City Paper is not for tourists
Dan Snyder‘s bailout-friendly theme park chain, Six Flags, is spending what could be its last days afloat offering customers the opportunity to publicly humiliate themselves.
Beginning on Oct. 3, anybody who pays admission to a Six Flags park can enter a contest in which they will be asked to eat “superworms, larvae, caterpillars, cicadas, night crawlers, crickets and grasshoppers.”
Those who stuff the live critters in their mouths and swallow will be eligible for front-of-the-line passes, gas cards and passes for next season, if Six Flags has a next season.
The promotion is sponsored by Snickers, whose products stack up well in taste tests against superworms and other wiggling insects.
Six Flags has a sketchy record in dealing with living things during Snyder’s reign.
There have been decapitations and dis-leggings of humans.
And his Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., was named the worst park for elephants in the whole country earlier this year by an animal rights group called In Defense of Animals, which said the big critters are routinely “hit, hurt, prodded, poked and beaten” with something called a bull hook, which is a long pole with a metal hook on the end. A giraffe at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom died in a fire in 2007.
Also last year, to get consumers’ attention during the slow fall season, Six Flags offered prizes to anybody who ingested a 3-inch long Madagascar cockroach.
Published reports put Snyder’s company about $2.2 billion in the red, a sum that has caused analysts to question Six Flags’ long-term viability. And these questions popped up long before last week’s end of the banking industry as we know it, which should soon make refinancing a 9-figure debt a lot more difficult than swallowing a squirming bug.
Keep the dial right here for all the breaking news in Snyder’s Six Flags soap opera.