Blandland’s Founder Dies in Mock Roller Coaster Accident
Chrislip’s Walt Disney died last Saturday and he took a couple of mouseketeers with him. Gerald Bland crashed his van into a tree while trying to simulate Cedar Point’s Wicked Twister roller coaster. The name of the local version of the attraction was intended to refer to the poor alignment of his rusted 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon, but ended up more accurately describing the after-crash condition of its driver and Chrislip High School juniors Dustin Harris and Gary Silva.
Gerald Bland grew up dreaming of visits to Cedar Point and Disneyland. His backup dream involved recreating the popular attractions that he missed out on as a boy. For instance, his “Pirates of the Caribbean” consisted of an inner-tube trip through Chrislip’s sewers and over the Au Sable River dam. Blandland’s version of Disneyland’s “Matterhorn” ride involved sliding down the Mt. Otto ski slope in a canoe at night. With “Wicked Twister”, Bland would coast down Mt. Otto at midnight with a Vanagon-load of Chrislip’s drunken youth.
“The certainty of death made ‘Blandland’ better than a real theme park,” said Dr. Daniel Span, a survivor of all three rides. “It would be completely dark and silent until we built up downward momentum. At that point, you’d hear tree branches striking the windshield and everyone would start to scream, just like a real roller coaster. I never felt so alive and stupid. The nearness to death inspired me to become a coroner.”
Surviving “Blandland” has become a rite of passage for Chrislip’s youth. Failing the test was Harris and Silva. By not surviving the ritual, it can be assumed that the Gods spared the two a lifetime of alcoholism and disappointment. “However, all that can be known for certain,” concluded Dr. Span after examining the bodies, “is that they’ve never felt this dead and stupid.”