A Baby Boomer Theme Park

(As seen in Huffington Post)

I remember my grandmother taking us to the local carnival when I was 6-years-old.

The rides were typical – – a children’s Ferris wheel, the Scrambler, and a tiny roller coaster. The shopping center parking lot smelled like grease, sweat and cotton candy. The people running the rides were the only people in America with tattoos.

As we passed by the tent housing the bearded lady, a carnival barker would urge us to come inside and take a look. Now I realize that without the miracle of threading and laser hair-removal, I could be that bearded lady.

Carnivals have matured into theme parks and water parks and zombie parks. The need for entertainment and escape is on the rise. And since baby boomers make up 25 percent of the population, I think it’s about time we had our own Baby Boomer Adventure Park.

Instead of the sign “You have to be this tall to ride,” the sign would read, “You must be 50 or older to enter.” The rides would be fast but gentle enough not to send our backs into spasms. And if our knees started to wear off we would stop by the Hot Rod Scooter Tent where we could pick up a scooter with the body of a T-Bird for the rest of the day.

Bathrooms would be available every 100-200 feet, and women would have three times the number of stalls. The mirrors in the bathroom would have soft lighting, and we would be allowed to write messages on the walls such as, “For a good time call . . . ” and then write the name of a lifelong antagonist.

Everyone would be required to get leg tattoos to help those of us with broken veins to feel at home in the park. The bluer the leg, the higher the tattoo rating.

As we walk through the park, music would play that speaks to our generation. We’d enter the park to “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith, and roller coasters would play Iron Butterfly’s “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida.” The 4-D show would be a Beatles concert, and we would be able to feel Paul’s breath on our faces and the heat off our Bic as we held it in the air for an encore. Most importantly, we would be allowed to scream like maniacs.

Included in the adventure would be the Hot Flash Water Park. While the women visited this part of the theme park, husbands would be taken to a Spousal Survival Workshop on how to handle menopausal women.

They would sit in massage chairs and be given Xanax at the start of the seminar, and the small tables beside them would offer magnifying glasses and headphones.

In the meantime, the wives would enter the Cool-Down Condo, a place where cold spritzes of water spray their faces and small fans are available at every table. They would be provided dri-weave shirts, and dryer hoods that provide air conditioning instead of heat.

The next stop would be Makeover Haven, where hair would be washed by a young man who would say things like, “I am so attracted to women with thinning hair.” Sweat-proof make-up would be applied, and the young make-up artist would constantly repeat, “You don’t even need this — you are a natural beauty.”

Next, the women would enter the Mood Hut, where every single menopausal mood would be matched by a virtual spouse who knew exactly what to say. In the hut, you wouldn’t hear a conversation such as:

Wife: Why is the traffic at a dead stop? We’re never going to get to lunch on time.

Husband: Of course we are, just take a deep breath and enjoy our time today.

Wife: [Having a hot flash] Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize this was Norman Vincent Peale day. I guess I should be happy and positive all the time. I’m sure this makes you better than me.

Husband: No, honey, I just thought you might need to calm down.

Wife: Really? Calm down and be a good little girl? You going to send me to time out? How condescending.

Husband: You told me not to speak when this happens, so I’m going to be quiet.

Wife: When THIS happens? And what exactly is THIS? — Hey, traffic is moving again. We’ll make lunch. [Wife smiles] This is great! I’m so glad you’re coming with me today.

Husband: [Total Silence]

In the Mood Hut, women could learn how to turn their conversational scars into stars with a replacement spouse. The improved conversation would sound something like this:

Wife: Why is the traffic at a dead stop? We’re never going to get to lunch on time.

Husband: I know it! This is ridiculous. What the hell?

Wife: [Having a hot flash] Unbelievable. [Flips off the person behind them who honks]

Husband: Well, he totally deserved that. Let me turn on the air-conditioning for you. I don’t know how you get through this. You are amazing.

Wife: Menopause. Hot flashes. Weight gain. It’s all so unfair.

Husband: Yes it is. You’re more beautiful than ever, but after all of your sacrifices, you deserve more.

Wife: Hey, traffic is moving again. We’ll make lunch. [Wife smiles] This is great! I’m so glad you’re coming with me today.

Husband: Me too!

After leaving the Mood Hut, women would be able to go to the Menopausal Massage Tentwhere Sven, a tall drink of water, would work out menopausal kinks. The husbands, on the other hand, would be in their own steam room that would be turned up extra high so they could appreciate what a hot flash feels like.

Men might have their own theme park suggestions, but the fact is that baby boomers make up approximately 25 percent of the population, and fund a vast majority of all purchases. So, if we want our own theme park, I think we can make it happen.

And the employees would all be 35 and under. In this park, our children can serve us for a change.