Tunnel of synchronicity?

Carl Fink sent in the Loose Parts, which we supplemented with the Lockhorns on a similar motif.

Is it kind of charming that Loretta still has romantic expectations?

Carl says “So, let me ask this question: has anyone seen an actual ‘Tunnel of Love’ at a fair in the past, say, 40 years? Would anyone under that age have any idea what’s going on here? Is that old carnival attraction even remembered now only because of cartoons like this one?”

Also, what is going on? People keep climbing into those boats even though they can see the solid wall and the mounting crashes? Is it almost as much their incompetence as that of the designers of the attraction?

14 Comments

  1. The Loose Parts one is incompetence all around, I guess. Both the builders and the users.

    As for the cultural bit, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Tunnel of Love. I just know the trope from old movies and old sitcoms and such. There was also a Springsteen song, wasn’t there? I’ve never heard it so it might be unrelated.

  2. If I remember my childhood correctly, “The Tunnel of Love” was featured several times in Archie comic books.

    It’s definitely been a trope in other comics I’ve seen all throughout my life.

    Not only that, but the name and the concept of “The Tunnel of Love” is easy enough for most literate ten-year-olds to understand the first time they see it in cartoons, even if they don’t understand all the long-term “adult” implications of it.

  3. As Wikipedia says “With the development of other socially acceptable opportunities and less stigma for unmarried couples to engage in physical contact, these rides became less popular and were either re-themed into children’s attractions or torn down completely.”

    But they live on as a trope in fiction!

  4. BTW, reader contributions of comics to feature are, as always, welcome — but right now, as whenever we post to this effect, they are particularly needed and solicited.

    The address, as always, is in paraphrase form CIDU DOT submissions AT gmail DOT com .

    At the time of writing this (Wednesday morning) , the actual current CIDU queue is only good thru tomorrow. If we don’t get something better, I’ll have to go with the new “To phi or not to phi” which otherwise could be safely tucked away in Saturday’s OYs, as it is apparently mostly a pun on the name of Søren Kierkegaard.

  5. I’m old enough to remember the one that was part of the Riverview Amusement Park in Chicago. I was young and it was a good way to burn a ticket or two. But they couldn’t very well call it Tunnel of Chance To Make Out.

  6. See the empty boats towards the end and a lack of people actively getting in any boats? The wall wasn’t always just a solid wall. It was a real tunnel at the time all those other people got in their boats. The wall closed off and now all these boats are crashing into it.

  7. Interesting take, TedD, but I’m not sure I follow what you’re proposing. Are you saying the “wall” isn’t actually a part of the main wall, but was and in a way still is an opening in the wall to provide entrance to the tunnel, but has become entirely jammed up solid with crashed boats? I was originally thinking it was built as a solid wall, with no opening, from the beginning; leaving unexplained why people got into the boats at all, ever. Which sounds implausible even as I write it out — but, darn it, that’s what it looks like!

  8. They’re just a variation on the dark boat ride. Even the DIsney parks have their own spin on the concept.

    Some parks make a point of having old rides. Here Kennywood park has a Tunnel Of Love type dark ride from 1915 they call Ye Old Mill. Being a dark ride, it indeed is mostly dark as this guy narrates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD-n2oF5WAY

    So, yes the Tunnel Of Love is still around in some fashion.

  9. I’m almost 50, and I’ve never seen a Tunnel of Love in my life. Just in comic strips and a couple of movies. But I always understood the concept through context.

  10. I’ve never seen a Tunnel of Love ride, and most of the “dark” rides have had 6 or more people to the boat (or whatever), so there’s not a lot of privacy. But back in high school (mid 60s) there was an amusement park just outside Memphis that had a gondola ride up over and around the park that took about 15 minutes for a complete circuit. We made do.

  11. Never seem a tunnel of love either – and if there was one, I would sure it would it would go up and down and be too scared to ride it anyway.

    Ted D – Only the last 2 boats are empty and waiting for lovers (er, victims) to come along. The boats immediately in front of those two have people in them and they must have gotten in since the pile up started.

    (By the way – I have a Teddy bear named Theodore David Bear – but he goes by the short version of his name – Ted D. Bear. He was the first bear in my bear den.)

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