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I recently learned that one should never take a date to an amusement park. I haven't seen a more date-hostile environment since Sheila Michaels took me to a canceled Agent Orange concert than what we experienced on our recent boondoggle to Cedar Point where I witnessed not one, but two highly vicious and very public scraps between young couples.

In each case it was the girl who was mad at the guy. And when I say mad in this context I should really use a phrase more akin to incendiary rage, burning scorn or vile hatred to honestly convey the nature of the mood. And, curiously in the face of such contempt these guys not only did not seem to care that this human was blasting invectives in their ear or face at 90 syllables per breath whether walking, standing or turning away, they seemed totally indifferent. In fact, their stoic manner was really something to see. I'm certain they would have been very accomplished at that infuriating game 'Invisible', known by some as 'Ignore', played by children of every generation. In the end the only twinge of effort I saw out of either guy was when the second fellow told his date to shut up. He then casually looked around as if deciding what to do next and she, undaunted, resumed her shellacking without dropping a single obscenity. After about thirty seconds he again looked at her as if she just appeared and said, "I thought I told you to shut up." Believe it or not, the lambasting continued with renewed vigor after this input.

Now while I and my compatriots sat on a nearby bench eating our chocolate covered bananas we reveled in this unexpected and charged entertainment. And, all the while I knew I was getting an early glimpse at the next generation of reality tv.

OCT2001

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