fuck’n A, to spice things up. Unfortunately, the ride is so rough it rearranged some of my bones. I’m also kinda sure it bruised my brain (as I write this, I have no memory of the fourth grade and I’m not entirely sure how to do long division).

Son of Beast is a wonderful, horrible ride that I will look forward to riding each and every time I go to that park. Each time I will hold hope that they find a way to fix the organ-liquefying jostling that goes on during the ride.

In the end, the weather held out minus one or two isolated showers. The sun even came out for a spell. We went on every coaster we wanted to, and left for Kentucky at around 7:30pm.

Tomorrow and for the rest of the trip, we are in uncharted territory. All four parks are new to us, so we will be sampling coaster culture from Kentucky to Kansas City. I may not have web access again until Monday or Tuesday night. At that point, I hope to throw some more thoughts up here.

*It's kind of presumptuous for me to assume that the person cleaning the room is a woman. It could very well be a man wearing a skirt who answers to the name Alice.


  • At 4:40 AM, Blogger Systemaddict said…

    Ha, awesome...Son of Beast...haha...that's a perfect name.

    Enjoy the rest...


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