Monday, July 20, 2009

On Saturday I went to one of our local water parks, Raging Waters in San Jose, with a student group that Daisy is part of. Water parks aren't my favorite thing, but it's hard to argue with the thrill you get when speeding down a good water slide.

I will now, of course, argue with that thrill.

The lines at Raging Waters weren't particularly long. They were the sort of lines that would take 5 or 10 minutes at a Disney park. No such process here though. Instead, the lines typically took between 30 and 60 minutes.

The reason for the glacially slow lines was that the water park employee wouldn't let the next person on the slide until the previous slider had completed the slide. This is totally unnecessary. In general, it takes about as long to situate yourself on the slide and get going, as it does to move out of the way once you splash down at the bottom. So you could, in theory, ram people down the slide as fast as possible, and have very few collisions.

However, I understand that "very few collisions" is probably a phrase that does not resonate well with actuaries and other amusement park professionals, so clearly a buffer is desired. I would recommend a 10 second delay. That is PLENTY of time to get out of the way at the bottom of the slide. And, since most of the rides involve sitting on an inflatable device of some kind, the worst case scenario is that one person's raft bounces into another person's. That's not a tragedy. That's what we in the business call "fun".

Instead, before the water park employee would send the next rider, they would dutifully watch for the current rider to get to the bottom of the slide, get out of the pool, dry off, make their way to the parking lot, go home, have a sandwich, sleep, grow old, have kids, and die. Then the next person could go. It was interminable.

Also, when did everyone except Hank and me get tattoos? The park was filled with tramp stamps, flaming skulls, dragons, ancient chinese laundry secrets, locker combinations, and directions to various vaginas. I felt so unadorned. I've often considered getting a tattoo, but have never thought of something that would be timeless and durable enough to still be worthwhile when I'm 80.

Since I'm not a particularly profound or reverential man, I'd be inclined to get a humorous tattoo, but what kind of joke will endure and give me pleasure for the next 40 years? Frankly, when I look back on the last 40 years, the only humor that has been a constant in my life is probably the fart joke. So, I guess if I had to pick a tattoo right now, I'd get some nice wavy stink lines coming off my ass.

And that's why the search continues.

On a final note, my friend Ray, who was perhaps the one person at Raging Waters who looked more out of place than me, summarized his afternoon by saying, "It was like they emptied out all the trailer parks in San Jose into the water park."


tinyhands said...

Had you been at Schlitterbahn on the PREVIOUS Saturday, apart from seeing me in all my pale, tattoo-less glory, you would have seen much the same thing.

Mike said...

I'm guessing Schlitz is the beverage of choice at Schlitterbahn.

Sue said...

I feel your pain about the lines. But don't you recall the awful tragedy a few years ago when a bunch of high school kids stopped themselves in the middle of the tube? Trying to set a record of how many kids could be in the tube...well it broke. They fell. A few of them died.

I'm sure the lawyers made up the rule about waiting until the previous rider finishes the slide. Sad.

Mike said...

Sue, are you really spoiling my rant with facts? Blog foul!

venus said...

I feel your pain about the lines. well it broke. They fell.
I'm sure the lawyers made up the rule about waiting until the previous rider finishes the slide. Sad.
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