Friend, your dummy’s come un-stowed

May 9, 2019

Wendy Parker


This stuff writes itself.

“The operators of a New Jersey shore amusement park say a roller coaster there is safe after a pair of water-filled test dummies fell off during a recent test ride.”

So if you happen to be cruising by an amusement park and find your truck and general area of personal space violently invaded by a flying dummy, you might want to contact the safety manager. Not yours, the one at the amusement park you just passed.

(You should definitely wait to call your own safety manager, because explaining a wreck-by-crash-dummy-attack will likely be a long and involved process.)

Plummeting dummies were blamed for roof and shingle damage to a neighboring hotel when safety officials at Castaway Cove in Ocean City, N.J., used leaky anthropomorphic test devices to perform routine safety checks on the GaleForce roller coaster.

(‘Fire up the Googles, Mabel, and tell us what in the yellow hell an anthropomorphic test device is, would ya’ hon? I think I been vaccinated for it, but we need to make sure. This here lady on the Land Line is saying they got it flying through the air in New Jersey.”)

Fortunately, no trucks or truckers were damaged in the process of flinging dummies on that particular day, and repair crews were on scene to correct the human-shaped indentations in the roof of the hotel next door within hours. Wile E. Coyote has declined comment, although sources report the Acme Market is indeed located less than a mile from the scene.

Questions remain as to how anyone is safer for the incident.

Park officials say the dummies had undetected leaks that made them lose their mass and shape, causing them to fall. They say that wouldn’t happen to humans and that nothing on the ride failed during the test, including the lap bar that secures riders.”

May I offer a very polite rebuttal?

Dear Park Officials,

Let me direct your attention to the bladder-control apparel industry, which has focused on making leaks undetectable for real-live human beings as their main concern for decades. It is currently a world-wide billion-dollar industry. Yes, that’s “billion” with a “b.”



P.S. It’s also been my unfortunate personal experience as a former night-shift nurse that human beings definitely lose their shape when they pass out. Although their mass remains intact, it becomes a blob of liquid heavy with an 11-pound head attached and is wholly unpleasant for everyone involved.

Of course, all of this is tongue-in-cheek humor, but it could happen. How many times a day do you pass a golf course or other activity in which small projectiles are hammered at great speeds and fairly low ratios of accuracy? And now they’re flinging dummies off roller coasters. Between that, baseball season, and the time of year every wild animal known to man wakes up and decides to stand in the road, it’s dangerous out there.

Head on a swivel, drivahs. And watch out for flying dummies.