Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a former US Marine Staff Sergeant who lost his legs to an IUD was kicked off a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia because it's against their policy to let people without legs ride. With all due respect to the Marine's service, I have to side with Six Flags here. No one should ride any of their rides no matter how many legs they have.
The Staff Sergeant was trying to ride the Mind Bender, a 40-year old roller coaster. Back in my day, it was brown. Now it's green, because while Six Flags won't let a Marine ride their coaster, they have no problem rebranding it for a super villain. Oh, wait. Maybe those two things go together.
This bad press comes at a bad time. It just so happens that Six Flags Over Georgia is debuting their newest coaster, the Twisted Cyclone, this Saturday. The Twisted Cyclone will be the 16th coaster in the park's history. So far, only three of those coasters have killed people. (According to Wikipedia, the Mild Bender has merely sent four people to the hospital. Pfft.)
In Six Flags' defense — a phrase I thought I would never type — there is precedent for them to believe they should enforce their legless ban despite what would appear to be a clear case of a rider opting-in to assumption of risk. (That's a legal term. Look it up.) In 2011, another legless veteran who also lost his legs to an IUD died after falling out of a coaster in Darien Lake, New York. His family ultimately won a million dollar settlement when state regulators declared the park negligent because ride operators let him ride the coaster despite having no legs. Hmm. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
The interesting footnote (ha, ha) to this story is that on the same day the AJC published its article, Six Flags announced that they are purchasing Darien Lake. Re-purchasing, actually. Six Flags owned the park for most of the 2000s until shortly after Katrina quite literally sank their organization. It's only natural that they should want Darien Lake back. They love coasters that kill people.
Today was the Georgia Democrat/Republican primary election for state offices. On the flip side of that ballot were nonpartisan local elections. I didn't vote in any of them.
That wasn't a decision I made casually. I took my time and looked into the candidates. What I found was that my opinion of each of them didn't much matter. I'll take either Democratic candidate for Governor over any of the pro-NRA Republican options, so I'll let those who pay party dues pick the candidates I'll be voting for and against in November. Same goes for all the other statewide positions.
Of the few local races with incumbents not running unopposed, most are school board positions. I don't have children, and I'm not in school. If I did have a child, I wouldn't want disinterested parties like me butting into an election I had no stake in, so I'll do parents a favor and keep my biases to myself.
Therefore, if you don't mind, Georgia, I'll save my vote for later and vote twice in the general election. Thanks.
Finally, the opposite of rose colored glasses!
I'm starting to fear where I'll find Happy Poo next. Electric toothbrushes? Happy Meal® toys? Sex dolls? I'm sure it'll be worse than I could guess.
One thing's for sure: I'm going to need a new blog tag for all this crap.
I woke up the other day with an idea that I planned to post here on the blog. Not your typical run-of the mill post, either, but a genuine brain tickler, the sort of Poor Richard bon mot that made Ben Franklin a household name.
Naturally, before I could commit that idea to digital paper, it escaped my head. Memory, they say, is the somethingth thing to go.
So all you get now is this lousy placeholder post. Sorry.
Finishing movies watched (by me) in April, here's the final eight:
78. (1307.) Good Neighbor Sam (1964)
Romy Schneider was beguiling, but I watched this film primarily for the 60s fashion, home decor, and rampant product placement. If you watch it, don't expect an ending. There isn't one. None of the plots are resolved. Very irritating.
79. (1308.) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)
As much as I love Jane Austen novels (Emma is the best), I didn't really want to see them mashed up with horror tropes. But for the most part, this film managed to be surprisingly loyal to Austen's original characters and plot. If this introduces audiences to classics of English lit they would otherwise turn their nose up at, it's not a waste of film.
80. (1309.) Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)
The villain here isn't Vincent Price, but it might as well be. Price's later House of Wax is a very similar plot with similar effects. This falls more into the "plucky newspaper reporter solves a mystery" category than horror, and I liked that.
81. (1310.) Super-Sleuth (1937)
The title is ironic. An egomaniac Hollywood actor believes he's the detective character he plays in movies. He's not. There's not even much mystery here, as the audience is shown the murderer's identity from the beginning. Not RKO's best.
82. (1311.) Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Hey, it's 2002's Spider-Man all over again! I watched it imagining Micheal Keaton's Vulture as the real hero. It's better that way. (By the way, this is the second movie this month I watched with Zendaya in it. In both, I asked myself "what is her character doing here?" In both, there is no good answer to that question.)
83. (1312.) Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951)
This British comedy/drama lampoons the mid-century British equivalent of Hollywood. It has its moments. (TCM informed me that this film's American title was Bikini Baby. Don't expect to see many bikinis here. There's only one in one scene. But there wasn't an Internet in 1951, so I guess you ogled what you could get.)
84. (1313.) Hollow Triumph (1948)
Film noir in which a man finds his lookalike and, you know, kills him. (By the way, IMDB credits this as Jack Webb's first movie. Sunset Boulevard would come much later. That's what everyone knows Jack Webb from, right?)
85. (1314.) Alfie (1966)
The movie that made Michael Caine! I didn't love it. The character, Alfie, is a horrible person. I know that's kind of the point (the fact that he calls all women "it" is intentionally insulting, even for the era), but I never like spending time with horrible people, even if they're charming and fictional. Call it a character flaw.
That finished April (21 movies in all!). More to come.
Sex sells everything. Including Jeep replacement parts.
Disclaimer: you cannot order those legs from this catalog.
In fact, this cover doesn't fill me with confidence about anything in this catalog. It's all fake. You can tell from the shadows that the Jeep and the landscape are two separate images that were edited together. Given the weird way the sun is hitting that dog, it must have been cropped in from a third source. And that totally unnecessary lens flare is straight-up a Photoshop filter (Render > Lens Flare > 50-300mm Zoom).
The inside is a little more honest. It's mostly replacement top hardware, electrical wiring, and light bars. Though there is a $29.99 "Cabana Multi Stripe Beach Towel with Jeep® Logo" on page 286 that probably just exists as an excuse to put a model in a bikini. Seems legit to me.
One week ago today, a small wildfire approached my father's house in Fountain, Florida. (It's an ironic name in hindsight.) The fire ignited several bales of hay he had just that morning stored in his pole barn. The barn stood no more than 20 yards from his house and no more than 100 yards from the entrance to his cattle pen. Naturally, Dad called the fire department then jumped into action with a garden hose.
How's that for the start of a dramatic story? I'll go ahead and tell you up front that the fire department put out the fire, and the house was saved. That's not what this blog post is about.
I wasn't there at the time, but as I hear it, armed agents of the Bay County Emergency Department arrived before the fire trucks did. And the officers, rather than jump in and help, ordered Dad to put down his hose and let the fire burn. I'll give them the benefit of doubt and assume that they wanted to "protect" Dad, not "serve" the fire. Dad didn't see it that way. He had called for help to extinguish the flames not for a group of spectators to the destruction of his property. So he refused to comply.
You can see where this is going now, can't you?
When father, who moved to middle-of-nowhere Florida to get away from authority figures, said he wouldn't put his hose down until the firemen arrived, the police attempted to arrest him. Note the use of the word "attempted" in the previous sentence. Dad didn't make it easy for them. For what it's worth, I'm led to believe no actual punches were thrown, but there was certainly something of a scuffle as the police tried to drag a 72-year-old man away from a fire.
Personally, I think Dad's reaction was understandable. After all, he believed his property and his livelihood was being threatened. Understandable, I say, but also unwise. Sometimes your best option is to let the world burn.
When the Bay County fire department finally arrived, Dad was unable to see it. He was sitting far away, handcuffed, in the back of a police cruiser. And he stayed in the back of that police cruiser for the five or so hours it took them to put the fire out. (I should say put it *mostly* out. It would flare up again the next day on the neighbor's property and the fire department would be called back to complete the job.)
As I already said, the house was fine. The animals were fine. And Dad was released from the police car eventually and allowed to go home where he was now, presumably, safe. An inconvenience, sure, but at least a happy ending. Right? Wrong.
Four days later, the Bay County Sheriff's Department returned and served a warrant their fellow officer had sworn out against my father for the crimes of Preventing or Obstructing Extinguishment of Fire (Florida Code Chapter 806.10) and Resisting Arrest with Violence (843.01), both Third Degree Felonies. They served the warrant one hour after court closed for the day, ensuring he would spend at least one night in jail until bond could be set the next afternoon. What nice guys, I say sarcastically.
Dad is now home — again — after paying a non-refundable 10% of the $6,500 bond to a bail bondsman. He's facing considerably more in lawyers fees to argue against a 10 year prison sentence. All because he panicked when the cops he didn't call demanded that he not try to save his own house from a wildfire.
If there's a lesson here, it's don't ask for help in Bay County, Florida. Either way, you're going to get burned.
Comments (1)| Leave a Comment | Tags: dad dear diary family florida laws morals
Walter reviews more movies he watched in April!
71. (1300.) The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)
Disney advertised the shit out of this back when I watched the Disney Channel in the 1980s, and I just finally saw it. (The House of Mouse gets us all in the end.) It's a good-looking adventure yarn for kids in the White Fang vein, and I enjoyed it.
72. (1301.) Isle of Dogs (2018)
Best movie of 2018! No, that wasn't sarcasm. I'm all-in on Wes Andersom movies.
73. (1302.) Warrior (2011)
Warrior is not a winner. Friend Keith loves it, and I guess I can see why. But the schmaltzy ending doesn't work if you don't care for all the characters involved, and I didn't. Go to hell, Tommy.
74. (1303.) Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Best movie of 2017! Friend Mike let me borrow this, and I'm so glad he did. I watched it, like, 4 times. It's really, really funny with a James Carpenter vibe and 80s synthesizer soundtrack. Marvel can't possibly make a movie better than this.
75. (1304.) Battle of the Sexes (2017)
I was expecting less biopic and more sports action, but I'm never disappointed in Emma Stone. Even when she's a lesbian.
76. (1305.) Coco (2017)
Honestly, I don't get what everyone loves about this movie. Beyond the creative set design, it's a predictable snooze-fest populated with stock characters. I would say it is easily Pixar's worst film. (And yes, I've seen Cars 2.)
77. (1306.) The Greatest Showman (2017)
Hey, Randy! I've seen The Greatest Showman. It delivers what it promises: a throwback to 1930s MGM musical spectacular! I agree that it is too light on reality and too heavy on CGI. But who can't enjoy a film with a character named Walter the Dog-Boy? Not me.
More to come.