Want to be rich? The Ruling Class? Want to eat nothing but gazpacho and wild Alaskan halibut? Too bad. Your poor life choices and humanities degree will stop that from ever happening. But Six Flags, Cedar Point, and every other major amusement park want you to feel rich. All you have to do is buy the Fast Pass.
The Fast Pass lets you ditch in line on all the rides. For fifty bucks, it's the equivalent of owning a private jet and cutting off a Boeing 747 on the runway. "So this is what tax loopholes feel like," you'll say, despised by every human around but too busy enjoying your spoils to notice.
Because, let's admit it. Rides are fleeting. A roller coaster lasts a minute or two max, but the look on the boy's face as you cut in front of him sticks with you for awhile. He'd waited hours with his dad, the line winding around the beams, the sun baking his dumb little forehead. He's already picked out his seat, imagined the twists and turns, and told his pop just how much he loves him. Then, right before he steps into the car, right before his afternoon of standing around pays off, you come up still licking Dip'n'Dots from your lips. Only there on a whim and too lazy to care, you plunk your awesome self right down in his seat and off you go. Yippee.
The coaster returns, your hair blown back, your cheeks aching from laughing so much. Already planning your next ride as you exit, you look up and see the kid. He's there of course, hasn't moved a bit, still waiting between his dad's arms. "Oh, was that your fun I was having?"
For most people, the amusement park is really about standing idly in lines, moving an inch or two at a time. Six minutes of riding means six hours of waiting. And once in line, there is no leaving line. No drink, no food. If the greasy microwaved pizza they force down visitors' throats causes some violent diarrhea, most visitors discover if it's possible to clench hard enough to keep it in for another hour (it's not.) You, on the other hand, don't need to concern yourself. The Fast Pass means you can cut to the front of the line and shit on everyone's fun at the same exact time.
They'll hate you for it. Good lord will they hate you. In fifth grade they could tell the teacher that the bully stepped in front of them, but here the No Cut-Ins Rule does not apply, here the teacher encourages the ditchers. Most people in your position never get this close to the one's they step on but your shortcut to the front is flanked on both sides with the filthy, the fat and moist. Hundreds of people stand in front of one fan fighting for a chance to breathe fresh air, their sweat-soaked shirts clinging to their body. Your fan blows on you alone and you move freely around as it osculates, always in the breeze. It's yours, after all. And, in your absence, it blows against a wall, ensuring that only you reap its benefits.
Continue on and you'll begin to hear murmurs. "Bullshit," they'll whisper. "Rich asshole." And when you turn to the mass of bodies glistening in the summer heat as they wait for hours and hours with nothing to drink but $3.50 Mountain Dews, you'll see their glares, their sneers. They loathe your existence, imagine tearing your entitled body apart. The farther the journey, the more people you ditch, the deeper you delve into the queue. The last few you cross are too far gone. Their faces sun burnt and vacant, their spirit broken. This is the amusement park's heart of darkness, this is where humanity dies.
But you're too busy getting strapped in by a stoned dropout to notice. Whether those poor lost souls ever make it on the coaster is last on your mind as you flip the camera the bird after your third loopty-loop. So while they spend the next few hours dwelling on your life of privilege, you'll scream your heart out on that ride, the next ride, and the next one after that all as they wait and wait and wait.
Sure you're stuck eating the same $9 corndogs, slamming the same $7 sodas served in "collectible" cups with $2.50 refills, but your inevitable march towards diabetes is a little more refined. No lines, no endless conversations with the ICP fans you're trapped with. Just you, your Fast Pass, and the tears of those behind you.
Hows about you, me, and five uncomfortable minutes in my basement apartment next to the dusty Christmas tree that's still up from my last visit with my estranged children.
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