Friday, June 15, 2012

Stupid Thing of the Week

So, there's a water park in town, and I hadn't been there since I was in my teens.  I remember one time my friends all went, and I had to stay home, and I missed seeing ole-what's-her-name in a swimsuit, and it sort of soured the whole park for me (in my mind, anyway).

But now I live with two children, and my sister thought it would be fun if we all went to the water park together, and she was kind enough to get me a pass, so that I could help her take care of the children when we went (they are one and four, so they can be a handful, and you need to be vigilant with them around water).

So, I went and we had a really good time.  The four year old was afraid of the waterslides, but we rented an innertube and I sort of forced him to go on it with me, and though he was scared the whole wait in line, by the time we got to the bottom of the slide, he wanted to go on it again.

At one point, I saw one of the waterslides you just go down without a tube, and a man came out of the end with what looked like a six month old in his arms.  The baby--can't even be called a toddler, in my estimation--seemed confused, but not overly frightened, so I asked the lifeguard at the exit what the age limit was on that thing.  He told me there was none, but that kids under a certain height had to ride with a grownup.

So, I went over to the wave pool, where my sister was wrestling with her kids, and grabbed the one year old to go on that slide with me.  He, like the newborn I'd just seen, is too young to know what's happening, or to complain ahead of time, so I just held him through the line and, sure enough, they let me hold him and go down the slide together.  This was one of those waterslides where there is a large . . . what would you call it? . . . toiletbowl-like container at the top that fills with water, then flushes out on top of you, forcing you down through the slide with the water.*  The day and water temperature were fairly warm, so it was no shock to the baby when we started to slide down, but it was a shock to me when, about halfway down, we stopped.

For a moment, I was confused.  All the water pushed past me, but instead of carrying me along, it left me with a toddler on top of me, like a beached whale there, unable to get moving again.  I believe the operator of the waterslide saw what was going on there (I assume so, anyway, since there are lifeguards whose jobs it is to watch out for accidents and horseplay and people who don't make it down all the way), for a second or three later, a large burst of water came down and sort of shoved us out of the dry spot, until, very slowly, we made it to the end and splashing into the pool there.

The baby didn't seem to love it or hate it, but I immediately told his brother about it, and suggested the two of us try it.  Now, he is afraid of everything, but is trusting enough that I was able to get him in the line with me, then distracted him by singing the Black-Eyed Peas song we'd been hearing on the intercom (which plays something called Radio Disney, which is apparently made up of only six songs on rotation, none of which are from Disney movies).  We got up to the top, I showed him how the tank filled with water and then flushed people down, and luckily, there was another kid, probably three years of age, ahead of us in the queue, that neither cried nor shat his pants because the ride was inappropriate for a young, young childe.

We got on, and got flushed down . . . and then, at the exact same point as before . . . we stopped.

Now, I recognize that I'm overweight.  I'm not gargantuanly fat, but I could lose a few, and if there were absolutely any chance of hooking up romantically with a partner, I would lose the pounds.  But I don't think I'm fat enough to get stuck in a goddamn waterslide, not when Louie Anderson and Melissa McCarthy were zooming through it like a bad enchilada through a tourist.

But I couldn't move.  I tried to lay flatter, hoping to float through the slide, but nothing happened.  I tried to crab walk with the boy on my stomach, and only made it a few inches.  A moment later, more water came through the tube, but it didn't work.  Finally, I sat up and used my legs and arms to scootch us forward, hoping to get some kind of momentum, but had no luck.  A moment after that, I felt another burst of water come through, and thought that would solve my problem, but instead, I got slammed into by another rider of the waterslide.

This was a girl, and her feet struck me in the small of my back (since I was sitting up at that moment), then she somehow skied up and around me, and on down the slide, leaving me and my nephew glued in place, but now in pain.  "Crap," I said, "We've got to get out of this if they're still sending people down."  Finally, I took the boy off my lap and sent him on ahead--he seemed to slide like greased lightning, and I sort of crab-walked after him, all the while afraid of somebody's feet shooting into the back of my head John F. Kennedy-style.

We emerged from the other side, my nephew far enough ahead that the lifeguard had to scoop him out of the clutches of Poseidon's child-hungry fingers, and wonder, "Who the hell sent a pre-schooler through this thing by himself?"  I swam over and took the boy from the lifeguard, and got us up and out of the water.  "Sorry," I said to my nephew, "I guess that wasn't fun."

He didn't argue.  And I didn't want to go on it again either.

But what was the deal?  Is it just that I'm too fat?  Are people supposed to rub bacon grease on their posteriors before entering the sliding area?  Was it my posture?  Heck, I'd even guess that I was destined to get stuck in it so I'd have a funny story to tell . . . except that this one hasn't been very funny (and nobody I told it to laughed).

Man, I hate those fables where the message isn't clear.

Rish "Aquaman" Outfield

*Guess I'm not cut out to be a writer, since I couldn't find the words to describe how that slide works.

1 comment:

Big Anklevich said...

I've been on that slide, and been in line and seen several people get stuck while I was waiting to board it myself.

The key is that you have to lay all the way down for the entirety of the slide. If you're sitting up, you will get stuck at that spot. Makes it awful hard to ride it with a child on your lap.