Originally published May 6, 2020.
“Trump is shrugging off warnings by scientists that the easing restrictions taking place across the country could cause tens of thousands of deaths” — CNN, 5/6/20
Hello, Peter Ludlow here, CEO of InGen, the company behind the wildly successful dinosaur-themed amusement park, Jurassic Park. As you’re all aware, after an unprecedented storm hit the park, we lost power and the velociraptors escaped their enclosure and killed hundreds of park visitors, prompting a two-month shutdown of the park. Well, I’m pleased to announce that, even though the velociraptors are still on the loose, we will be opening Jurassic Park back up to the public!
Now, I understand why some people might be skeptical about reopening an amusement park when there are still blindingly fast, 180-pound predators roaming around. But the fact of the matter is, velociraptors are intelligent, shifty creatures that are not going to be contained any time soon, so we might as well just start getting used to them killing a few people every now and then. Some might argue that we should follow the example of other parks that have successfully dealt with velociraptor escapes. But here at Jurassic Park, we’ve never been ones to listen to the recommendations of scientists, or safety experts, or bioethicists, so why would we start now?
As some of you know, Dr. Ian Malcolm, our lead safety consultant, had recommended that we wait until the velociraptors have been located and contained before reopening the park, so he wasn’t thrilled when we told him the news. I believe his exact words were “you were so preoccupied with whether you could reopen the park, you didn’t stop to think whether you should.” Talk about a guy on a high horse.
That said, you’ll be pleased to know that, rather than double down on our containment efforts, we’ve decided to dissolve the velociraptor containment task force altogether, and focus instead on how we can get people back into the park as quickly as possible. So rather than concentrating on so-called life-saving measures like “staying in designated safe areas” or “masking your scent,” we’ll be focusing on the details that will get our customers really excited, like a wider selection of fun hats, a pterodactyl-shaped gondola ride to the top of the island, and a brand new Gordon Ramsay designed menu at the Cretaceous Cafe.
In addition to satisfying our customers, the decision to reopen the park is also about allowing the furloughed employees of Jurassic Park to get back to the work they love. Could we have continued to pay their salaries for several months until we got the velociraptor situation under control? Definitely. We’re the wealthiest nature preserve on the planet after all. And will some of the employees returning to work have their limbs torn off and tossed into the air like a juggler tossing bowling pins? Undoubtedly. But we’re confident that with a few safety precautions put in place, we’ll be able to keep the level of workplace injuries and deaths just below levels that would elicit widespread public outrage. And keeping things just below widespread public outrage levels is our gold standard for all of the decisions we make here at Jurassic Park.
And speaking of injuries, I want to take a moment to thank our Jurassic Park EMTs. They’re the real heroes here, am I right? In the process of responding to velociraptor attacks, many of our EMTs get mauled and dismembered by velociraptors themselves. That’s why, as a sign of appreciation, we will be repainting the Jurassic Park ambulance with the words “Hero Mobile” in big bubble letters. We think this is a far more meaningful token of gratitude than the salary increase they requested.
I know many of you out there are going to be hesitant to return to Jurassic Park knowing there are still velociraptors roaming the preserve, but rest assured things will return to normal sooner rather than later. The life expectancy of a velociraptor is only 15-20 years, so we’re confident that these attacks will eventually run their course.
In the meantime, will more visitors die? Yes. Will more Jurassic Park staff die? Yes. But know that their sacrifice will not be forgotten — we plan to erect a small plaque dedicated to all of the velociraptor attack victims in the far back corner of the gift shop next to the T-shirts that say I SURVIVED A VISIT TO JURASSIC PARK AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT. It’s the least we could do.
So pack your suitcases, and get ready to be reacquainted with the newly reopened, and only slightly more dangerous, Jurassic Park! And remember, life finds a way… unless you’re one of the unlucky ones that gets attacked by a velociraptor, then you’re probably screwed.
To read an interview with Carlos Greaves about writing this piece, click here.