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.

The impossible dream…

28 12 2008

Don’t you absolutely hate it when someone comes up to you and wants to tell you about the dream they had last night? The dreamer always thinks their dream is so God-damn interesting, but it’s really just a bunch of vague nonsensical images that have no relevance to the listener, and it’s a giant waste of everyone’s time. Don’t you absolutely, positively, hate when people do that?

Too fucking bad.

So last night, I had this dream. I was at the Water Park of America, which is “…America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!” (according to them). I was there by myself, for some reason. I mean, not like I was the only person in the park, but I wasn’t there with any friends. I was alone. Which is strange since I can’t imagine just going to a water park by myself. But anyway, I am going down the inter tube slides, because I hate the body slides…the water splashes so far into your face you feel like you are drowning by the end of it…but every time I get to the end of the slide, I lose my tube. For those of you who have been there, you know this is a big problem…rubber tube’s are a precious commodity at Water Park of America (America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!).

But somehow, even though I keep losing my tube, a new one magically appears from under the water just as I am about to get to the edge of the pool. So I am having a great time, tubing down the slides by myself, when suddenly it is time for Water Park of America (America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!) to close for the night.  Bummer.  So I float in my tube that I haven’t lost this time towards the exit, when I see the owner of Water Park of America (America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!) standing there.  The owner is a very ancient and wise looking Chinese man, like you always see in the kung fu movies who advise the hero.  Sort of like Mr. Miyagi, but more grizzled.  Also, this very ancient and wise looking Chinese guy is super tall, or maybe just floating.  And he says to me in that very ancient and wise way, “Tim, would you and all your friends like to stay the night in my hotel, and play in my water park, for FREE!”

Well as it just so happens to turn out, I would like this.  Very much.  So I say, “Yes, Ancient-And-Wise-Super-Tall-Or-Maybe-Just-Floating-Chinese-Guy.  I would like that very much.”  So the owner tells me I need to call Nikki W., who for some reason is staying at another hotel with all my friends, and get her and the whole gang over here.

(It’s important to note at this point that I’ve actually met the REAL owner of Water Park of America (America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!), and he is neither Chinese nor very tall.)

Yep, that’s him.  From my dream, I mean.  Not the real owner.

So now I need to call my friends, but I have to put my clothes on first, for some reason.  And you know how when you put on clothes, and you are all wet, and it takes forever because the cling to you?  It feels like I am putting my clothes on in slow motion, and I am panicking because I need to call Nikki W. before the place closes.  So I get my clothes on, and I get my cellphone, but it’s not my cellphone.  First of all, it’s fucking gigantic.  Like, bigger than any cellphone has ever been in the history of the universe.  It looks like an over-sized prop from a Benny Hill sketch.  Also, for some reason, I have to plug it into an electrical outlet for it to work.  And if you’ve ever tried to find an electrical outlet in an indoor water park, you know they are sort of hard to come by.

So instead I take my giant ass cellphone to the restaurant, and use one of their plug ins, and I get a hold of Nikki W.  But Nikki tells me I am supposed to be at the theater, because apparently I am starring in “Man of La Mancha” and it has already started without me.  So I race over to the theater, which by a happy coincidence is right by the Water Park of America (America’s Biggest Indoor Water Park Hotel!), and I get inside the theater, except is sort of looks like my old apartment, but the show is going on and I get there right in time to sing “The Impossible Dream,” which I think is weird since I might be the most God-awful singer in existence, and I maybe know 30% of the lyrics to that song.

BUT!  I am awesome.  I sing a perfect rendition, and I am expecting all my friends to be in the audience, but they are not.  However, the cast of the TV show “Friends” are there, and they think I am fantastic!  Well, except for Lisa Kudrow, who thinks I was a little “pitchy.”  I don’t know what pitchy means, and when I ask her to explain it, she tells me not to be such a smart-ass, but suddenly she is still Lisa Kudrow but she’s also sort of my dad.  And my dad is telling me that I should have picked a song that is in my “range” and I still don’t know what that means and I am trying to tell my dad that it is a musical not a karaoke bar, I don’t get to pick what I sing, and THEN my old college director shows up and apparently she was directing this show and she tells me that, yes, I could have picked to sing whatever I wanted, and I’m all like, “What the fuck?” and then I wake up.

Awesome, huh?

And now, some interpretation, courtesy of


To dream that you are alone, indicates feelings of rejection. You may be feeling that no one understand you.

Oh,  You know me all too well.  It’s true.  I’m so misunderstood.


To dream that you are on or see a waterslide, suggests that you� are being swept away by your emotions. You are slowly exploring the realm of your unconscious. Alternatively, the dream suggests that you are going with the flow of things without any objections or resistance.

Wow.  Super analysis, there.  So, I’m either being swept away and am out of control, or I am relaxed and going with the flow.  Yep, it’s definately one of those.


To see something old in your dream, suggests that there is something in your life that you need to replace or get rid of.

So long, showering regularly!  You’re out of here.


To dream that you are wet, suggests that you are drenched or overcome with your emotions. It also signifies a spiritual cleansing, rebirth or renewal.

Could also signify that I have just been dreaming about water slides for the past 15 minutes.  Maybe?  Possibly?  Just a guess.


To sing in your dream, represents happiness, harmony and joy in some situation or relationship. You are uplifting others with your positive attitude and cheerful disposition. Singing is a way to celebrate, communicate and express your feelings.

Blah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!  Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…ha…ha…ha ha…ha…ha…ha…ha…ha………ha…….ha……<gasps for air>….AH ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….


To see your father in your dream, symbolizes authority and protection. It suggests that you need to be more self-reliant. Consider also your waking relationship with your father.

…ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa HA ha ha ha ha ha….ha….ha….ohhh….oh boy….ha…ha.  My favorite part was when I was “uplifting others” with my “positive attitude” and “cheery disposition”.  Good one.  Now what’s the about my dad?