September 06, 2005

Into The Not-So-Fun House

A couple of weekends ago, my girlfriend and I went to a place called Wisconsin Dells. Wisconsin Dells is kind of difficult to explain, but if you can imagine a kind of Orlando, Fla., in the heart of Wisconsin, you'd generally get the idea.

There are a lot of generic Disney World-like knock-offs to be found in Wisconsin Dells. I'm fairly certain that, if you were to look hard enough, you'd eventually see a tattered mascot by the name of Mikey Moose or something similar.

As cheesy as it can be at times, Wisconsin Dells is actually kind of fun, provided you stay as far away from the cheesy stuff as you possibly can. There are awesome water parks all over the place, the miniature golf parks rock, and amusement parks abound.

The problem, of course, is that the cheesiest stuff, the stuff you shouldn't waste money on at all, typically has the most interesting looking facades. There's an upside down White House attraction called Top Secret which, if word of mouth is to be believed, a monumental waste of time and money.

So, by and large, my girlfriend and I avoided the more interesting-looking facades and were having a very fun, cheese-free time. Eventually, however, our inner child of persuasion got the better of us and we found ourselves standing outside a fun house called "The Loony Bin."

Now, I have fairly well established preconceptions of what a fun house is supposed to be. Namely, there should be trap doors, false walls, sudden dead ends and all manner of flashing lights and disorienting layout. THAT'S a fun house.

So, when the ticket agent, after liberating us of $14, told us to go into the Loony Bin's waiting room and consort with "Zot, the purple space monkey, and wait for the crazy doctor to arrive," I had my suspicions we were about to experience a whole bunch of cheese.

Zot, it turns out, was an animatronic piece of junk that vaguely looked like a monkey, if you really squinted and looked the other way. Zot spewed forth several annoying recorded insults, including laughing maniacally before saying "I was just thinking of something really funny looking. . . and it was you!"

Finally, mercifully, the crazy doctor arrived and invited us into his office. I knew we were in for significantly more cheese when I saw the crazy doctor was wearing a pair of fluffy bunny ears.

The crazy doctor informed us that he had lost his monkey, and that we'd be able to help track down his lost monkey by following its trail of. . . "monkey poo." Not only were we supposed to diligently follow said trail of poo, we were also instructed to scream "monkey poo" as loud as we could whenever we encountered substantial amounts of the simian excretions.

As near as I could tell, upon finding my first deposit of monkey poo, I was basically looking at a pile of shaving cream. Now, I wasn't going to get down and smell it or anything, but my professional analysis, coming from a man who has extensive shaving experience, was that the monkey poo was almost definitely shaving cream.

As we made our way through the assorted hallways, we again entered a room where the crazy doctor was waiting, and he proceeded to ask us, in gameshow fashion, what our favorite colors were. He also asked how old we were, and when we answered "30," there was a visible look of discomfort on the already crazy doctor's face. We were, if you can believe it, not his typical target audience.

Once again we were ushered into another hallway, and we made our way more and more swiftly through, at that point not even bothering to look for monkey poo.

We were finally subjected to one last Loony Bin attraction, an animatronic alien with a torn rubber lip and a strobe light laser gun that very nearly blinded me. The crazy doctor emerged after the alien light show to wave "bye-bye" at us, and I swear both my girlfriend and I were at a dead sprint to get the hell out of there.

It took about an hour, some good Mexican food, and a Long Island iced tea to fully wash the Loony Bin experience from my body.

It wasn't until later that night that I saw I had monkey poo on my shoe.

Posted by Ryan at September 6, 2005 05:39 PM | TrackBack

Oh yeah... I fell for the "Top Secret" upside-down house. If the inside had actually been anything so clever as an... oh, I don't know... AN UPSIDE-DOWN HOUSE, it might have been worth... something.

Total complete waste of money.

Noah's Ark water park was awesome, and some of the amusement parks are pretty good. The Mount Olympus amusement park is worthwhile, and the magic show (I forget the guy's name -- some magician has his own theater) was pretty good if you like that sort of thing (oh yeah... Rick Wilcox I think).

Nothing to really drag me back up there anytime soon, except maybe Noah's Ark again, which was a lot of fun.

Posted by: Strider at September 6, 2005 11:30 PM

The go-cart place with like 30 tracks is cool. Just avoid my husband who will actually run over his family to come in first. (Yes. He tipped me.)

If you're going to do the water tour thing, the Ducks are the historic choice, but the speedboat tour is the most fun.

Posted by: Sandy at September 7, 2005 09:59 AM

Did you see the old lady with the monster hand on Main Street?

Posted by: Keith at September 8, 2005 03:38 PM
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