Sign on the MacArthur "Might As Well Maze" Waterpark. Photo by Ellie Bozmarova.
This story is a fiction piece, and it was created from my imagination.
Last Thursday, December 10, local authorities discovered a waterpark where the MacArthur Maze used to be and have apprehended the culprit behind this development.
The MacArthur Maze is the treacherous intertwinement of three freeways: the I-880, the I-580, the I-80, and sometimes the I-24. It is where cars go when they want to be in an accident.
On the morning of Wednesday 9, December Arthur L. Steed, a former mask designer with MASKS-R-US, who lived in a loft by the freeway, decided he couldn’t stand the noise anymore. And, anyway, people aren’t supposed to be out doing things with the shelter-in-place order, recently softened to be called the “stay-at-home” order.
Calling a friend who used to work for the Oakland Fire Department, Steed procured a 50 ft. water hose, and connected it to the building’s main water line. “TaskRabbit is a Godsend,” said Steed from an unknown location.
After turning on the water, effectively cutting the water supply of the rest of the building for six hours, during which time no tenants noticed because they were in front of the computer in their pajamas, Steed simply relaxed.
“To quote Rihanna, I think, ‘Some men just want to watch the world burn.’” Said Steed.
The scene below his loft window was a near-instant catastrophe. As water jetted down to the freeway, a 2020 slate-gray model S Tesla drove into the waterfall and promptly spun 180 degrees, directing the car back to San Francisco. The driver, asleep at the wheel the entire time, noticed nothing.
Chaos ensued as poor drainage meant the freeway was flooding.
The echo of cars crashing, steel on steel, and shattering iPhones was deafening to Steed.
But he had a vision.
He called down to the now-completely-stalled traffic, where miraculously no one was hurt. The following is a transcript of his now internationally known address to the people of the Bay Area.
“Friends, countrypeople, I ask you one favor. Can you use your imaginations here?
Just listen for one second, okay?
I know it’s a hard time. And, let’s face it, you’re not going wherever you were about to go today.
And, also, let’s face it, we’re all mildly bonkers after this year. What a year, am I right?
Okay, okay, sorry, I’ll get to the point.
I am Arthur L. Steed, and I am here to call you to a new vision.
Imagine you’re driving to work and instead of getting there you stop at the MacArthur Maze Waterpark for a refreshing mint julep and brief bask in the sun as reflected off the cars speeding on the other side of the freeway. You stop for a moment, letting the water lap at your feet. Sometimes there are fish in it. We can’t control for that, that’s life. Be grateful there are still fish in water sometimes.
You take a big stretch, yawn, and decide to come back on the weekend with your family. You think your kids will love the big, red waterslides and that one where you feel like you’re getting flushed down a toilet.
You slosh back to your car, where an attendant dries you off, and you head to your job. When you arrive, the boss says, “Where the hell have you been, Claudia?” And you say, “The Maze, boss. Where I belong now.” And the boss says, “Wow. You know, I used to want more than anything to never, ever be in the MacArthur Maze. Now that Steed’s fixed it, it’s like a ritual.”
And you say, “It’s fixed.”
And your boss says, “Thank you.” Because you live in a new world now, where you can go to a waterpark on your way to work.
This waterpark isn’t just a waterpark, it’s a new way of life. One we’ve actually chosen, instead of this mask-hell.
So, good people of Oakland and probably places like Los Banos and Tracey, it’s time to choose.
It’s time to choose right now, because you have no choice, because your car is totaled and you’re in knee-deep water.
Will you support this vision by contributing your car parts to help build this waterpark?
Thank you, thank you, good people. I knew you’d understand. This isn’t just for me or for you. It’s for the generations ahead of us, who will be the products of our generation, and therefore thoroughly warped.
Shortly after Steed’s speech, Oakland PD came on the scene. “What’s the meaning of this?” The police chief shouted up to Steed.
“Freedom!” Steed said. “It’s what the people asked for.”
The police chief, an incredibly short person who was, at this point, bobbing in the ebbing and flowing water, looked at the people. They shrugged and looked back up at Steed.
“See?” Steed said. “This isn’t criminal. This is conscious evolution!”
The police chief, now safely in the hands of deputies, said, “I can’t with this today,” and asked to be pushed back to the non-flooded part of the freeway.
Thanks to $10,000,000 of investments from Silicon Valley VCs, Might As Well Maze Waterpark will open next week.
Local people expressed strong opinions about this fast development.
“It’s like giving us a stimulus check but not and spending it on something useless,” said one man who clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about and lives in the hills.
“I’d like it except all the scraps of metal and glass seem like a safety hazard, no?” said a local high school art teacher.
“This was an inevitable development,” said a local councilmember. “The Bay Area has been thirsty for a waterpark for decades.”
The MacArthur Maze infrastructure—with multiple levels of concrete, twists and turns, and even a lane where you can go when you just don’t wanna anymore, lends itself well to a waterpark.
“All you have to do is put those plastic tops on it and you’re good to go!” Steed said.
How will people get where they used to go? “They won’t.” Steed said. “And they’ll be fine.”