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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Tourist traps for the millennium

(U-WIRE) NORMAN, Okla. – Call your travel agent. Four million people are expected to visit the Holy Land over the coming months as the new millennium approaches. If you don’t secure a hotel reservation now, there may be no room for you in the inn.

Many businesses in Israel hope to prosper from the event. According to the Associated Press, the country’s National Parks Authority recently authorized the building of a new bridge at Capernaum where, the Bible says, Jesus walked across the water.

Most bridges serve a rather mundane function: allowing people to get across a body of water without getting wet. That’s not the case with this bridge. Its patented design keeps it submerged two inches below the lake’s surface so people can simulate a miraculous walk on water.

That’s right. People all over the world will have home videos of their family members smiling and waving at the camera as they pretend to walk across the Sea of Galilee.

Perhaps the inspiration for the bridge came when someone posed that age-old query of the tourism industry: What would Disney do?

According to the AP, up to 50 people at a time will be able to traverse the 28-foot bridge. Apparently this feeling isn’t disrupted by the lifeguards who will remain in boats around the bridge in case a would-be miracle worker slips off. As ingenious as this idea is, I think those who want to earn a living off the tourist trap of the millennium could benefit from a little marketing advice.

Why limit things to walking on water? People are bound to be hungry after a brisk walk across the lake, so why not have a miracle-themed restaurant?

I’m thinking of an all-you-can-eat loaves and fish place.

There would be no need for such a restaurant to spend a fortune importing wine. The customers would have a blast turning water into wine themselves. The waitstaff would only need to help out a little by providing a few basics like grapes, a winepress and an environment suitable for fermentation.

Despite the ever-replenishing source of bread and seafood, some people might still want dessert. To meet this demand, a savvy entrepreneur could build one of those candy shops where customers pull their own taffy.

Tourists love taffy, and the shop could have a clever name like “Immaculate Confection.”

Characters from the Bible would roam the streets in cartoonish Disney-style costumes, of course.

Families could get a snapshot of their children being interrogated by Pilate. Disciples would be rented out by the day. Customers could read the Sermon on the Mount from a TelePrompTer or even make up their own speeches.

It wouldn’t matter what the tourists said, rent-a-disciples would always listen in awe. (Karaoke would be a strong possibility here – probably Andrew Lloyd Webber tunes.)

Though it might be less popular, visitors wanting to work up an appetite could fast in a nearby wilderness area for 40 days and 40 nights. It would be a hard month or so, especially with the guy in the cartoonish devil costume tempting them the whole time, but they would definitely get their money’s worth at the all-you-can-eat loaves and fishes place when it was all over.

Ideally, all of these attractions would be united in a theme park with a catchy motto, like “God’s only begotten fun.”

This theme park may seem like a far-fetched concept, but Jerry Falwell and James Dobson make a living, don’t they?

-Daniel Mulligan is a student at the University of Oklahoma.

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