Water park observations (Originally published 3/11/07)

The kids did very well on their last report cards, so they got to pick where they wanted to go.  They wanted to do one of the indoor waterparks, especially after hearing me talk about the Kalahari resort where CodeMash took place.  So today we went to "Fort Rapids" here in Columbus, and I noticed a few things.

  1. 2007 is apparently the year for shit brown bathing suits.  I must have seen 50 of them today, on people of all shapes sizes and ages.  Some had stripes.  Some had polka dots.  Some had pink frilly trim.  But however they were embellished, their basic color could only be described as "shit brown".  So there’s either a nasty fashion trend on the horizon, or that was the only color left on Fort Rapids’ gift shop racks, and everyone forgot their suits today.
  2. I’m not exactly in "model" shape anymore.  I was, for a brief time in the mid-90’s, but I’m not now.  I’m married, I have a sedentary job, and video games are too damn good these days.  So I’m carrying a lot of extra weight around.  I’m not delusional about my looks at all.  I think I may be alone in this though, at least in Ohio.
  3. Even if you ARE completely delusional about your weight, plugging up a water slide has GOT to be a life-changing moment of revelation.  No, I didn’t plug up a water slide, but someone else did.  The "Blackout Pass" was shut down, taking all the other water slides with it while the paramedics were called in to extract someone from the pipe… someone we will refer to as "Augustus Gloop" for lack of a proper name.  It took them at least an hour to get Augustus down and out the door, and they never did reopen that particular slide.

Now to be fair, I don’t think the person they took out on the back-board was QUITE large enough to actually stop up the pipe, so some rule-breaking, showoff, spinning-around behavior must also have been involved.  We’ll never know the whole story, since the ride’s totally opaque, but that slide’s only got TWO freakin’ turns.  It’s a pretty basic slide, two right-hand turns into a spinny toilet-bowl thingy.  Observe the following crappy cellphone camera picture.

Since our victim never made it as far as the vortex, that only leaves the two turns.  You can’t possibly be going fast enough during turn 1 to do any kind of actual damage, so that only leaves turn 2 at the bottom of the hill.  That’s not exactly a sharp turn, either.  I’d say it’s a 30 foot diameter at the very least.  The math says someone wasn’t following the rules.

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