Southern Man

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Swirly Saturday

Being a frequent provider of entertainment for his three children, Southern Man has procured season passes to the local amusement park, meaning we can drop by at a whim and not pay a dime for parking or admission. Several such outings have been made already. The older kids (if present) generally head out to do their own thing and Southern Man plays escort to his precious seven-year-old daughter.

This is a good thing in many ways. It's a most low-pressure kind of afternoon. Little decision-making is required of Southern Man at the park - all he really needs to do is follow his little darling and lay out her pre-designated spending money as directed on whatever junk catches her eye and enjoy whatever she elects to do. Sometimes she selects nice friendly attractions like the outdoor ampitheatre (where you sit outside in the shade and rest your feet and sip from your water bottle and listen to the music) or the magic show (where you sit inside in air-conditioned comfort and eat popcorn and are entertained for an hour) or the log plume or the renegade rapids (where you sit in a log or a raft for a relatively gentle ride that serves mainly to get you nice and wet on those hot Southern afternoons) or the swings or the carousel (which are even more gentle and serve mainly to dry you off again). That's sometimes. Unfortunately, what she often elects to do are what she terms the "swirly" rides.

The swirly rides go round and round and round and round and round until Southern Man has had quite enough and then they go round and round and round and round and round some more and then they finally slow down and then they finally stop, at which time Southern Man manfully disguises the fact that what he really wants to do is lurch to the nearest handrail and hurl whatever amusement-park food might remain in his system onto the crowd below but instead exits with his daughter with as much grace and decorum as he can manage and staggers down the exit ramp without making it too obvious that those handrails are there just for him.

At which time she invariably says "Wow, dad, that was great! Let's ride it again!"

And then we ride it again.

Last week she conned me onto some horrific rotational contraption called the Terrible Twister - in which you stand with your back to the wall and then which spins round and round and round and round and round, faster and faster and faster and faster and faster until you are fairly glued to that wall and then the floor drops out from under your feet and the damn thing still spins round and round and round and round and round until you would pay any price to just please make it stop - and rode it eighteen times in a row. Southern Man bailed out early and took refuge on the upper deck and had a hard time keeping his lunch down just watching her. Even the ride attendant was ashen after a while. The girl must have a cast-titanium tummy. The only reason she stopped at all is that we ran out of time and had to leave to pick up one of her siblings.

And Southern Man is looking forward to many, many more Swirly Saturdays with his precious daughter!


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