I’m an American. I like roller coasters. I like them big and dumb and fast and I want to go upside down at 76 miles-per-hour while I can hear my mouth, my brain and my balls scream at the same time. You don’t like waiting in line for an hour just for 30 seconds of ball screams? Then take your ass to a Third World country. They don’t know what the fuck a line is. Lines are the thing that separate a prosperous nation from places with shanty villages and feral dogs and machetes. So if you like America, roller coasters and lines, lines and more lines… go to Six Flags Magic Mountain in sunny Valencia, California. I did on Sunday. Here’s how it went…
First of all, “Six Flags” is a pretty weird name for an amusement park. I’d been to Six Flags Great America before, but I’d never really thought about the name. So I looked up what it meant. Six Flags started in Texas and the name refers to the six different countries that have controlled Texas at one point or another. If you’re trying to think of which ones they are, they’re Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy and the United States. I don’t think even Six Flags, the company, knows that. Because the whole “More Flags! More Fun!” slogan is super horrifying now. “Fun” apparently means blood and war in Texas. And I don’t know if “We Like to Party” by the Vengaboys was blaring while Santa Anna was butchering hundreds of Texans at the Alamo.
The first line of the day was waiting for the tram. And it was also my first chance to experience overhearing how dumb everyone is. I overheard a proudly idiotic white kid in his early 20’s describe a resort in Mazatlan as “bomb diggity” to his Latino friends. The reason for its bomb diggity-ness was its “forever” pool, by the way. Thank god the tram came. And thank god I heard one Bombdiggity’s friends tell him he probably meant “infinity” pool. But by that time, he’d moved on to bragging about his propane grill. Luckily, he was one of the last white people I saw all day.
As we boarded the tram, a nice Oaxacan family of 14 bum rushed in front of my lovely girlfriend and me so we were barely able to squish on. What did I tell you about Third World Counties and lines? Anyway, that’s when I turned to my girlfriend and said the theme of the first “ride” was smuggling illegals into the United States. She gave me the look Claire Huxtable always gave Cliff to let him know he was being inappropriate.
The tram driver gave us fun facts about the park (Vacation was shot here, but the parking lot in the movie was actually the racetrack parking lot in Santa Anita) pausing every ten seconds to tell more dipshits waddling through the middle of the road to use the walkway. The waddling dipshits stared at us with dead eyes as we passed, unaware that we’d just learned a fun fact about the band Kiss shooting a made-for-TV movie there in 1978. The Qaxacans didn’t seem impressed though.
When we got into the park and into the short line for the Ninja ride, a giant teenage black chick was in front of us. I have no idea how she could have possibly enjoyed her day. 1) None of these rides are necessarily built for big people and 2) Nothing in the world is built for boobs as big as she had. I don’t care what ride she went on that day - Goliath, Apocalypse, Scream - it didn’t matter. If you’re that big, every ride might as well be called “Tit Crusher.”
I should also mention that I was only doing roller coasters. Water rides are for babies. Go dump a bucket of water over your head and spin around in a circle if you want to. I’m not doing it. And I was vindicated when we saw a sopping wet middle aged woman who looked like a drowned rat in a white t-shirt, while her nipples said hello to every passer-by. Right after that, we saw a drenched 6-year-old black kid say, “My shoes are SOAKED!” No thanks, water rides.
The only ride you really need to hear about is X2. It’s easily the best roller coaster I’ve ever been on in my life. I don’t even know what’s second. Your seat goes 360 degrees. It has flame throwers. You drop head first. It has FLAME THROWERS. It’s super fucking awesome. It’s the ride that was hyped up to me before I went and it lived up to the hype. Like, even thinking about it makes me want to go back right now. After going on the Viper, we looked at the photos they sell of people screaming on the rides. My girlfriend and I looked wind-blown and smiley on the Viper. When we saw the photos from X2, our faces are distorted, other than the look of shear terror in our eyes. It really kicks your ass.
Here’s the thing though… You need to get a Flash Pass. The line took 90 minutes. Remember that thing I said about lines being super American? I kinda take it back. Lines are super American… but there’s NOTHING more American than figuring out a way to pay more and walk right in front of everybody.
90 minutes of line stading is good for people watching, I guess. The X2 line had us sandwiched between a thugged-out black couple (I swear they were wearing matching bulletproof vests) who complained about how expensive the park was the whole time and two Asian girls who held out a map of the park and looked at it on and off without saying one word to each other. Every third dude also had on an OBEY t-shirt, which I thought was odd. I don’t know if when Shepard Fairey was shimmying up poles to make street art in the 90’s, he was planning on making the next Hard Rock Cafe line. Oh, and none of the girls I saw had shorts that went more than an inch past their butt cheeks. So you can perv it out if you really want to. Just know that some of the girls were flaunting what they had, but most had adopted a ‘if you DON’T got it, flaunt the shit out of it’ mentality. Either way, you’re guaranteed to see a wide spectrum of butt cheeks in every line. So there’s that.
A couple of days before I went to Six Flags, my mom told me I was too old to go to an amusement park. I don’t think she’s correct. But I learned I probably am too old to stand in these lines. The line for the Batman ride made my eyes hurt from rolling them at a group of Orange County frat boys hit on Orange County sorority girls in front of us. At one point, the least attractive of the trixie girls loudly blurted out, “I was scared to go on the X2, but then I wasn’t!” She might as well have not said anything. Everyone would have preferred it if she hadn’t. When I gave a knowing look to my girlfriend, she said, “Hey, at least she committed.” The frat boys made dumb jokes, quoted dumb movie lines and did dumb physical comedy before deciding they should all get “trashed” together later in the night. When that didn’t go too well, they suggested they keep in touch via Skype. The homely one blurted that her sorority house had a bad Internet connection. But then she got excited when she realized she could Skype from Starbucks. The looks on everyone’s faces meant that nobody wanted to Skype her from Starbucks. Hey, at least she committed.
The line for Riddler’s Revenge was my breaking point. During a lengthy delay for mechanical issues, I overheard some guy tell his buddy, “I hooked up with this girl from work. But she was flat so…” Flat? When’s the last time you heard anybody say “flat”? I’m guessing middle school. Did she stuff, bro? I bet she stuffs. At Disneyland, rides like Indiana Jones give you something to do or look at to suspend your disbelief. At Six Flags, you go up ramps and stairs and you never see where the line is ending. Right when you turn a corner and think you’re done, you’ll see another warehouse-sized room crammed with people. People who say things like “flat” and “bomb diggity.” At this point, my girlfriend told me that the delay was actually great news. She’d learned the previous year that if anyone complains about a delay at the front desk, the park has to give them a Flash Pass to compensate. Yes! Cheat to win! So that became the plan.
When we got to the front desk, we noticed right away that they had bigger fish to fry. A group of angry black women (of the “aw hell naw” variety) were none to pleased about a purse being stolen. By the way, don’t bring a purse to Six Flags, ladies. If somebody really wanted to, they could make a killing by stealing purses that people leave on behind on some sort honor system while they’re on the rides. Those lines though…. Anyway, I kept my head down and tried not to laugh while the women shouted things like, “Security don’t even care! I bet if I announced I had a fire arm, security would come faster!”
When the undeserved Flash Passes didn’t look like they were happening for us, we decided to call it a day. I saw women walking back to their cars in bikinis saying things like, “Who would steal a towel? If you can afford to come into the park, you should be able to afford a towel.” I guess you could also make a killing stealing towels. But all in all, it was totally worth it. You get to stand in lines. You get to see dumb people. You get to pay $4 for a Dasani water bottle. You get your picture taken while you scream in terror. You get in trouble for trying to take a photo of said photo with your iPhone. You get to hear “We Like to Party” by the Vengaboys all day. And if that shit ain’t American, I don’t know what is. U-S-A! U-S-A!