Miramichi — While most of New Brunswick has been enjoying the unusually balmy November weather, the absence of sleet, ominous clouds and brutally cold temperatures has cast a pall over Miramichi’s plans to open a $15-million theme park based on the deeply sad works of its most famous literary son, David Adams Richards.
“All this sun has royally frigged up the opening. We need the crushing, grey monotony of typical N.B. weather this time of year to set the proper mood for a park based on David’s works,” said Jeffrey MacTavish, the city’s Director of Economic Development. “But once we get this excruciatingly grim park up and running, we’ll give King’s Landing a run for its money.”
The Mercy Among the Children Fun-O-Drome is otherwise ready to open its doors, with a staff of 50 costumed workers portraying archetypal characters drawn from Richards’ work, such as Judgmental Churchgoer, Village Idiot and Vengeful Thug. Attractions include For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down lazer tag and a River of the Broken-Hearted lazy river.
Newcastle resident Glynnis O’Blenis is as excited as she can be to start her job at the ticket booth given the crushing gloom radiating from every Richards-inspired feature of the park. “It’s some dowdy place to work, but it’s still not as shitty as a call centre,” O’Blenis said, gagging out a rattling, tubercular cough that she says helped her land the position.
Admission to the profoundly depressing fun park is $10 per child, with a $2 discount if the child can produce a tablespoon of fresh tears upon entry. Tickets come in the form of “Pogey Stamps” that kids can use to visit attractions or get a snack of cold Kraft Dinner and freezer-burned chicken wieners from the Soup Kitchen Kanteen. Upon exiting the park, kids are urged to seek redemption despite the futility of their circumstances by a life-sized animatronic of the author himself.
If the weather fails to co-operate before December, the City of Miramichi plans to abandon the park over the winter in the hope that snow damage will better reflect the devastating pain of neglect Richards communicates through his works.
“Most of the staff will probably bugger off out West before we manage to open,” said Miramichi Mayor Gerry Cormier. “Way she goes, bud.”