Tag Archives: Hurricane Harbor

New York’s 50mph strip show

I’m on a new diet, which I like to call the Subway Diet. No, I don’t mean that I’m eating nothing but dubious meats (all made from turkey, regardless of what they outwardly claim to be) on footlong bread rolls. It might have worked for Jared Fogle, but the idea of eating Subway sandwiches twice a day for a year is enough to send me galloping into the arms of the nearest deep fat fryer.

Instead, this diet involves no change to your eating patterns whatsoever. No counting of calories, no avoiding carbohydrates, and no high protein milkshakes. Infact, all you need is one New York subterranean transit system and an oppressively hot summer. Add in an extended delay on a platform as you wait for a train to arrive, and you’ll be losing pound after pound in sweat before you know it. Just watch that weight drip off!

By the end of their journey, most passengers – myself very much included – look like they’ve just spent two hours in the wave pool at Rhyl Sun CentreHurricane Harbor. Sure, the carriages themselves are relatively cool, but there’s an ancient New York City by-law which decrees that at least one of the ten or so carriages on every train has to have broken air-conditioning. You might get a seat, but travelling in the transportational equivalent of a Turkish bath wouldn’t make it onto anyone’s list of 50 Things To Do Before You Die.

The heat on the platforms, coupled with the fact that trains are as regular as Halley’s Comet, means that people have started taking extra clothes with them to change into once they’ve arrived at work. I say “once they get to work”, but in reality, most people seem to wait until just before they reach their final stop and then whip out that new shirt or blouse to replace their sodden travel kit.

Essentially, New York has turned its subway trains into high speed changing rooms. With clothes hanging from metal rails, and commuters laden down with outfits for every occasion, it’s only a matter of time before they start installing mirrors in every carriage or ask how many items you’re taking onto the train before you board.

Making a (big) splash

We’ve just come back from a day of sunshine and splashing around at the New Jersey water-park Hurricane Harbour, making the most of the Labour Day three-day weekend. Imagine Alton Towers if all the rides were slides, and all the decorative tat had a vaguely nautical theme, and you’ll start to get close to imagining Hurricane Harbor.

[What is it that Americans have against the ‘u’? Was there a treaty issued shortly after the Boston Tea Party, banishing the letter from the kingdom, and forcing it to live out its remaining days as a hermit in a shanty town in Uruguay??]

Anybody who has ever had an even slightly negative body image should be forced to spend a day at an American water park. Those who know me well will know that I have a few issues about my weight – the main issue being that if I was swimming off the coast of Japan, I would be under near-constant threat of imminent attack from blood-thirsty fisherman with a penchant for blubber.

Yet in Hurricane Harbor, it’s possible for the average man to feel like he’s just been plucked from the pages of GQ or Arena, in comparison to the vast majority of the park’s male visitors.

This is, after all, a place where the main snack product available for purchase is the funnel cake. For the uninitiated, the funnel cake is like a giant donut which has been squeezed through a funnel to increase its surface area and fat content. People who manage to eat a full one can fully expect to see Norris McWhirter appear from the dead in order to proclaim a new world record for the amount of cholesterol consumed by one person in a twenty minute period.

And it doesn’t stop at the funnel cake either. The main food emporium at the park serves burgers, pizza, hot dogs or fried chicken, all with seasoned curly fries. It’s hard to believe that any meal at Hurricane Harbor comes in at under 1000 calories, and that’s before you’ve even begun to think about a large Coke. I asked for a chicken wrap, only to be greeted by the blank stares of staff who believed that the only two appliances in the kitchen were a freezer and a deep fat fryer.

All of this allowed me to swan into the water with all the confidence of Daniel Craig or that bloke from Lost who was also in the Davidoff ads. Obviously, now I’m back home, I’ve reverted to feeling like Les Dawson. Perhaps I shouldn’t have bought that third helping of funnel cake after all?