Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Bumper Boats

OOOOH! How cute! Look at the kids floating around in the bumper boats. The riders steer themselves as the boat's motor, (usually electric) powers them about across the water. 

When you put your child in a ride like the bumper boats, you want them to be safe. I've seen parents wading around in the water, following their little bumper-boated kid--just to be there if the bumper boat were to tip, or if their kid climbs out, or becomes aggressive--even worse, if someone else's kid bumper-bullies. Being harassed repeatedly while calmly floating in your own boat--can, I've been told, create long-lasting emotional wounds. In fact, some kids will never get in a boat again....which leads me to this:

As I reflect on my own childhood experiences, I remember that these sort of boat rides took place in a long, narrow canal-like pathway. Moving without any motor that we could see, there was no other direction we could go. We could turn the steering wheel, but it make no difference. It was a fake. 

Back in the good ole days, my dad had purchased a one-seat, fiberglass speedboat. The rider's legs flanked straight out on either side of the steering wheel, vertical with and on top of,  the boat's front. A single passenger boat--but what the hell? My sister was 5 years old, tops. Taking her for a spin across the lake and back in a boat for one seemed harmless. She was, after all small--not weighing much. She really didn't count as a real person. 

My dad got into the boat and sat my sister between the steering wheel and himself. Off they went, cruising across the lake. My dad calling to everyone--"Look at this boat! Have you ever seen anything like it?" After all, this was the newest, edgiest boat on the market. People in other boats gave him hardy thumbs up. The shoreline crowd moved closer to the lake to watch the cool guy in the newfangled speed boat.

Not my father.
My father loved basking in the spotlight. "Hello to you," my father shouted to every passerby. Zooming back and forth. Making crazy 8s and zig-zags. He did a George Washington crossing The Delaware pose as he criss-crossed in one direction, striking a body building pose on his way back.  
Not my father.

was jumping up and down--thrilled by the speed, the sound, the idea of being the only ones with a 'neat-o' boat. My brother ran along the beach.                                         

My father took the boat into a fast curve--and something went wrong--flipping the boat and dumping my father and sister into the lake. My father, drama king that he was, grabbed my sister and began the side stroke, pulling her with him. He tried to keep both of their heads above water...He was struggling, we all could tell. 

"Help!" my dad called to a lifeguard who looked up and then over to a group of kids playing on a large boulder.

"For God's sake! Help us," my father screams.

The lifeguard turns to my father, who is huffing, trying to save both himself and my father from what he thought was imminent--death by drowning. "Save the child," my father yells. "I've accepted my fate."

The life guard picks up a megaphone and yells to my father. "Sir...?"

We all glanced from the lifeguard to my father.

"Sir! Stand up."

My father stopped momentarily, as if trying to understand what the lifeguard meant. Then, in one quick movement, he stood up. The water, at best, was thigh-high.  Everyone on the shore began to laugh. Everyone close by in boats--howled. Everyone was in hysterics. Everyone, that is, except my father.

He looked toward us. It was written across his face.... and that of any possible Jew at the lake. We're Jews. What do we know about boating?

My brother, upon seeing that dad was okay, broke into the chant--originally used the first time anyone slipped coming upstairs from the living room to the bedrooms. It was a small flight of stairs and the possibility of real injury was low... 

"6.7, 5.4. 6.2, 3.4 (the French judge) and 5.8, " my brother yelled as if he was a panel of Olympic judges. Not bad for a Jew.

I don't know what happened to the boat. We never saw it again. But I can tell you this: whenever we kids went to a carnival that had boats, my mom warned us to never under any circumstances mention them when we got home. 

Some wounds are just too damn hard to heal.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

THE TUNNEL OF LOVE (The Dark ride, Fun In The Dark)

I like this ride. No, I love this ride and I'll tell you why: Sex. I'd like to say how fab. this ride is--the sudden twists and turns, the ghosts and monsters that light up. Creatures that threaten, scenes of gruesome activities that seem to be happening as you pass. You can even eat the 3 boxes of Milk Duds hidden in your jacket in one sitting...but  as much as I love this ride, I'll never ride it again.

My twins, my 12 year old and I are outside the Fun House. The kids jabber. "Let's go in. Let's go in!" I roll my eyes. I just wasn't in the mood to take two 5 year-old, very active (Okay, wild.) kids.
Wild you may ask?
Okay, here's an example:
They were two years old. 
My house was child proof. I mean everything. Drawers, cabinets, outlet blocks. My twins were playing quietly in the den. I ran upstairs to retrieve a book. I was upstairs maybe 8 seconds, max. When I returned to the den, they were gone.
"Brian. Nick," I call.
No answer.
I search downstairs. They were no where to be seen. I hurried upstairs. Not there either. I checked the cabinets (I couldn't open those damn child proof locks.) Had they gone outside? It wasn't possible. All doors had sliding locks on the top corner. I ran downstairs to check the locks on the doors. Everything was still locked. Borderline panic looms above me. I grabbed my keys, opened the lock on the door leading into the garage.

What I saw when I entered the garage...a chair had been slid over to Daddy's workbench. One of the twins was standing by the chair wearing a pair of safety glasses, a plastic wrench from his toddler tool box in his hand.
Aw...how cute, you may say.
The other was on daddy's workbench--plug in one hand, daddy's drill in the other.
They had taken the kitchen broom, slid the child proof  with the handle. Once in the garage, they used the broom to slide it back to a child-proof locked position and let it drop to the floor. I had it figured out. Damn child proof locks only keep adults out of things. Kids have no problem figuring these things out.
My parents came to visit from the mid-west. I thought I'd impress them with how brilliant their little grandchildren were. I scooped one of the twins up into my arms. Once he settled, I called my parents over.
"Check this out," I say proudly. "Show Papa your happy smile."
Nick smiles.
My parents are thrilled, discussing the fact that even though the twins were only half Jewish, the brains came from mom. Mechanical smarts, from his Dad (not a Jew) which reminds me of a funny joke.
Q. How do you get a Jewish girl to stop fucking?
A. Marry her.
I can tell this  'joke' because I'm Jewish.
But I digress.
"Show Papa your sad face."
Oh how cute. Isn't he cute? We all nod in agreement.
Show Papa your happy cute. Every coos at the twins
"Show Papa your angry face." Nick tightens his hand into a fist. makes an angry face and yells, "You Fuck!"

Needless to say, I didn't want to climb in a boat with these guys...my 12 year-old, Justin, steps up to the plate. "I'll take 'em mom."
I help everyone into the boat and off they go.

"Too bad,"
"Huh?" I turn and see a beautiful Latino man behind me. Mocha skin, dark eyes, hair tied back in a low pony tail.
"Too bad--you're missing a great ride." I love that Spanish accent. Love it. Love it. Love it.
"I didn't want to go with my boys," I replied. I just stood there, staring. As I've stated before, the only men that have the nerve to approach me are Carnies and crack smokers. He was neither.
"Want to?" I may have said yes. I think I said yes.
He grabs my hand and leads me to a boat.
The tunnel doors close behind us. Somewhere ahead, I hear my boys pleading to their brother, "Why can't I? The water's not deep."
X 's leg lightly rubs against mine. Yum.
"This is fun, " I say, lightly touching his arm. "Thanks."
"Yes. It is," he whispers in my ear.
We've made a rough turn and are in a completely black part of the tunnel. We start kissing. Deep, soft, wet kisses. On my neck. His face. My shoulder. His hand.
It's good. We can't wait any longer--unfortunately this ride is not twenty minutes--which is the minimum amount of time that I  usually need. I don't care.
He's rubbing his hands all over me. Under my tank top. Under my bra, up my dress...
And I'm all over him.
My nails dig into his back as he starts to sneak one finger--
I'm spinning on the tip of a needle.  Feels good. Feels so good.
I reach into his shorts and mumble "Oh,my god you are so--"
His mouth meets mine. I feel engulfed in a thick billowy cloud. And the pleasure. Oh the please he's giving me."
"No!" I hearJustin's voice ahead. A splash. "Oh Fuck! Get back in the boat."
I don't want X to stop. Even with the splash. Even with the "Get back in the boat."
I'm on the edge. La petite mort is seconds away. This may be a world record. He's moving his fingers. I'm moving my hand.
"Get Back In The Fucking Boat."
I'm ready to pop. And as my body tightens, as sparks begin ricochet inside of me," To I stop and yell at them, or do I let this much wanted orgasm, I make a quick decision
I scream out in ecstasy, "Get in. Get in Get in the fucking boat."
I open my eyes as we crash through the tunnel doors to the bright light.
I wipe my hand on my dress. He's smelling his fingers.
"Mom, Nick climbed out of their boat, " Justin yells.
"No, it was Brian," Nick yells.
"Justin pushed me."
"I did not," Justin shoots back.
"All three of you are soaking wet. We're leaving. Now!"
One of those fights is about to erupt.
"You're soaking wet, too," X whispers."Will you visit me here tonight? I get off at eleven."
"What do you mean?"
"I run the Merry-go-round."
And there it was. He was a carnie. No wonder he came on to me.
But he has his teeth. A carnie with teeth? This is a once-in-a-life-time discovery.
"I stop by if I can get away."  I knew I wouldn't.
Some rides are the best if you only ride them once.