Justin Bieber ruined my night at Six Flags
After a full day of riding roller coasters and eating fried food at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, I figured there was no combination of words more annoying than the workers' go-to salutation -- "Have a Six Flags day."
That was until I heard someone scream, "Justin Bieber!" Again and again and again.
My path first crossed with the pop phenom as the sun began to set on Saturday night. I had been waiting for about 15 minutes to ride the Tatsu coaster. Unlike most at the park, the popular, dragon-themed ride maintains two carts on two sets of tracks in order to load the multitude of riders quickly.
But as I neared the front of the line, the cycle stopped. Employees paused for several minutes, as the loading gates remained closed. Operators tend to alert riders when a coaster has been shut down for temporary maintenance, but this time, no one picked up the intercom.
An explanation came from a young girl nearby who was leaning over the railing, partaking in the pastime of people-watching to alleviate boredom.
"Justin Bieber!" she shrieked. Her friends' ears perked up like wolves. They joined in on the railing and the scream fest. In unison, they reached into their handbags for digital cameras.
Bieber and a few friends filed through an alternate route into the loading area. Workers ushered them to the front of the ride, harnessed them into their spots and latched the nearly two dozen remaining seats. The adjacent cart stayed stagnant until Bieber's rode around the tracks and returned.
My ears practically ringing from the constant pleas for the pop star's attention from kids nearby, Bieber and his buds calmly filtered out the way they had come. Meanwhile, the fans' cheers took a nosedive as many had realized that they had just been dusted off as second-class citizens so the boy wonder and his entourage could get the star treatment.
"I hate Justin!" one girl screamed as he left.
"Yeah, but I still like that one song," her friend admitted.
The fallout can be seen in public Facebook status updates. Daniel Calabro-Avila wrote, "Stupid Justin Bieber almost ruined Six Flags today."
Venus Palafox wrote, "Went to six flags to have a good time but instead felt sick afterwards. Justin Bieber was there & instead of being excited about it like all the young kids I was just annoyed that we had to wait an extra 30 min so he could ride the roller coaster by himself."
I spent my remaining hour or so at the park calculating the likelihood of not getting stuck in another Bieber trap, as I dodged the path of girls shouting, "Did you guys hear? Justin Bieber is here!"
-- Mark Milian
Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.