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I knew a guy who, when asked how he wanted to die, responded that he wanted to be eaten by a shark. He thought it would be the most exciting and impressive way to go. I suppose that's correct: just imagine the adrenaline rush as you watch the creature emerge from the depths, its eyes trained on you. It would probably be the most exciting moment in one's whole life.


Gmack, Next time I go swimming in the ocean I'm taking your friend along as my buddy.

Do you have any other self-destructive friends, specifically one who wants to die by electrocution? I'll pay him to work on my pool.

mac macgillicuddy

"Suits optional after 10 p.m."

No thanks! People who swim in pools -- or any public waterhole -- with optional suits are always killed by some heinous means.

It's in all the horror movies...You saw "Blood Beach"!

By the way, does this mean that before 10 p.m., black tie is required?

David Parsons

What I wonder about the bungee cord ride accident is whether either of the passengers saw the broken bungee cord sail by and think "oh, shit", or if they waited until the capsule was going "WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! Wham! Wham! wham! wham! clunk!" against the arm of the slingshot before they commenced simultaneous panic.

blue girl

Hi Lance: Get this. I have a friend who's husband was head of maintenance at a large amusement park near here for more than 18 years. Next to the amusement park is a "Sea World" type park -- and has it's own head of maintenance.

The two parks merged a few years back. So, the corporate office figured, "why do we need two guys in charge of maintenance?"

So, they fire my friend's husband -- WHO KNOWS HOW TO MAINTAIN SCARY RIDES -- because he made way more money than the other guy.

The guy who maintained Shamoo's water tank is now head of maintenance at the amusement park also.

Makes a lot of sense, huh? Needless to say, we really don't go to amusement park anymore. When they are only looking at the bottom line -- even when it comes to safety -- no way, no how are you going to get me, or a family member on one of those rides again.

Anne Laurie

I've always assumed that when I'm going to die, I'll die... it's not the "death" part that worries me, it's the potential pain & suffering part right before death. (Like your "not afraid of flying, afraid of crashing" distinction.) In my case, this means I'm not afraid of roller coasters but I'm TERRIFIED of ferris wheels... which are so much slower & have far less protection... have always had this image of myself stepping away from the soap-bubble ferris gondola & falling foreeeever before becoming a smear on the pavement.


If you're feeling masochistic, there is a goofy 70s flick about a twisted guy trying to sabotage rollercoaster rides. It's called 'Rollercoaster,' natch, and it features a crabby, constipated George Segal as an amusement-park inspector out to catch the guy.

Lots of gratuitous shots of the ride from the coster perspective. I saw this on in full-screen glory in Berkeley. If you see it that way, bring a wastebasket.


I used to know a guy who had a saying about sharks: "If they don't go into the bar, I won't go into the ocean." He never did swim while I knew him on Kwajalein (which is all of 1.5 miles long, .5 miles wide, and [duh] surrounded by water).

Sadly, he died of some sort of gastrointestinal thing a few years later.


Perhaps a tiresome detail, but my prescribing shrink told me I was a bit of an, "adrenaline junkie." Fortunately for me, this does not extend to 'coasters, sky-diving, or any thrill ride that demands I be upside-down for any length of time.
Upside-down in water (which supports one nicely) is another story - and if it's suitless and under a full moon, even better. I do prefer pools - even without Jaws, the notion of hungry stuff rising from the dark to snack on me... well, you can imagine.

res publica

Thanks, Lance. Thanks for ruining all themepark rides for me. Forever. Thanks a lot.

Exiled in NJ

So its County Fair time again. Ulster and then Dutchess the last week of August and over Labor Day, the Columbia County one in Chatham......such a rhythm the year has up there. I miss it all, the billboards with the Maurice Sendak type animals advertising the one in Rhinebeck, the fairgrounds in Chatham where I'd walk the dog the other 50 weeks of the year, three miles from my house.

My dream of death was always from heat related causes, which would happen when I mowed the back two acres with my DR Brush Cutter. Stuff was 5-6 feet high but it would hew down anything in its path while the sweat poured off me and the rabbits and deer scattered. When I was done I could see my neighbor's paddock and the horse he kept there. Then I would pass out and expire while they buried me near the rock that marked our boundary.


Speaking of bungee-related accidents... there's a video clip floating around the 'net of a guy bungee jumping who manages to get the cord looped around his neck when he bounces back up after the initial plunge. Not good.


That was my sister on the ride Angela. She actually was hurt. She couldn't move her neck for a month and she has back problems.

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