Any time this sheer number of regular folks descend upon an attraction-filled destination like the Wisconsin Dells one gets a good glimpse of the true selfishness of our fellow man and woman. Exhibit A: The lazy river is a river-like pool that begins and ends in the same place – so it’s a loop, not unlike a racetrack with curves and turns and so on. In the middle are generally places for people to sit and sun themselves or fake scenery – often mountains, cliffs and rocks where tiny waterfalls drop into the chlorine current. And there is a current – water pushes people lounging on one and two seater tubes (you may remember when they used to be actual auto, truck and tractor tire inner tubes and the havoc that wreaked upon your skin over a nice hot day in the sun – there were no two-seaters back then) in an endless and lazy loop around and around. Of course, there are a limited number of tubes to be had and here on the sunniest of sunny Fourth of July weekends, the ratio between tube lovers and tubes had inched up quite a bit.
One of those beautiful days, I had the experience to witness two middle to late-middle aged women (both saggy, tan and bird-like), who had nabbed two of the most coveted double tubes (those with one hole closed – a perfect safe spot for very little kids and anyone who wants to stay that much more out of the water), and set those two super tubes up to block the sun – to create a little shady spot just for them! Unsuspecting and water-logged folks would walk up and grab one of the tubes, one assumes to use it in its intended manner, only to be verbally accosted (better yet, stabbed, shot, bitten) by the two women who would quite literally hiss in unison, “We’re using those!” That in such a manner that the hopeful tuber would quickly drop the tube and slink away. Brutal, that.
There’s a lot of negativity in places that try so hard to make us happy. Theme parks, water parks, carnivals and fairs all harbor lots of very negative energy, mostly because we being forced and then trying too hard ourselves to HAVE A GOOD TIME! I never went here as a childless person and I think I know why. These places are for families for the most part because very few adults can be entertained by an acre or two of pools, water slides, fountains, lazy rivers and so on beyond a very limited amount of time – no matter how much liquor or other mind-alt you put in to the mix. Kids, however, generally could be left there indefinitely until they became emaciated, shriveled and the water froze. So the general mood of most families is a mix of crazed, impatient kids and exhausted and ultimately pissed off parents. Fun!
I can’t tell you how many times I met eyes with another spent dad and in that split second we exchanged this:
“This is fucking crazy.”
“Totally fucking crazy.”
“I want to kill my kids.”
“Kill mine while you’re at it.”
“We should get drunk.”
And we’d each shuffle off toward the next attraction. “Attraction” – that’s good. Like files attracted to feces or moths to open flames.