Want to see the changing face of America? Look no farther than Hurricane Harbor water park in Jackson, NJ, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in August:
We are the wealthiest country in the world. Good thing, ‘cuz an outing for a family of four (parking, tickets, locker rental, food, tchochkes) runs well over $300. We are also the fattest country in the world, with almost one-quarter of the population characterized as obese; one serving of Papa John’s pepperoni pizza contains 9 grams of fat and 227 calories; the wait for a slice was over an hour.
You want diversity? Gotcha covered! Sure there’s lots of European-looking folks. But they are outnumbered by far by folks from China, Japan, Africa, India, Latin America, Russia, the Caribbean and lots of other places. We enjoyed watching a group of young Israelis standing in line for an hour next to a group speaking Arabic.
We learned that we’re all pretty much the same. All youngsters, regardless of race, cut in line and pass on the left whenever they can. All 13-year olds are hell-raisers, which pisses off all mothers equally. All dads like to annoy their children. All half-clad women are equally self-conscious. And a scream of joy sounds the same in any language.
We did spot one cultural difference: only white folks sing along to Jimmy Buffett, but all folks sing along to Bob Marley.
Next stop: Six Flags Great Adventure, home of the tallest roller coaster in the world. We’ll be investigating how different cultures deal with the issue of public vomiting.