“Are We There Yet?” Part Three: Tent Zippers and the Brain Stem Atomizer
This post series continues with more in-depth analysis of vacation options.
Theme Parks and Thrill Rides. I have mathematically analyzed the annual increase in rollercoaster height and speed over the past 20 years. If my calculations are accurate, 15 years from now we’ll be riding coasters taller than Mount Rainer that exceed 439 miles per hour. My wife and I enjoy theme parks for a variety of reasons. First, we love dangerous rides posted with restrictions on height along with warnings about pregnancy, heart conditions, back problems, halitosis, consumption, scurvy and a list of about 40 other ailments, including low IQ. Coaster rides satisfy our thirst for thrills only if they make us feel like we cheated death.
Second, the parks coat their food with grease, sugar, salt, preservatives, battery acid, Freon and weapons-grade uranium. The food satisfies our craving only if it dissolves a three-inch hole in our stomach lining.
Third, we enjoy the midway games and their luxurious prizes, especially the Psychic Dazzler operated by 18-year-old smart-asses who guess people’s ages. The overly cocky kids always got mine wrong because I carry a fake I.D. just to screw with them.
Fourth, my wife and I love observing America’s melting pot. Amusement parks attract all kinds of people, but they’re mainly magnets for individuals trying to adjust their lives back to normal after being abducted by horny aliens. Consider this true example. One interesting young man, in his late teens, stood two rows behind us while we waited to ride the Brain Stem Atomizer. On this humid 90-degree day, his long sleeve black shirt and long black baggy pants provided a vivid contrast to his bright purple Mohawk haircut and the matching purple shrunken head dangling from a belt loop. He wore yellow wooden clogs and sucked on a pink pacifier the entire time we waited in line. That night he probably told his friends about the creepy old couple who stood two rows in front of him and wore white sneakers, kaki shorts, crew shirts and matching visors. Crap! I hate being so bizarre. B+.
Campsites and Sleeping Bags. Back-to-nature vacations offer a sense of adventure. Campfires, lightning bugs and melted marshmallows create an atmosphere for wilderness passion and animal lust. Share a few scary stories as the embers drift above the looming branches and soon you’ll both be pawing at the tent’s zipper to collapse inside your love nest. The sounds outside your tent heighten the feral ecstasy: the cricket’s chirp, the owl’s hoot, the snap of a twig, an indefinable hiss, the buzz of mosquitoes and the foraging of small nocturnal critters. The momentum builds as you’re both on the verge of drowning nature’s sounds with your own symphonic wails of passion. That’s when the bat swoops into your wife’s hair and expeditiously kills the mood. Apparently all the sounds of nature were originating from inside the tent – you forgot to re-zip the tent flap during the rush to unzip other things. Roughing it sounds like fun when you’re planning the trip inside an air-conditioned home with your butt cheeks sinking into a soft living room couch. D-. The great outdoors for sleeping are dirty and dangerous.
Visiting Relatives. Mine know how to read blogs, like this one. So an A+.
Ladders and Paintbrushes. Usually referred to as “working” vacations, these involve staying home and using your valuable time-off to complete difficult chores and projects, such as adding a sunporch to your house or re-carpeting. Working vacations typically include floor plans, lower lumbar pain, turpentine, stitches, scraping, blisters, Neosporin, arguments and cursing. Working vacationers vicariously balance on rooftops, operate bone-piercing power tools and inhale carcinogenic paints and sprays that mutate the cell structure of lungs. F-.
Foreign Countries. Fantastic memories await you beyond our border: the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall, the ancient Pyramids, the wild Outback, pristine fjords, royal castles, kidnappings, explosive diarrhea, unprecedented rudeness and bogus criminal charges. In general, C-. Poland, however, offers an A+ experience if you don’t mind all the red clothing, but I’m a little biased.
(next post: “Are We There Yet?” Wrap-up with Cats and Coconuts)