The Tubelessness Problem… (Plus: The Joker turns over a new leaf…)

22 03 2009

I don’t think any of us like thinking about the homeless.  I know I don’t.  It’s a depressing problem that distracts me from the important parts of my life, like deciding whether to flat-call or 3-bet preflop with QQ and the new episode of “24.”  Seriously, I don’t have time to think about depressing poor people with that shit on my mind.  But when I do think about them, it’s hard not to wonder what type of circumstances force someone into that sort of life, and what line of thinking leads them to beg, prostitute themselves, or even steal.  Recently, I got a taste of how one might do things they never imagined in a desperate situation.  (Though this taste, to be fair, came in “spoiled white boy without a care in the world” flavor.)

Tugs at your heart strings, doesn't it?  I mean, it doesn't tug hard enough to make you want to do something about it...but enough to make you speed up so you don't have to look at it as long.

Tugs at your heart strings, doesn't it? I mean, it doesn't tug hard enough to make you want to do something about it...but enough to make you speed up so you don't have to look at it as long.

I recently made my second ever trip to Water Park of America, which, as readers of this blog know, is “America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!” and also may or may not be owned by a floating-or-very-tall ancient chinese man.  Now if you have never been to Water Park of America (America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!), you need to know that they have two different types of water slides: the regular kind where you just scoot down on your bum and/or back, and tube slides, which are bigger slides you ride down on an inflatable inter-tube.  You also need to know that the regular slides kind of suck: the joints where the pieces of slide come together have a tendency to scratch up your bum and/or back.  The tube slides, however, are the bomb, but they also have a problem: you need a tube.  The tubes at Water Park of America (America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!) are distributed in a very random, unorganized, and wonderfully American way: it’s first come, first serve, and once you have a tube you keep it for as long as you can keep your hands on it.

So yesterday, K-Bell and I find ourselves at Water Park of America (America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!), desperately wanting to go down the tube slides (as we had already torn our backsides up something fierce on the regular slides), but lacking a tube.  And as it was a Saturday, the evening, and plenty busy, there was not a spare tube to be found.  Every tube in the joint was in the greedy hands of some snotty eight year old or cute couple or, in rare cases, entire families, who piled onto a single tube five at a time and floated through the water park like some sort of fat, human barge.

Plan A for K-Bell and I to take ourselves out of the rank of the “tubeless” and become proud, responsible tube owners: begging.  We stood along the shores of the large pool where the two tube slides emptied it’s blessed riders out, thinking someone coming off the ride might be tube-slided out and decide to pass their bounty on to us.  The problem: there was a crowd almost three people deep waiting at that exact spot.  Of course, I thought, this is the most obvious begging spot.  We’ll never get a tube here.

So we searched for less obvious spots to set up our pity-shop.  The mouth between the stream and the wave pool…nope, already a fat lady and her fat kids standing there, imploring everyone who floated past for a little tube charity.  Moving further up the stream that went around the water park, we found fewer fellow tubeless to compete with, but also comparatively fewer tubers from which to attempt to scam off of.  It was the ultimate Catch-22.

Begging clearly wasn’t going to work.  The next level we sunk to: prostitution.  “Go up to one of these little boys and tell them you’ll show them your boobs for their tube,” I suggested to K-Bell.  I thought that was a fair trade, and would probably make the decade of some lucky nine or ten year old.

“Why don’t you find some little girl on a tube and show her your penis?” K-Bell countered.  I considered this briefly, and wondered if an evening of magical tube sliding would be worth jail time and having to spend the rest of my life knocking on my neighbors doors and greeting them with, “Hello, I just moved into the neighborhood, and I am required by law to inform you that…”

Prostitution was out.  It was at this point that I began to genuinely resent the people with tubes.  Each and every one of them just looked…arrogant.  Smug.  Floating past me, on their tubes, splashing happily.  Cocky, unconcerned in their tube-filled world.  I noticed that the lucky tubers seemed to avoid eye-contact with those unfortunate tubeless.  Why the hell did these assholes deserve a tube, when I have none, I wondered to myself?  Many of the tubers were not even going down the tube slide! They were just floating pointlessly, not even using the tube for it’s God-given purpose.  One group we walked past had their tube leaned up again the rail, covered in wet towels, while they smugly ate dinner.  What a waste!  I didn’t just resent the people with tubes…I hated them!  They thought they were so much better than us, just because they lucked out and got a tube!  Fuckers fuckers fuckers!

About the tubes: there are two different types.  Regular, and double tubes, which is like two of them joined together, Siamese style.  These double tubes could be used by two people (such as K-Bell and I) to go down the slides together.  As K-Bell noted, there were several people, usually small children, using double tubes by themselves.  Again, what a waste!  K-Bell came up with the great idea of asking two of these people to join up, and ride one of these double tubes together, so that we could use a double tube.  We contemplated this “redistribution” of the tube wealth, and although it sounded great to us, we realized that the tube owners would be unlikely to just voluntarily share one tube when they already had one all to themselves.

Though it shames me greatly, I must confess that at this point I had a dark thought: the only way K-Bell and I would ever acquire the precious tube we needed to enjoy tube-sliding goodness…was to take someone  else’s.  I looked around, trying to find someone who might carelessly turn their back on their tube, allowing me to quickly grab it in their moment of inattention and run off with it.  Or, perhaps a small child or elderly person, who wouldn’t be able to put up much of a fight…it would be so easy to dump one of them into the water, and as they attempted to resurface and regain their bearings, steal away with their precious water-vehicle.

Alas, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Eventually, realizing it was hopeless and that we would never be able to enter that wonderful, magical world of full-fledged tube ownership, K-Bell and I left the park, our heads hung low, our hearts broken, and our minds empty of any beautiful, laughing, tube-sliding memories.  I don’t think anyone with a tube noticed we were gone.


A quick bonus story, unrelated to the one above except for the fact that it occurred while K-Bell and I were eating dinner that night.  This story either illustrates the difference between boys and girls, or illustrates the tragic lack of “Batman” knowledge being taught to our young.  You choose.

When I was recovering from my surgery in August, K-Bell, knowing my love for Batman, bought me one of the Batman action figures that were popular at the time due to the recent release of the movie “The Dark Knight.”  During dinner, she told me that for my upcoming stay in the hospital, she had looked for a “Joker” action figure to go with it, but was unable to find one.  She ended this story by sarcastically lamenting, “So Batman won’t have a friend to go with him.”  This ridiculous statement prompted the following conversation between us, which I am paraphrasing:

Me: Batman and Joker aren’t friends.

K-Bell: Well, you know what I mean.  Sometimes they’re friends.

Me: I most definitely don’t know what you mean.  They are never friends.

K-Bell: Sure, when you were a little kid, you know, didn’t you ever [she mimics enacting a fight with the two action figures] but then sometimes you’re all like [she mimics having Batman and Joker holding hands or having tea together or something] “Oh, hey, we’re friends today.”

Me: No.  Never.  Batman and Joker are never ever ever friends.

K-Bell: Never?  So they just keep fighting forever?  The Joker never learns his lesson or something?

Me: No.  Never

Bless your heart, K-Bell: the only person I know who has so much faith in humanity and goodness that she thinks the motherfucking Joker can turn over a new leaf.



3 responses

22 03 2009

I think I am going to move past and not comment on the picture you painted of me here, timmygee. 😉 You continue to amaze me. Next time we bring our own tubes, btw.

23 03 2009

Devils advocate: I think the Batman and Joker are friends but not in a social, traditional, hold hands, drink from the same milkshake variety but more in an emotional, looked down upon by society, picked last for the dodgeball game at phy ed type friends of circumstance. See how they banter and don’t always kill each other when that is the apparent thing they should do? They need each other because they are very similar in many ways (as friends are usually). They’re bad apples of the same tree and maybe one of the didn’t fall as far from the tree as the other but Batman has his own selffish decisions he makes; besides, whose to know if Gotham City really is worth saving? Maybe a good cleansing is just what it needs and Batman is just prolonging the suffering and delaying the inevitable which would mean he is the one who didn’t fall far from the tree. Now, if you’re talking about the old TV show Batman…. well he is not the same and is more like a hold hands, wear spandex, throw casual insults and hit the “bad guys” with some well placed three and four letter sound effects. Ahh, simpler times… simpler times.

23 03 2009

Two words: WAVE. POOL. You wait till some kid gets popped off of his tube and is drowning. If there is not a wavepool at your waterpark, I apologize.

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