So Bertha the digging machine may be permanently stuck. And the SR 99 tunnel project may be scrapped for good. Dominic Holden said he thought it might be time to turn it into a skate park. It’s true, since they’ve already spent 11 quatrillion dollars, they need to make some of it back. I have an idea that may be of some monetary assistance. We have 1,019 feet of existing tunnel that’s what, six stories high? A skate park is good, but let’s flesh this out.
The answer to the tunnel problem is: a funplex with dinner theater. We could call it The Big Hole. Or Bertha’s Place? And charge out the ass for everything, because people will pay. If you feel like skateboarding, rent some knee pads at an extremely high fee.
We’re talking a multi-use, dinner-theater arena. Agatha Christie mystery dinner theater/paint ball/petting maze/smash putt/wave pool/Nerf stadium. With 30 brand new skee-ball machines. It will also be a sports book gambling center, and have nine miles of electronic slot track car racing. They’ll make their money back in no time.
1,000 Foot Mystery Tunnel Theater starts each evening with some light appetizers, such as bacon-wrapped dates, and watered-down vodka sodas. Murder on the Orient Express begins, as do mild skate-park activities. Train sounds are pumped throughout. Actors do scenes. We’re supposed to be on a train. There’s going to be a murder. (Steve Pool will probably guest star.) Butlers mingle and serve crackers with goudas and pimento spread. Everyone is suspicious. You don’t know which butlers are actors and which butlers are butlers. Are there butlers on the Orient Express? If you don’t like the way the butler-actor is serving your crackers, you can pull out your automatic paintball weapon, which you rented for $45 when you came in, and splatter the butler with bright-colored pellets that cause bruises and welts on contact. Then you can dive behind a padded baffle. All butlers wear protective goggling. For a nominal fee, they will engage you in a paintball skirmish. This is a gold mine of money waiting to happen.
Next, the lights go out, there’s a shriek, and when the lights come back on, one of the actors aboard The Scrapped 99 Tunnel Project Orient Express has been murdered. They’re not really murdered, it’s just an actor laying there on the ground with a fake knife sticking out of their chest and fake blood. Then another actor playing the inspector steps forward and announces, “Someone in this tunnel has committed a murder, no one is leaving until we find out who did it.”
Then a maze drops down from the ceiling, and farm animals are piped in through trap doors. So you’re walking around a maze with sheep and goats. (Again, TOTAL GOLD MINE.) The lights go into strobe mode and there’s another shriek and “murder.” This new Nine Inch Nails song comes on the sound system very loudly. You’re in a maze with sheep and chickens and strobe lights, and butlers serving pimento. Just feeling it. You’re jacked up off the Nine Inch Nails, firing off your paintball gun into the air, and at groups of people trying to solve the murder.
If you want, you can climb inside Bertha—it's there, after all, and it's made up to be the locomotive of the train. There's a live-action real train whistle that you can pull for $9.
Oh, and there’s a ski run with fake snow. You can ski if you want. If they can fucking ski in Dubai, we can ski in the tunnel. It's really expensive. But what's money?
The center of the maze is where the wave pool happens. At some point the maze rises back to the rafters, the animals exit, and the groundwater the tunneling crew had been dealing with is pumped in, heated and chlorinated. You ride some waves, take some shots with your paint weapon at the inspector actor, pet a sheep that’s floating around, eat pimento, do the slot track cars, play skee-ball, win a cheaply made stuffed banana doll, shoot your weapon some more, and solve a murder. At various points, Steve Pool steps out onto a platform and does the weather.
Guaranteed financial stability for our city for years to come.