August – The Bipolar Month have a love hate relationship with the month of August. The hate comes, I think, from being water-logged. By now I have clocked so many hours in a pool or at a waterpark I feel like the Center for Disease Control should have me on a retainer for some sort of long-term chlorine exposure experiment.

 I’m also extremely weary of the swimsuit/bathroom shimmy. Now, if you’re a guy or a woman who has only worn a bikini her whole life (and may I just say right now that I admire either your self-confidence and/or dedication to the burpee) you won’t know what I’m talking about. So, let me try to explain to those of you who have never experienced the hand-to-hand combat of peeling off a wet, Lycra infused one piece.

 Imagine if your body was being hugged to death by a slippery, yet very tenacious and amorous seal. Now, envision trying to remove that seal from your body. You tug, you pull and eventually you hop and up down trying to enlist gravity to be on your team. Finally, you manage to roll your one piece down far enough so you can use the bathroom. That, my friends was the easy part because now you have to do the ultimate heave-ho and get that wet sucker back on.

 It’s a Sisyphean task. No matter how hard you yank your swimsuit up it barely moves. Wet Lycra must have the adhesion quality of duct tape infused with Gorilla Glue. By the time I have my suit at my stomach I usually resort to prayer and request divine intervention for the final journey – up and over the boobs. Last month at the Schlitterbahn water park it was such an arduous task getting my swimsuit off and on that by 2 p.m. I had reached my Fitbit goal for the day. It had to be all the jumping.

 Right about now I’m also sick of being hot. Heat is the enemy. Yes, I know lots of folks love living the 110-degree life. I just don’t happen to be one of them. Primarily because I find hot weather unattractive. There’s the sweating, the bad hair days, the melting make up and all the shaving. Could anything be more yuck?

 Now, let’s take a gander at fall and winter, summer’s much more beautiful sisters. These seasons are all about long sleeves, long pants and cable knit sweaters so bulky they conceal a wide variety of sins like weekly trips to the Krispy Kreme drive thru. And then there’s my favorite thing in the whole wide world – low humidity.

When that first crisp hint of autumn is in the air I become giddy. It’s life affirming and that’s just me talking about my hair. It’s got a bounce, a shine, a sheen that says, “Here you go brave girl. This is just for you for surviving summer.”

 August also brings unwanted attention to my lackluster parenting skills. Every summer I become a slacker mom. Anything that smacks of school from reading logs to summer assignments and “must have this done before school starts” packets I completely ignore nagging my kids about until the calendar says August 1.

Then it’s time for me to go into what I call the hurry and harass mode. Hurry, as in, “What do you mean you haven’t even gotten the book yet? You better get a move on it right now!” After that I follow-up with a level of harassment so fierce that my kids accuse me a being a bully or worse a “summer buzz buster.”

 All this school talk brings me to what I love about August. Yep, you guessed it – school starting! I’m not and never have been one of those moms that does the big boo hoo about her precious flock going back to school. The crocodile tears mothers are the worst.

Primarily because their angst is so disingenuous. I believe that these moms are confused and feel that to maintain their “Mother of the Year” street cred they must act inconsolable about their children being gone seven, wonderful, delicious, hours a day.

 So for you ladies getting ready to assault social media with your tales of abandonment because school has started and giving an Meryl Streep level performance of misery and despair at “Meet the Teacher” night may I suggest you rethink this strategy because no one is buying it. Mainly because if you’re that bereft about being child free why wouldn’t you just home school? 

 A couple of years ago at one of those back-to-school coffees I asked a mom who was clutching a handful of Kleenex that question. Let’s just say it didn’t go well.

 Of course, a downside to school starting, besides the phony mom weeping, is school supply shopping. I’m still in recovery from being at Target during a school sales tax holiday. You would have thought it was T minus 24 hours till the rapture. You know if the rapture was all about going to heaven with Trapper Keepers and college ruled notebooks. The best/worst was when two moms began fighting over the last couple of three-ring binder folders.

 It was intense. I got really scared when one mom reached into her cart and started gesturing with a ruler and not one of those plastic floppy rulers. Oh no, she was going all back in the day, little red schoolhouse with a hardcore wooden one. I was like, “Uh oh, it’s a throw down” and settled in with my Diet Coke for what I was sure was going to dinner theatre – Target style. The one-act drama was interrupted when an employee saved the day by restocking folders.

 But trumping even theatrics at Target and school starting the biggest gift August brings is one of new beginnings. For anyone with children still pursing their educational journey this month is when the New Year starts. Forget about January 1. August is where it’s at.

There’s excitement and hope for what the school year will bring. Resolutions are made. New routines are established and parents everywhere, engulfed in the fumes of new backpacks and number two pencils, are wishing for their children to have their very best year yet.

*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂 



The Shame Trifecta

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 9.12.06 PMYeah, I know summer is over and who cares about my latest waterpark adventure. But just wait. What I have to share is a cautionary tale. Oh, sure loads has been written about Schlitterbahn’s Verruckt. But this is not about plunging down an incline greater than Niagara Falls. This, my friends, is about humiliation.

I had managed, through careful planning, (which means showing up at Schlitterbahn just late enough that every “reservation” slot would be taken) to avoid the Verruckt all summer. But on Labor Day, my luck ran out. Extensive cloud cover, early morning thunderstorms, and I’m sure a general ennui of all things wet, meant the crowds at 10:05 a.m CST were sparse. Combine that with a moving sob story from my daughter about how her friends were afraid to “Verruckt” and I was trapped.

As I stood in line in my one piece swimsuit with extra long swim skirt, because I’m a woman who believes our nation needs to re-embrace the beauty of full butt coverage, I noticed some equipment that looked out-of-place at a Waterpark. It was a huge scale, like the kind you would use to weigh elephants at the zoo or something. What in the name of Verruckt was a calibration system of this magnitude doing at the entrance to a water attraction? And then, oh, Sweet God of Atlantis I discovered the hidden horror of the slide. You have to be weighed before you’re allowed to go on the ride!

I have a strict don’t ask don’t tell policy about my weight. When I go to the doctor’s office I never wear jeans, (denim is hefty fabric that can add at least three pounds). I also, always, take off my belt and shoes, and have been known to slip the nurse a $20 to look the other way as I adjust the scale to read at least 10 pounds less. So, the very last thing, as you can imagine, I want to do at a Waterpark is to be weighed. Am I not suffering enough? I’ve got most of my dimpled, doughy flesh exposed and I have some new spider veins that, no matter what I tell myself, do not look like hipster mom tattoos.

Before I even have to chance to make a run for it a life guard calls for my daughter and I to get on the scale. It’s nothing personal I’m told. Each three person raft, due to mass x acceleration, must have a combined weight of at least 400 pounds. They need to weigh us to figure out how chunky our third raft mate needs to be.

Are you freaking kidding me? I have to step on scale, that I’m sure was purchased from a large animal vet clinic, in front of hundreds of people and have my weight barked out like I’m some attraction at a low rent carnival. This isn’t going to happen. I am so out of here. But my daughter gives me a look that says, “Please Mom” and I cave because if my parenting style had a name it would be called “The Caver.”

Off I march to get on the scale with my head held high and my stomach sucked in. I can do this. I get on first and then my daughter hops on. After which an employee screams out that we need a person weighing at least 150 pounds to join us on the scale. We get a volunteer. A youngish guy, who looks like he runs triathlons, sprints over and jumps on. We have hit the magic number and  been cleared through stage one of Verruckt.

Thrilled that my weigh in session is behind me I, after an intense safety briefing that required all of us vowing to uphold the laws of gravity and not to sue the Schlitterbahn, if said laws of gravity do not work in our favor, proceed to climb up 264 stairs. Where, surprise, surprise, we have to get back on a scale. Did they think ascending up 17 stories might have made us drop a pound or two? The answer to that question was a “No ma’am. It’s another safety check.”

I groan and get on the scale. This one is smaller but still has a livestock vibe. After the weigh in we’re told that the heftiest person goes in the back of the raft. Mr. Triathlon assumes it’s going to be him. But a life guards points at me and hollers, “No, it’s not you. It’s her!” I have now hit the mortification trifecta. Shamed, I enter the raft and my daughter asks me if, “I’m scared.”

I tell her no. After this experience a 60-mph, 168 foot plunge in a rubber raft is nothing. Nothing at all.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂


I Hate People – Part 3

waterparksI know I’ve complained repeatedly about my feelings regarding waterparks.(See 9 Much Needed Waterpark Improvements and Excuse Me There’s a Turd in the Wavepool.) A reasonable person would think that I had exhausted all my rage and shame. But, you would be wrong because my vacation included a waterpark sojourn that resulted in one of the most embarrassing moments in the annuals of being me.

There were no advanced plans to go to a waterpark. It was never even on the vacation agenda. I, a naive, hopeful creature, thought this trip would be blissfully waterpark free,  But, all it took was for my daughter to spot a waterpark lurking way off in the distance from the 31st floor of our hotel to condemn me to the fate of going down the Spiral Flusher 2000. She begged to go and I caved and volunteered her father for the honor of escorting her.

My husband was too quick. He double crossed me and said he had already promised our son that he would take him to look at colleges in the area. Huh? Our son had just turned 15. He hasn’t even taken his PSAT and I still have to remind him to wear his retainer and use deodorant and they were going to look at colleges. Please, I didn’t believe that for a moment. But he had me, especially when my son perked up and said yes, they had talked about and he was excited.

That’s when I threw their smug faces a curve ball and said to my husband, “Oh, I’ll do the college thing. No worries, you can do the waterpark. Really, don’t you think it’s your turn to do the waterpark?”

Dang it, that didn’t work because my son quickly responded with,“But, I really want Dad to take me.”

Causing my husband just as quickly chimed in with, “You know father-son bonding time.”

They had me. It was low of my husband, exceeding low (and he would pay for it later, oh yes, he would pay) to play the “father son” card, but he did and I was screwed. I drew the short straw. I was going to yet another waterpark. I sighed, almost teared up and resigned myself to the fact that it was time to pull on my chocolate-brown, (well, it was brown when I bought it, but it had now, thanks to the wonders of  chlorine, taken on the hue of a Snookie spray tan) one piece, one more time.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse my 10-year-old got very excited and squealed, “Mom, I just looked up the waterpark on Dad’s phone and it’s not just a waterpark it’s an amusement park too! It’s got roller-coasters and everything.”  Oh sweet, sweet God of Atlantis what have you wrought? I thought as I choked back a sob.

Nothing and I mean nothing is worse than a hybrid water/amusement park. If you go strictly to an amusement park you get to be fully clothed and experience the wonder of cotton candy, funnel cake and vomit from the ghosts of rides past stuck to your hands, feet, face and neck and enjoy a continuous bout of nausea due to the G-force of the triple loop coaster.

If you go to a waterpark you’re mostly naked, barefoot and if you have any sense use the inner tubes for the rides as your fat camo. But, if you’re at a hybrid water/amusement park that means you get to strut your stuff in a swimsuit at the water zone and then lucky, lucky, you all you have to do is just put on a pair of tennis shoes with that swimsuit and you’re ready to walk around the amusement area.

Can you picture it? Is there anything less appealing? A mass of people waiting in line for the roller coaster clad only in swim-wear and tennis shoes, with wet, unregulated, body hair blowing in the steamy breeze. Yes, you could pull on a pair of shorts or please Lord, capris to walk around in, but all the amusement park rides include some kind of water grand finale. So, you’re wet all the time. Not refreshingly waterpark wet, but theme park recycled, brownish, non-potable, swamp water wet.

If you wear shorts or a beloved pair of capris (and people this is how I know there is a God because capris or crop pants have been in style for almost a decade -don’t tell me that’s not the work of a higher power) they get soaked and your inner thighs get to go “squish, squashy” all day as they work themselves into an extreme case of 3rd degree thigh burn due to excessive fabric friction. You are basically walking around in a crock pot of fermenting flesh stew seasoned with sweat and off brand hair care products.  Yummy, it’s not. But, off I go with a very excited daughter holding my hand.

We must have a plan I told her. “Let’s do the amusement park rides first and then the water zone. I don’t want to be flitting back and forth. We need to stay focused.” That plan lasted about 45 minutes. The lure of the waterpark slides keep calling. So our day went something like this: roller-coaster, log plume ride, rapid river ride, back to waterpark for body slides then back to roller-coaster for what my child described as a “blow dry.”

To mitigate my misery I people watched and keep a tally of tramp stamps versus belly tats. It’s while I was playing this mental agility game to past the time as my daughter downed  Dipping Dots that cost more than my first car that I noticed a woman in Uggs, freaking knee-high, fur-lined Uggs in triple digit heat. I was entranced. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. I needed to know more, like why in the hell you would wear Uggs in the middle of the summer to a water/amusement park? And not just that, but Uggs with a tankini. Who does that?

She looked maybe 40 and with those hot pink Uggs and her white swimsuit it was off-putting. She closely resembled a Benadryl capsule. I told my daughter I was going to go talk to the Crazy Ugg Lady who by this time was sitting just one picnic table over. My little one gave me attitude about it, but I said, “Hey, chill out. You have a bowl of Dipping Dots bigger than your head to eat.”  She shoveled more dots in her mouth and gave me the sigh/eye roll combo platter and watched me make my move to Uggs.

I got Uggs attention by how else, but commenting on her footwear. “Wow” I said, Uggs at a waterpark, aren’t you brave?”

She looked up at me and beamed. You would have thought I said, “Your royal highness you are a creature of beauty and perfection and bring light to a world plagued by darkness.” Let me tell you something, these Ugg chicks are easy. Note to guys who need a pick up line or serial killers – one comment about their boots and they’re yours.

She smiled at me and said, “Oh my God, I just love my Uggs so much I wear them everywhere! I even wore them when I gave birth.”

“Seriously,” I said, “Are you talking about a home birth or something or do you mean, feet, pardon, Uggs in stirrups, kind of birth?”

She laughed, “I wore these pink Uggs right here since I was having a girl and they were in stirrups for sure. That’s the way I roll! I have 23 pairs of Uggs and counting,” she proudly proclaimed.

This is when the evil forces that sometimes rule my life emerged. (Can you blame me?  I get a stirrup over-share and I’m not going to run with it.) So I said, “This is just so great seeing you here in your Uggs.  I write a blog called I Hug Uggs and I’m sure my readers would be dying to know how your love of Uggs trumps heat stroke?”

“What?” She said, “What do ya mean heat stroke?”

I replied, “It’s like hell out here and I’m sure your feet are on fire in those fur lined boots.” I said all this very slowly thinking she might already be in the early stages of some kind of a heat related health emergency.

She laughed and said, “Oh no, my feet are awesome. The wool sucks up the sweat.”  Then she began to take off one Ugg so she could show me her dry foot.  Ewww, I thought, but in the name of research I wanted to see if her foot really was dry so I stood still as her very much in need of a pedi-egg lower limb emerged and it was not just dripping sweat, but oozing, much like Niagara Falls oozies water.

Uggs seemed surprised to see her foot wet and then rammed her hand inside her boot for a secondary investigation. Her hand also come out slick with foot juice.

“Well, it looks like even the mighty Ugg can’t withstand 102 degrees at a theme park.”  I chirped.

She acted very sad, despondent even, so I added, “I mean what boot could. It’s beyond disgusting out here. If you had any other boot on I’m sure it would have been much, much worse.” That perked her right up and off she went on a passionate defense of her beloved Ugg.

God, I wish someone loved me as much as this woman loved her Australian sheep lined suede boots. Really, I could possible die happy right now if I knew someone in this big wide world of ours was that in love with me. No doubt she wants to rewrite the Declaration of Independence to read – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Uggs!  I tried to be polite and listen, after all I had encouraged her, but finally I begged off claiming my daughter and I had to get back to the rides, specifically the Spiral Flusher 2000.

The Flusher lived up to it’s name. It was a gigantic toilet bowl that you approached via a mighty slide clocking about 40 miles per hour as you rode an inner-tube down a steep incline. When you hit the toilet bowl you would make like a turd and circle the drain, so to speak, a couple of times and then get plunged down a hole to an exit tube.

The line for the Flusher was long and you had to drag a double inner-tube up about 6 million flights of stairs.  My daughter really wanted to “get flushed” so we waited for close to 90 minutes behind a group of dudes that were ground zero for the man boob epidemic currently sweeping the country. These guys weren’t fat. They had that beefy, weight lifter look, kind of like the husbands in The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Their bodies said we lift weights, but might be skimping just a bit on the cardio portion of a workout. I attributed their B cup breast to steroids. Knowledge I accumulated from an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County when Tamara’s son had to have breast reduction due to a steroid addiction. (Who says T.V. doesn’t educate?)

These busty dudes also had quite an impressive collection of tattoos. I was thinking at least two of the guys need to tattoo themselves a bra sooner than later. They had some mighty pert cleavage. I struck up a conversation with them because that’s what you do when you’re waiting in line right – talk in-depth to strangers about very personal issues?  I played the caring mother card and inquired first about their tats and then about their boobs. I just asked them right out. “Guys, what’s with the mammary muscle?”

I knew this would stump the dudes thus letting me explain to them in pseudo medical terms that they have a nice rack and probably could breast-feed an infant in a pinch or at the very least make a nice set of pacifiers. The young men explained to me that man boob was in. “It’s like a chest six pack.”

Gag, I thought. These guys are dumber than they look. I, for one, would never want to date a guy that had nicer breasts than me. Isn’t there enough competition on the boob front with females?  Do we have to start competing with the male of the species in the clevage category?  Because if we do I give up.  It’s bad enough I’m not even the 15th prettiest girl in the room, but now me – Cankles McHefty – has to consider dudes as participants in the Bust Bowl.

The whole icky boob thing was a foreshadowing of the disaster to come. Finally, after frying the sun it was my turn to board the double tube with my daughter and get flushed. I was in the back of the tube and my daughter was in the front. We took off fast and hit the toilet bowl portion of the ride screaming. We start circling the bowl and my daughter makes a rookie mistake. She thinks this is the end of the ride and abandons tube while we’re still circling the bowl. Her slim, lithe body gracefully slides down the exit tube. I do not.

The force of my daughter jumping off the tube causes me to be dumped out. Our tube is AWOL. I’m free floating, circling the bowl, bare breasted!!! The top on my one piece has been pushed down due to the water jets and pressure that make the tube circle the bowl. People, I’m riding the toilet bowl with my middle-aged, I’ve breast-fed two kids, one for longer than is socially acceptable in most 3rd world countries, girls stripped naked.

I try to grab the straps of my suit and pull it up while I circle the bowl. But, you weren’t meant to ride the bowl without a tube and my body is taking a beating. I then attempt to roll over on my stomach, like an harpooned Shamu, to disguise my topless self. Which results in my nipples are getting bitch slapped by the water jets. It was much worse than that case of mastitis I had when my son was 4 weeks old. The pain, oh the pain.

I finally cross my arms over my chest and ride out the agony of the toilet bowl. As I’m dumped down the exit tube I yank up my suit and try to make a quick exit. But no, the man boobs are waiting for me and laughing their asses off. I, with all the dignity I can muster, look them all in the eye and say, “Hey, you showed me yours, I showed you mine.  Jealous?”

I then walk away, my head held high, my spider veins glistening in the sun and my chest throbbing. I find my daughter and tell her it might just be time to call it a day.  My nipples and I have had enough.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂


9 Much Needed Waterpark Improvements

lets-go-to-the-water-parkA Waterpark, at first glance, is all fun in the sun. You splash, you slide, you tube, you get cooled off. But, anyone who has ever spent more than ten minutes at one knows that, in fact, a Waterpark is where Satan comes to vacation.

All Waterparks could use some major improvements and I’m not talking about upping the slide or water coaster thrill factor. The improvements I suggest would ensure the health and safety of anyone who is brave enough to plunge their pinkie toe into the chlorine infused swill that passes for pool water. In general, I would rather lick the bed spread at the Brokeback Mountain Motel & Trailer Park than swallow any Waterpark H20.

Think about it – you are subjecting your body to an orifice stew, a jambalaya of human excretions. Add in other assorted filth like hair dander, lice, skin infections up to and including infected tramp stamps, open sores, pink eye, puss weeping wounds, ring worm, incontinent toddlers and too lazy to leave the pool and pee children and adults, swim diapers whose structural integrity has been breached due to a massive number #2 brought on by the colonic hydrotherapy effect of the tube slide. (Seriously anyone who is constipated needs to slam down a fiber bar, chase that with some Citrus Metamucil and then head to their nearest Waterpark to do a couple of runs on a “speed” slide for an intense rectal refresh.)  Mix it all together in the wave pool and then ask yourself is there enough chlorine in the world to deactivate this liquid equivalent of a dirty bomb? That would be a NO. In my ongoing crusade to improve the lives of others (I’m a giver, people, I give and give) here is my list of urgent Waterpark improvements.

All Waterparks should implement a “Pre Park” experience. This would be a series of “attractions” that park goers would “enjoy” before they are permitted to enter the Primary Park.

Your adventure would begin with a ride on the Antibacterial Wash Coaster. After paying more than your monthly mortgage for your family’s tickets you would immediately proceed to this Coaster. Here a perky attendant will instruct you to stow your belongings, hand out goggles and then help you load into rafts. You will then be warned to not open your mouth under any circumstances due to a slight chance that you could ingest a toxic chemical or two.

After that hang on and get ready to blast off to the tunnel of clean. The coaster starts off slowly, climbing up an incline, as you’re misted with a color safe bleach based water spray. Just as the coaster plunges down a hill you experience the thrill of an antibacterial hand gel thunderstorm. This is when you notice that a lot of gel is getting blown up your backside. Due to clever engineering the bottom of each raft has holes, much like a spaghetti strainer, creating the patented “Hygiene Express Experience” for the ultimate in below the belly button cleanliness.

Remember to keep those arms up in the air as your coaster races downhill for the optimum in pit purification. Your Wash Coaster ride concludes with a clean rinse as you come to a gentle stop and journey through the grotto of hot air for a blow dry. Everyone emerges from the Wash Coaster “sanitized for their own protection” and is almost ready to get in the water.

Your next pre-park experience is the Sunscreen Spray Park where you are required to frolic in the Sunscreen Shower, SPF 70 Super Soaker and the Geyser of Coppertone.

After being saturated with sunscreen you then move on to the U.S.S. Toenail Clipper.  Shaped like a sailing vessel from the 1800’s this ship is where you can walk the plank to a good toenail clipping. No one is allowed into the “central” park without a toenail inspection. Cast members (fresh from graduating beauty college with honors) dressed in vintage sailing attire will  examine each patron’s pedicure and if one’s toenail are deemed long enough to be classified as a saber, sword or any kind of cutting utensil they are required to submit to a clip and file job before proceeding into the park. This is all done to ensure than no one’s Waterpark experience is impaired by being shanked by someone’s disgustingly long toenails in the Wavepool. The big toe is especially lethal. I mean, really, have you checked out people’s toenails at Waterparks?

Once your toenails are ship shaped it’s on to the Shave Shanty where those in need of a little razor TLC can be treated to the latest in hair removal technology.  Legs that would turn on Chewbacca, armpit ringlets, braidable back hair, beards that present a drowning hazard due to their ability to ensnare small children are all in a days work for this talented team of shaving specialists.

To ensure that the Waterpark remains a family friendly venue guest with tattoos that exhibit foul language, hate speech, sexual innuendo or any reference – written or visual to “back door action” will be asked to visit Disappearing Tattoo Island. Here make up artists will apply water and sweat proof cosmetics to mask your stupidity for the duration of your stay at the park.

You’re almost ready to enter the water, but first everyone is treated to the Swimsuit Obstacle Course.  Guests can run or walk the course that is designed to test the staying power of your swim-wear. If your suit can survive the high pressure water cannon, the soaking wet stair climb, and the bottoms up bend over without flashing any of your upstairs or downstairs junk then you can at last proceed into the main park. If your suit doesn’t pass the test than you will be re-directed to the gift shop to purchase a sensible tank suit or some nifty board shorts. If you decline the purchase opportunity a certified Wardrobe Malfunction Consultant will help secure duct tape to your swim-wear to ensure it neither slips nor slides during your visit.

Congratulations you are now permitted to enter the Waterpark where more improvements await you. Most guests will rush to the newest, high thrill rides, because of their popularity long lines are the norm. This Waterpark improvement will put the waiting to good use with a potentially lifesaving Moletopia adventure. Moletopia is a ride kiosk that will be staffed by a dermatologist who will do a cursory mole and skin cancer check – all covered by your paid park admission. You can’t tell me you haven’t stood behind someone in a Waterpark line and noticed that the moles on the dude in front in you look “suspicious.” If the doctor thinks something looks amiss then the park guest will be gently encouraged to have it checked out by their personal physician.

All Waterparks have lifeguards, but this improvement will up the park experience exponentially. Manner Mermaids will stroll the park offering etiquette guidance to unruly and slovenly guests. These elegant, refined first ladies of the sea will gently instruct park goers on manners and answer universal questions like – If a piece of funnel cake goes down by swimsuit is it okay to stick my hand in there, root around like I’m searching for a winning lotto ticket, finally locate the morsel of cake, crotch adjacent, and eat it?

The Manner Mermaids will also be on the lookout for park patrons who to delicately describe it “over towel.” These are the guests who take drying off to the extreme. The folks who go all tug of war with their towel specifically in the genital zone. I’m personally still recovering from the visual of a woman who flossed her privates with a towel for close to 10 minutes. There she was in full view doing what can best be described as going to third base with a large piece of terry cloth. I finally, in the name of decency, had to intervene and suggest that she was “probably as dried off as she was going to get.”

My final improvement would be installing a Clock of Respectability at the end of each tube and body slide. This would a covered area where you could disembark from a tube or slide without embarrassment. There is truly no way to gracefully alight from a slide or tube if you’re over the age of 40. I have had the humiliation of finding myself tossed out of  a tube and landing doggie style at the end of a ride. It was painfully unpleasant and I dare say a cornea scalding sight to behold for my fellow tubers. Inside the Cloak of Respectability would feature an array of implements to aid you in restoring your swimsuit back to it’s pre-slide position. There would be tweezers for the simple swimsuit de-wedgie procedure and surgical grade forceps for the delicate crack chasm operation where you discover a portion of your swimsuit has become entangled with your lower intestine.

I’m positive these improvements would result in increased attendance at all Waterparks and I have no doubt that they would give new meaning to the phrase – “good, clean fun.”

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to where you can find the new summer Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Snarky Tervis Tumbler anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.)

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 
To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.


Excuse Me, But There’s a Turd In the Wavepool

I am officially waterlogged.  I have spent ten days experiencing a moisture carnival. I have been swimming, floating, tubing, sliding, paddling and marinating in my own bodily juices until my skin has begun to take on the sheen of a catfish.  My wet and not so very wild adventure began at Seaworld.  Let me share with you that the spa there is one-of-a-kind.  Lucky me, I got to experience it for eleven hours straight.  I began with the hot stone massage which uses concrete stadium bleachers heated to a temperature of 120 degrees fahrenheit to sear off any dead skin and hopefully (fingers crossed) cellulite attached to my buttocks or upper thigh region.  The burning sensation takes a little getting use to, but at the suggestion of the spa attendant I sat in the dolphin “splash zone” in an attempt to cool off my flaming butt checks.   Next up on the spa menu was aromatherapy. There were so many fragrance choices to choose from that it was a little overwhelming.  Finally, I settled on the scent cornucopia featuring bold B.O., rancid churro, expiration date challenged bratswurst, sea lion excrement and baby in need of a diaper change.  It can best be described as a colonoscopy for your nasal passages.  By this time I was ready for my full body treatment.  I chose the purifying salty perspiration exfoliating scrub followed by the re-mineralizing sodium masque.  To experience the scrub I stood in line with hundreds of other people waiting their turn for the Atlantis water coaster and was rubbed and jostled by their bodies until my skin was chafed and glistening from the exchange of shared perspiration rich fluids.  The sodium masque was applied by a very large shirtless man, standing far too close to me, who used his immense belly to coat my back and swath me in his own special brand of furry man sweat. The pinnacle of the treatment was when his dude nipples, decorated with corn kernels, that I’m guessing got trapped in his chest hairs after eating the park’s roasted corn, were transferred to my back as he kept bumping into me. He then touched my back, removed the corn kernels and ate them.  Yum.  My spa experience came to a close with the invigorating Lemon Chill scalp massage administered by an idiot who spilled his icy treat on my head after getting overly excited during Shamu Rocks.

Not content with just enjoying Sea World we ventured off for two days at another waterpark.   It was wavepool, water coaster-rrific.  There is nothing that says summer like floating in communal water enriched by the urine of thousands of children. The huge wavepool became a family favorite.    Mainly, because you didn’t have to stand in line.  It featured ocean size waves and you could just float around and around.  I spent a large amount of quality time attached to an inner tube until I saw something that immediately set off my ick factor meter.  There I was enjoying being pounded by the waves, secure in the knowledge that most of my swimsuit clad body was mercifully hidden by the deep water when I spied what at first glanced looked like several black shoe inner soles. I fluttered kicked over for further inspection and my worst fears were confirmed.  Ladies and gentleman we have turds in the wavepool.  A flotilla of man size turds, at that. I abandoned tube and swam like Shamu being chased by a fleet of Japanese whaling vessels.    By the time I reached shore I headed straight to my swim bag, grabbed my half gallon Costco bottle of antibacterial hand gel (Yes, I take hand gel to the pool.  Don’t you?) and began vigorously washing myself as if I had just been exposed to nuclear radiation. (Remember Meryl Streep in Silkwood taking the shower?  That was me.) After I was pretty sure I was turd free I began looking for family members that may or may not be still in the wavepool.  Fortunately, I located my kids at the (surprise) snack bar getting a funnel cake and my husband was buying a beer (also not a surprise).  I called an emergency family meeting and issued the edict that no one should get in the wave pool until further notice.

After securing my own personal safety and that of my family members I was off to notify a lifeguard. Stat.  I found one that looked less like Malibu Barbie and more like middle-aged Ken and issued the statement: “Excuse me, but there’s a turd in the wavepool.”  I was asked to classify said turd(s), by size – infant turd, child turd, adult turd.  I gave it the adult turd rating and the chase was on to locate and apprehend.  Apparently they train for this scenario a lot because they were on it!  A special whistle toot exchange ensued that resulted in the wave machine being silenced, lifeguards shouting at everyone to get out of the wavepool, and a search and destroy team being sent into the water.   After a mere five minutes the turds had been located and scooped out of the wavepool.  A lifeguard emerged from the water holding his net high filled with his turd bounty.  Everyone clapped hoping that this meant the wavepool would soon be back on.  I had the personal satisfaction knowing that I had possible saved hundreds, maybe even a thousand swimmers from some nasty E-coli infection.  My patting myself on the back didn’t last long.  Something was wrong as hundreds of wavepool expatriates looked on as the lifeguard was walking right towards me.  I look over my shoulder hoping he’s walking towards a trash can or something, but, nope he keeps coming my way.  He stops right in front of me and says, “Ma’am is this the fecal matter you saw in the pool?”  I stammer, “Yes, I guess so. You know fecal matter looking alike and all that.”  Then I hear the pool chatter.  Everyone watching thinks it’s my turds!  That, I turded in the wavepool!”  I want to scream, “Hell no, I didn’t turd in the wavepool.  I’m your hygiene savior.  I found the turds.”  I hear people say things like, “how disgusting, gross, unbelievable, she should be thrown out of the park.”  Even my own family is backing away from me.  My husband has taken our pool bag and towels and is every so quickly and quietly distancing himself and the rest of the family from me.  I look over my shoulder at him and he says, “Maybe you should lay low until this cools down.”  I look at him, my mouth gaping open and say, “Seriously, you’re deserting me.”  He, very unsuccessfully trying not to laugh, says, “It’s for the kids safety. Go to another part of the park and hope your poopy pants reputation doesn’t follow you.”   Well, maybe he did have a point. There was still an angry crowd milling around waiting for the chlorine shock treatment of the wavepool to dissipate. We were told that would take a minimum of thirty minutes.  So, I guessed hiding out in another section of the waterpark wasn’t a bad idea. Fortunately for me I always travel with two swimsuits for each family member.  I could schlep all the way to the car, grab suit number two, a baseball hat and presto – I’m no longer the alleged “Woman Who Turds in Wavepool.”  I discreetly inform my husband of my new master plan.  He, still laughing, tells me goodbye and I’m off to assume my new identity.

I have settled in another part of the park and have even scored some coveted shade.  So, take that, family who abandoned me in my time of need.  Right over my head is the Coaster Cloud. It’s some sort of thing that has three people attached to what looks like part bungee cord, part swing set rope and they get launched into the air where they go really high and then back and forth, back and forth over a part of the waterpark until their speed slows down. I was enjoying the shrieks of the Cloud Coaster maniacs when something happened that now leaves to believe I’m cursed by the Ghost of Bodily Fluids.  As three Cloud Coaster riders soar over me one of them, (I’m hoping it was just one) barfs, hurls, blows chunks as he’s coasting. The vomit spew trail is immense because of the trajectory path of the ride and as the vomit becomes airborne the wind picks it up so it is literally raining vomit – On. My. Head.   I don’t know about you, but when I smell vomit it makes me want to vomit.  I muster all the self control I have and sprint to the bathroom and stick my head in the sink.  Thank the lord for the baseball hat which caught most if not all the chunks.  It’s at this point that I declare defeat.  I surrender.  I’m giving up my family waterpark experience and heading back to the hotel where I will take the world’s hottest, longest shower and stay in the safety of the indoors the remainder of the day.  I find my husband, who upon seeing me asks me, “Do you know you smell like puke?”  Yes, I just experienced an aerial bombardment of puke. Thank you very much.  Now give me the car keys and I’ll pick everyone up in 3 hours.  I’m officially done.

I was grateful to get to the last stop of our adventure, my parents house.  My dad is a first class germaphobe so their backyard pool is always pristine.  The whole extended family was excited to jump in the pool and began our yearly tradition of a water balloon fight to the death.  It’s every man, woman and child for themselves.  In the morning we all sat on lawn chairs using the hose to fill hundreds of balloons in preparation for the battle.  As tradition dictates each family member gets a set amount of balloon artillery.  When my dad blows his horn everyone is allowed in the water to begin the fight.  You can feel the anticipation in the air as my dad raises the horn to his lips and blows. On cue we all jump and/or bust a cannon ball into the pool and then after the splashes you begin to hear the screams.  Screams of intense pain as our bodies are being savaged by water that has been turned into a neurotoxin. Kids start crying and jumping out the pool, running for their towels and their grandma.  The adults at first groan and then no longer able to hold it in, shriek in anguish as they fight through the agony to hoist themselves out of the water.  Like a scene out of a war movie we all lay on the ground, some of us in the fetal position, rocking back and forth, whimpering as we try to figure out what went wrong, what happened.  Why are our eyes on fire?  Why does our skin hurt? Finally, I have the pain enough under control to ask my dad what happened to turn the pool water into a pond of mustard gas.  He looks guilty.  My mom looks ready to kill him.  My dad admits that in a germaphobe induced trance, triggered by the fact that seven “I might be peeing in the pool” grandkids would be in his scared watering hole all at one time, he upped the chlorine by just “a little.” And apparently “just a little” means until the water could be classified as military grade chemical weapon.  Fortunately it was nothing a family trip to the minor emergency clinic and a regimen of prescription eye drops couldn’t fix.

Suffice it to say I’m now so very, very over being wet.

*Thank you so very much for reading Snarky in the Suburbs!   You can stay up-t0-date on my blog postings by going to clicking the FB icon at the top of my blog page.