Hypothetical question: if you knew that roller coaster had been closed all day for repairs (for unknown reasons to you), would you ride the coaster for the first ride upon reopening?
Ok, assuming the answer is yes (because why would it not), would you feel at all concerned that this was occurring in a foreign country and your fellow passengers were a bunch of rowdy, albeit delightful, Swedish teens who, in explaining why we were chosen as the “test passagiers,” said, “Danish do not like the Swedes.” When I (oh shoot, losing the hypothetical here) said we were Finnish, he replied, “They don’t like the Finns either.” Of course they don’t! I have it on high authority from the book The Almost Nearly Perfect People that no one likes the Finns.
So, yes, at Bakken, SMS and I proved that smart people can do dumb things by waiting in line for the Rutschebanen, a wooden roller coaster open since 1932 after the ticket counter woman told us it had been under repair since 0900 that day and she did not think it would reopen. However, we saw some cars being tested, first empty, then with five employees. The line grew behind us- in front of us were the aforementioned Swedish teens. How did we know they were Swedish? Apart from one telling us so, it was reinforced twenty minutes later, when the Danish ride operator was giving instructions, they made Swedish chef noises waving their arms over their heads saying “Borgi borgi,” which cause the ride operator to say, in Danish-accented English, “If you don’t understand, why don’t you just say so.”
Well, we didn’t understand the instructions either but we just decided to keep quiet, since SMS had already made vague threats that if I did any more Swedish chef impressions, there was going to be martial discord [note: this didn’t look quite right and I realize I should have written “marital” rather than “martial” but since martial means warlike and SMS was getting really tired of my Swedish chef impression, I’m going to leave it]. So, not knowing what was going on, away we went. We ascended to the first drop-off. Once we made it through that, I was pretty sure the chances of flying off the track were fairly minimal. There were two semi-steep declines with one set of double bumps in the middle that were distinctly spine-unfriendly. Near the end of the ride, the cars go into a tunnel that is guarded by a plywood naked woman’s torso and the cars go between her legs. Very classy and appreciated by teens, at least Swedish boys.
So. It was awesome! After the first ride, the operator said something to which there were enthusiastic “Ja” replies. SMS and I may not be geniuses with strong self-preservation skills, but even we could figure out we were going again. Yay! Then a third time, where we switched near the front. Then a fourth time where we switched trains. And then finally, for good measure, a fifth time. Bonus: it was all free!!!
Now, although everything seemed to be ok, the ride did not reopen to paying passengers after our test passenger run. So, I still have no idea what was wrong but at least I am alive, typing this post.
Now, you may ask, “This seems very stupid. As one of your two blog readers (hi Mom and Mother-in-law Linda!), why would you do such things?” To have a good story for my blog, duh!
Jk. I felt ok because 1. Employees went first and don’t you think they wouldn’t ride if they had no faith in their repair and 2. The other test passagiers were teenagers, aka minors. Who would want to hurt a child?
It was so funny because basically, the whole process seems like it just wouldn’t fly in the US. And that’s why I love Denmark 🇩🇰 !