Lakeside Amusement Park to Reopen: "Why Would We Suddenly Care About Safety Now?"
Updated: May 5
By Cody Ullrich
Built in 1940, historic roller coaster “The Cyclone” is now officially more duct tape than wood. The 80-year-old deathtrap is the main attraction at Lakeside Amusement Park, which will soon open its gates despite public health concerns related to Covid-19.
Jenny Carlisle, PR associate for Lakeside, lit up a cigarette and gave Westish reporters a tour of the amusement park. Stopping occasionally to point out piles of needles to avoid, she spoke of the park’s decision.
“Why would we suddenly care about safety now? It’s never been a problem. This coronavirus isn’t any worse than what you’ll catch breathing the air in our bathroom. People here will be fine.”
Carlisle drew attention to rides undergoing testing before opening, mostly operated by teenagers checking Instagram and three brooms with a bucket for a head.
“We have great rides. We have a boat ride, an airplane ride, and if you get stabbed in the parking lot, you can take an ambulance ride. Would you like to go for a spin? You’ve had your tetanus shots, right?”
Reporters were then offered a bite to eat from the concessions area. There, they were repeatedly assured the sandwiches were not made from the flesh of safety inspectors who had mysteriously disappeared over the years. Appetites were unfortunately lost as a malnourished and fully exposed vagrant chased reporters through the park with a broken bottle.
Carlisle chuckled, “I see you met our mascot.”
Lakeside is also one of the few theme parks in the United States where smoking is allowed in all areas. It is not uncommon to see fun-seekers lighting up cigarettes as they wait in line or offering hits of freebase to children. It is, in fact, a family amusement park.
“As you can see, Coronavirus is the last thing our guests should be worried about. It could be worse, too. At least the KKK doesn’t hold rallies here like they did less than 100 years ago.”
Perhaps Carlisle is right. Lakeside Amusement Park may be the perfect place to put everything in perspective. Maybe what the world needs now more than anything is the horror of dilapidated amusement parks to take their minds off trivial things like pandemics.
This article is in loving memory of Garfield Clementine, Westish reporter who was crushed to death by a loose spinning teacup.
Cody Ullrich is a Denver-born writer, comedian, and musician.