A new, radically unsafe ride has yet to kill anyone during its debut at the Delaware County Fair, according to ride operator Dead Frog Amusements.
The ride, Typhoon, first traps riders in steel cages using a simple chain restraint. It then elevates guests two-hundred feet in the air, where it twirls and jerks around at speeds exceeding 98 miles per hour. The cages are outfitted with Bluetooth speakers, enabling Typhoon to blast out ear-drums with its theme song — an ominous track consisting of tornado sirens, intermittent air horns, and a recording of Arabic men reciting aircraft safety instructions in broken English.
On average, a passenger’s head is bashed against the steel cage nearly three thousand times during the course of the ride, which lasts twenty-five minutes and promises a “regrettable yet irresistible journey to hell” according to the manufacturer’s website.
When it’s over, riders are shaken from the cages and deposited in a recovery trough near the ride’s exit where they are free to vomit and convulse until they’re able to stand and stumble away on their own, off to part with the rest of their money and dignity before finally leaving the fairgrounds as lame versions of their former selves.
Flavored electrolyte shots are offered to guests for an additional ride ticket, but are included in the cost of the wristband.
Riders say Typhoon reminds them of a ‘more extreme version of the Fire Ball’, the ride responsible for one death, and several injuries requiring hospital attention, at the 2017 Ohio State Fair.
Both Typhoon and Fire Ball were designed and manufactured by Texas-based Mortal Attractions, Inc., the company behind nearly all fatal fair attractions in the United States over the past five decades– including the Inferno Coffin Factory, a maze that caught fire and killed thirteen people at an Oklahoma fair in 2002.
Although the Fire Ball and other rides from Mortal Attractions have been retired over safety concerns, and boast an extensive track record of routinely exterminating well-informed, yet willfully-ignorant fair goers, local thrill-seekers remain attracted to Typhoon, simply the latest incarnation of the long line of mechanical mistakes built to terrify and destroy their admirers.
“I can tell this ride will eventually kill some underdeveloped tween and that’s what makes it appealing,” said Delaware County Fair attendee and amusement ride blogger, Nevva Joggins. “It is not safe. You never feel secure. In fact, from the moment you’re roped in, you feel like there’s a strong possibility you will be hurled from the ride or partially ejected and decapitated. It isn’t that fun. It doesn’t make sense at all really and I think a lot of riders are attracted to that.”
Delaware County Fair representatives say they were aware of the risks when they authorized the ride, but that the public’s desire for a thrilling and accelerated demise superseded initial safety concerns.
“We are at a point in history where life expectancy is at its highest, and most people agree that life is miserable,” said fair board president Ronny Grave. “Believe it or not, this is the sort of attraction that people are looking for. Dying on this ride means guaranteed fame; the viral death so many seek, to exist in history forever and not have to pay rent, to no longer suffer through the annual degradation stemming from their giddy attendance of an utterly unremarkable county fair. We are here to entertain and give people what they want. From that perspective, the decision was easy.”
Representatives for Dead Frog Amusements say they expect routine injuries and disabilities but would be surprised if anyone dies at this year’s fair.
“It’s a roll of the dice, of course. However, and generally speaking, new rides like this don’t become responsible for fatalities until after at least four or five fair seasons worth of wear,” said Donny Organ, operating manager for Dead Frog. “Unfortunately, odds are, you’ll probably be fine if you ride it this year. Then again, we purchase and operate rides built by a company that’s objectively terrible at creating safe attractions, so I don’t know that anything I say should be all that reassuring.”
Hayes High school junior, Isaac Puszci, said he and several friends intend to ride the Typhoon up to ten times in order to experience a high colloquially referred to as partial paralysis, or PP.
“This is a natural high. What is trippier than not being able to feel one side or one half of your body for the rest of your life?” Puszci said, touching his legs and smirking, as if he was already gone off PP and unable to feel the sensation. “My parents don’t want me to do it, but I am going to sneak out and do it anyway. What should I be doing instead? Knocking up some girl or plugging meth up my butt? I’m going to get blasted off PP like a responsible adult.”
Grady Memorial Hospital has prepared its office staff to expect a lot of people needing to sign in and readied doctors to treat a deluge of patients, efforts they say will ensure all available medical professionals are available for the duration of the fair. Fair goers should feel confident that if something goes wrong, and they choose not to die, Grady Memorial will try hard not to stand around watching E.R. reruns while they panic in the waiting room.
“We are committed to not living up to our reputation,” said hospital administrator Tony Notriverside. “Not during fair week. This week, another company is responsible for willfully disregarding your safety in the name of profits.”
One thing is abundantly clear: Despite concerns from a select group of parents and every professional who has ever inspected the ride, Delaware residents and their families are generally eager and excited to give Typhoon a whirl in the week to come.
“I was born for this,” said Pusczi, taking a look up at the sky and reflecting on a life that never really mattered. “Do it for the vine!”