U.S.S. Enterprise

uss enterprise 2

soundtrack

Farfour and Bananarama have been standing on hot asphalt for over an hour waiting to get onto the USS Enterprise ride at Canada’s Wonderland.

A young boy eating a clodhopper ice cream notices the smiling mouse and his three female companions, and slowly approaches them, eying Farfour carefully. The celebrity mouse seems to be the only one who is dressed age-appropriately.

“Excuse me, aren’t you that activist mouse on Palestinian TV?” asks the little tike as he clutches a yellow Tonka truck in the kangaroo pocket of his name-brand hoody.

“Yeah! You must be Nourdine, the boy from the embassy. Am I ever glad to see you!” Farfour had called the Palestinian Embassy in Ottawa as soon as he found out his flight to Hebron with Bananarama had been diverted from London Heathrow to Canada.

“So,” Nourdine asks between licks of the nougat in the candies that punctuate his cone, “why are you in Toronto and not in Hebron for the concert?”

Bananarama’s North American corporate connections have already dispatched an army of emergency PR people to Toronto to clear up the spin mess that came out of their flight being rerouted. The No-fly lists are getting out of control; Bananarama find themselves on it for scheduling a charity concert in the same venue that Hamas holds its annual karaoke night.

“Well, they told us there were technical problems on the plane, and that we’d be safer coming to Toronto for a special routine maintenance check up. In a few days, we’re gonna fly directly to Beirut, and then connect to Hebron and do the concert a week later than scheduled. So far, there’s only been a 5% cancellation rate,” Farfour calmly explains. He hasn’t heard about the political reasons for the rerouting of his plane, and blissfully imagines that things are happening exactly as they should.

Meanwhile, the girls are signaling for Farfour to hurry up and get his furry little mouse ass onto the friggin’ ride! Sara is sitting in the front, while Siobhan and Keren sit behind her, patting the second-place spot for Farfour, as if he were a dog. Time for the shy little mouse to ride the Enterprise with his celebrity girl-singer heroes from England!

The USS Enterprise is a vintage amusement park ride that has been recovered from the CNE’s old fairground when the CNE was closed down to free up some prime downtown land for more metallic condo towers.

This thrill-ride is composed of a flat, horizontal wheel, with hinged missiles hanging along its circumference, each missile holding three or four passengers.

coaster 2

As the wheel accelerates, the missiles swing outward until they are in a completely horizontal position, held there by centripetal force. Then the entire 20m-diameter wheel begins to slowly rise until completely vertical. When it is at its vertical apex, the missiles at the top are completely upside down. They call this part of the ride “the change loosener” and it brings big tips to attentive carnies. The entire ride usually lasts 2 to 3 minutes.

Farfour and Bananarama spin around and around for their three minutes of total acceleration in the vertical wheel position. But as the wheel begins to make its decent back down to horizontal, something snaps and the entire wheel, loaded with dozens of spinning-upside-down passengers flying around in circles at high speed, suddenly slips a few meters off its decent with a loud and jerky thud. Scared riders begin to scream loudly and constantly, and the operators below scramble with cellphones and monkey wrenches to raise the wheel back up to the vertical position so they can – maybe – repair it and spare the lives of Bananarama, Farfour, and the regular schmoes in the other missiles.

The girls are in hysterics. The ride isn’t stopping! Ever! They’re just going around and around and around… Siobhan’s stomach gives out, and she projectile-vomits all over Farfour’s ears and Keren’s freshly permed black hair.

If they ever get off this thing, Sara swears, there’ll be no more carnivals and zaniness for Bananarama, no more decadent thrill-seeking and silly videos full of half-naked dancers. They’re off to Palestine to belt out a few disco tunes and maybe – just maybe – to bring some sunshine into the lives of a few unhappy children.

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