I am sitting beside Matt Lucas in a large green SUV. We pass through a gate with a banner overhead that reads “Bouncing Mountain Racetrack” or something like that, where Matt gives a ticket to a man at a window. Ahead of us, I see three other enormous SUVs clearing an incredible gaping hole in the road, plummeting a great distance to the ground on the other side, and careening around a corner. How the hell did they do that? I am thinking, as Matt guns the engine and we approach the same chasm. I am astounded to find us hurtling through the air and plunging to the ground with seemingly no destruction of shocks or our fragile flesh. Apparently these are magic roads that sponge down like balloons when hit with an SUV-sized projectile.
We careen around the corner, and clear another jump. As we land, I lean out the window and put my hand out to see what the ground feels like. It is indeed fake ground. Astounding! What incredible expense this strange amusement park must have gone to! Another jump. I do it again. I fall out the window onto the fake asphalt, and Matt tears on away up the raceway without seeming to notice. Guess I should have figured that would happen.
I plunge into the mountain jungle beside the track, where I find a fake trail layered in fake snow with fake vines hanging down on which to swing over fake mud pits and the like. I come upon one such vine clearly labeled in white paint: “Suicide Swing”. The ‘mud pit’ beneath it looks suspiciously deep, as though it is composed not of mud but of some kind of breakaway foam. I suspect that it conceals a passage to another part of the park. I stop, considering.
A pair of older women come along in fanny packs and sunglasses and matching white and purple running suits. I say hello. I do not mention the words on the vine. They pass me, and disappear into the mud pit with a wail.
What the hell, I say. I jump in.
I land with a plop in a large, colorful movie theater lobby. In one of the nearby theaters an educational seminar of some kind is being held, which Erin and many other Columbus ladies are attending, as well as, inexplicably, Mark Massaro. Whatever the subject of the seminar, Mark and I are eminently uninterested. Discovering a debris-filled crawlspace beneath the back row of seats, we squeeze down inside and occupy ourselves collecting up the change that people have dropped. There are some interesting things hidden down there. I find not less than five hash pipes and one healthy stash, buried out of sight among bits of trash. I leave them be, having no need for such objects and imagining their owners’ unhappiness at coming back to find them gone. Massaro, however, has no such qualms.
The seminar ended, everybody files out except for me and Mark, who go on digging for nickels. When finally we get up to go, I discover someone has inadvertently cleaned up the documentation handed out to me prior to the seminar. I am somewhat distraught, but having found at least the book I was reading (The Stand), I give up the search and decide to retire to my hotel room.
In trying to find my way to the elevators, I cross paths with a park employee whose job it is to stand in a window display and come out to sell things to people. I steal his seat, and he shouts at me. I apologize. He goes back to selling things to people. Spitefully, I pick up the chair from the window display and hide it in a backroom. He comes after me.
I am hurrying through the maze of colorful storage room corridors, which seem once to have been used as seminar rooms, starting to get a little crazy since they seem to have no end and there is no stairway or elevator in sight, when suddenly my glasses fall apart into three pieces. The enraged employee and two of his co-workers catch up to find me sitting on the floor trying to put them back together. He yells at me, but when I tell them my sad story, they take pity and try to help me put my glasses back together. I shrug them off and burst into tears.