All the Ways to Die in a Mineshaft — The Ride!

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The following was performed and recorded live at Hopleaf by Cassandra, a comedy collective that seamlessly weaves outrageous characters, storytelling, live lit, and music into one hilarious live show.

RIDE ATTENDANT:
Welcome guests and thank you for choosing Six Flags Over Appalachia! You are about to board our latest attraction, the Crab Orchard Coal Mining Experience! You may now proceed past the gates and into the mine cart in front of you. Please, no more than four people per mine cart.

RIDER 1:
Have you been on this ride before?

RIDER 2:
No. I heard it’s really good though.

RIDE ATTENDANT:
This ride will provide you with the full sensory experience of living and working in a mining community in early 20th century Tennessee. Riders with asthma, lung cancer, deviated septums, soft skulls, or ectopic pregnancies are strongly discouraged from riding this ride.

RIDER 3:
I don’t have a seat belt.

RIDER 2:
Me neither.

RIDE ATTENDANT:
Please be advised, there are no seat belts on this ride. Please hold onto the metal bar in front of you at all times. Six Flags Over Appalachia will not be held responsible for any lost, stolen, soot-damaged, or burned articles.

RIDER 1:
I hope this ride doesn’t go too fast. I get motion sick.

RIDE ATTENDANT:
This ride will take you underground fifteen hundred feet, into the heart of a retired coal mine. You will achieve speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. This ride will take you straight down at a 90 degree angle, turn you upside down not one, not two, but at least three times, and make you grapple with the moral travesties of early 1900’s corporate capitalism.

RIDER 1:
Maybe I should get off.

RIDE ATTENDANT:
Too late. By proceeding past the gate and into the mining cart, you waive your right to exit prematurely, or sue Six Flags Over Appalachia for any physical damages and loss of life or property. (beat) We’re all clear. Enjoy your ride!

RIDER 2:
(bumping up and down) Wooahh It’s so rickety!

RIDER 1:
I’m gonna be sick!

RIDER 3:
Here comes the hill…

ALL RIDERS:
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

(old timey music starts playing, kind of like something from Country Bear Jamboree)

ANIMATRONIC MINING WORKER:
(cartoonishly fake cowboy accent) YEEEEEE-HAAWWW! Welcome ya’ll to the Mining Ride!

RIDER 1:
What’s that?

RIDER 2:
I think it’s like a robotic mine worker.

ANIMATRONIC MINING WORKER:
(singsong voice) Now welcome underground, have a seat, settle down
Gon’ tell ya all the ways to die in a mine!
Now workin’ down here used to be mighty scary
But it was all we could do to survive!

industrialization required a ton-a coal to burn
so lots-a folks went a-diggin round down here to earn
just a tiny bit-a money, to spend in the mining store
til we got black lung and perished forever more!

(piano music continues)

RIDER 2:
How nice, it’s like a history lesson!

ANIMATRONIC MINING WORKER:
(singsong voice) bu-ut there was a lotta other ways
you could die down in that mine
and in just-a second here
some of them you’re gonna find!
so put on yer helmets folks
and hold eachother close
yer gonna hear the story
of how i came to be a ghost!

(piano music)

I got struck on the head by a falling stalagmite
then my legs got blown off by a stick o dynamite!
I tripped on a rock and fell right down a hole
then my buddy stabbed my body
with a big old iron pole!

(music continues)

RIDER 1:
How did he survive all that?

RIDER 2:
I don’t think he did!

ANIMATRONIC MINE WORKER:
Then my skull was broken open
By a rusty old pick-axe
then i got stuck under falling rocks
and one of my lungs collapsed
then another cave-in happened
and my friends it got much worse passed out from-a lack of oxygen
and then nearly died of thirst!

(piano music continues)

Rider 3:
The ride isn’t moving…

Rider 1:
When does this part end?

ANIMATRONIC MINING WORKER:
I got scurvy cause i didn’t eat
anything but oats and grits
and then i got cabin fever
‘cause of all the sun i missed
and i started seeing beasts down here
with big old blackened claws
and then a geyser shot up at me
and knocked off my lower jaw!

(music continues)

And now you probably think my friends
that my suffering was at an end
but i gotta tell you that just isn’t true
i got caught in an old mining cart
and plummeted to HELL, WITH YOU!!!

(banging on piano, chaotic/tumultuous sounds?)

RIDERS:
(SCREAM, as if dropping down thousands of feet)

RIDERS:
(panting, oh my god, we made it, etc)

RIDE ATTENDANT:
Welcome back riders, how was your ride?

RIDER 2:
That was amazing.

RIDER 3:
I’ve never felt so alive!

RIDER 1:
I just puked up a huge chunk of coal, I think.

RIDE ATTENDANT:
Mine cart ghost, how was your ride?

ANIMATRONIC MINE WORKER:
As good as ever, ma’am. But..I think the canary in the coal mine done pecked my eyeballs out.

END

Originally published at erikadprice.tumblr.com.

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