Don't get me wrong, even I don't mind sliding down a reasonably sized slide. Climb 9 steps, sit and down you go. Yippee. Fun!
It's when we take things that work and try to make them bigger that things can go horribly wrong. Which is exactly what happened when a certain, Mr Howard W. Sellner, decided to take a perfectly good 9 step slide and create the Giant Water Slide. What kind of person would take a child's slide and turn it into an anaconda? Herbert W. Sellner, That's who.
Here's today's question: One of these men on the left is a serial killer. The other is Herbert. Which man is the serial killer? A. or B.
Herbert W. Sellner is the mastermind behind the Giant Water slide. Stare at his pic for a bit of time and you'll see the likeness to your typical, upstanding community member who's buried 12 bodies in his back yard. By the way, B is your serial killer.
Tack his portrait on a wall and watch his eyes follow you. I look at his pic as I write this, and think, ah.... no doubt, SERIAL KILLER. If nothing else, how many have died on that slide of his? That would be a mass murderer. Regardless, Herb's not a serial killer (at least not that I know of.) But I'm just saying... he could be one.
I tried this once. Thumb-tacked his picture on a bedroom wall. Sure, he watched me, I understand--I'm an interesting woman. But when I thought I saw him peeping through my kitchen window, I started dating a cop.
Nonetheless, we go to the carnival as a group. That would be me, my 15 year-old son, Justin and my 8 year old twins, Nick and Brian. After a few rides, we find ourselves directly in front of the Giant Water Slide. Immediately, my boys stripped to their suits and jump in line. After two rounds, they make their way over to me.
"Mom! Mom! You have to do the slide!"
"I don't do rides," I reply, knowing the conversation usually ends here.
"This isn't a ride! You said you'd do the slide."
Hadn't I mentioned the 10 step rule on the way over? "10 steps. That's as high as I climb."
"You can do this, Mom. It's just a slide."
"Do it, Mom."
There's such a thing as mob mentality and it suddenly ignites. They surround me and their movement toward the slide drives me along with them. Reluctantly, I hand them my t-shirt and began the long, treacherous climb. The line behind me keeps growing and by the time I reach the top, there's no turning back.
I looked over the the side and see my kids, two blue dots and a yellow, far below. Only one person stands between me and the descent to hell. I turn to the distracted carnie. He absentmindedly takes my ticket. Is this guy high?
"Excuse me, please" I say too loud. The slide dwellers behind me start to mumble. "Sir?" I touch his shoulder.
"Well, hello there, young lady." I'm in my forties. Who does he think he's kidding?
"Many accidents on the slide?" I ask.
"I keep a close eye on everyone," he says, his eyes glued to my cleavage.
Meanwhile, the young girl ahead of me let's go of the rail and starts screaming, "Get me off of this, I don't..." she disappears around the first curve. My estimate? she was doing at least 65.
"Ah, sir? The girl wants off!"
He turns to check but she is already gone. I hear faint screaming somewhere below.
It's my turn. The pressure's on. The line burgeons behind me.
"I can't do the slide. I thought I could until I reached the top," I say to the carnie.
Behind me, a teenage boy says, "You can do it!"
"Sure you can," his friend adds.
"Yes, you can!" shouts another.
"Do it!" Another chimes in. "Do it."
"Do it! Do it! Do it!" A chant begins.
I see my kids, far below, moving up and down like jumping beans. Are they chanting, too? I do a quick scan of the carnival. It seems everyone is focused on me, jumping up and down, chanting. I feel dizzy. Is that group to the far left doing 'the wave' as they chant?
"DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!
I lean close to the carnie . The smell of engine oil and grease overwhelms me.
"Listen," I whisper. I can't do the slide. I'm a Jew. We climb, but don't like coming back down.. Ever since we roamed in the desert and..."
"Ah, yeah, the Moses thing," he laughs.
"Why yes." I'm impressed he knows. Are there Jewish carnies?
Moses climbed the mount and upon his descent, he fell, broke a leg and kvetched about it for months. Try wandering in the desert with a Jewish guy who has a broken leg. Of course, this is a little know 'fact' and who knows what's true and what's not ... but as we Jews say, why take a chance?
"I get of that a lot ...Moses and the fall," he says, showing off his too-bright, upper denture and three lower teeth.
"DO. IT. DO. IT. DO. IT." The chanting takes on a life of its own.
"Is there another way down?" I'm a dental Hygienist. If I had brought one of my cleaning instruments with me, I'd scrape that tartar off his bottom teeth ... or maybe not. I once cleaned a guy's teeth-- all he had were three, lower front teeth. Once the tartar was removed, the teeth moved like drunk sailors.
"Hey," he says, as I open the door. Wanna get a beer and a cotton candy? I get off tonight around 11."
"Oh, that sounds like soooooooooooo much fun," I say sweetly. "I've got to work tomorrow and am in bed by 10."
"What about tomorrow?" I hear him faintly. I'm already at the bottom step.
As flattered as I am that carnies and crack addicts find me attractive, and touched that they are the only men with the chutzpah to come on to me...
I have a 20 tooth rule.