Flying Turnabouts


There’s this great amusement park in northeastern Pennsylvania, Knoebels. They’ve spent, and I’m not exaggerating here, nearly a decade and several millions of dollars building and testing a roller coaster called the Flying Turns, re-creating an early-20th-century ride to such levels of historic authenticity that nobody alive knows how to make it work. Well, there’s rumors going around that they might actually have it working, like, this weekend. Conceivably, it could be running right this minute. And now we’re, and I’m not exaggerating this either, torn on whether to head out there the moment we hear them announce that the ride is open since, after all, it might close again and never reopen.

Here’s my current thinking almost exactly as I said it aloud: after the time and money spent on this, if they open it, and if on the first public ride, carrying a passenger load of nuns and orphans, the cars run over a baby chipmunk and fly off the track, leaping into the air and exploding into a fireball which ignites the local trees and spreads into a wildfire that burns down everything as far east as Wilkes-Barre and as far north as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, then, they might take an extra month at the opening of next season to reopen it.

And I’m still not perfectly sure.