Sure, let fun reign. But terror? I say let it die.
The second-happiest place on Earth made the news recently when an Ogden therapist complained about a scene in the Terroride at Lagoon. The spook alley-type ride features a depiction of two women being tortured, and the therapist wonders if it's inappropriate for a family amusement park.
All sorts of folks came out of the woodwork to defend the ride, even though most of them probably haven't ridden it since the Carter administration. But I do have to say, I think the therapist might be on to something here. In fact, if anything, he doesn't go far enough. He wants that one scene changed, but I say change the whole ride. Or better yet, ditch it altogether.
This year, the Farmington amusement park's advertising slogan is "Let Fun Reign." Perhaps this should be the year that the Terroride's reign of terror is over. Seriously, the ride was showing its age back when I was a kid, and like me, it hasn't aged all that well.
So what say we humanely put it out of our misery, hold a fundraiser to auction off all the cheesy props to those who are waxing nostalgic over the ride, and use the space for something better. Like the return of mini golf.
C'mon, let's be honest: That thing never really did live up to its name. Terroride? Hardly. More like Slightly Ominous Ride. Or Mildly Apprehensive Ride.
Besides, there are plenty of other truly terror-inducing features at Lagoon that put a decades-old kitschy ride to shame. You want terror? I'll give you real terror at Lagoon. For instance:
1. Get a load of how much it costs to get in to the amusement park these days. Do you suppose the park offers financing on their all-day ride passes -- 90 days same as cash? And don't even get me started on what these pirates charge for parking.
2. Stop by Lagoon-A-Beach on a hot summer day sometime and check out those of us who most definitely should not be caught dead in a bathing suit. Or, at the very least, we should probably lay off the corn dogs and churros if we plan on showing off that much pasty flesh.
3. Feel like living dangerously? Go for a leisurely stroll beneath that chairlift to nowhere, the Skyride. And no, that's not a large, warm raindrop you just felt on the back of your neck.
4. Check out the sad zoo animals on display. It's enough to make one want to join PETA -- a particularly frightening thought.
5. You know that one ride that lifts you high into the air and then hurtles you through space at breakneck speed? You do realize the high-tech contraption is being run by a teenager who can barely operate an electric can opener, right?
Of course, if Lagoon decides to keep the ride but remove the offending scene, there are plenty of other ideas for replacing it -- and all are far more frightening to the average Utahn than a mere torture chamber. Ideas like:
* Mormon missionaries knocking on an unsuspecting couple's door.
* A Lagoon employee dressed like an overly aggressive Brigham City mayor. He grabs your arm as you pass by on the ride.
* An animatronic scene of crazed legislators in the process of passing a bill to relax the liquor laws in the state.
* Two gays holding hands in a public setting, like a library or amusement park.
Finally, the Terroride lives up to its name.
Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @Saalman.