Last Friday was my daughter Emma’s twelfth birthday. Saxon took the day off work so we could celebrate as a family. The day began by eating birthday cake for breakfast. Emma designed the cake herself. She took a photo of one of her paintings (our house is decorated in Emma’s cool artwork) and Walmart duplicated it onto a cake. It was not only beautiful but it tasted good, too. After the cake we inhaled helium from balloons and sang “Sweet Home, Alabama.”
Next, we changed into our bathing suits, picked up Emma’s friend Aubrey and took off for Big Splash water park in Tulsa. Big Splash is lots of fun. Giant slides, a Lazy River, a wave pool, a climbing wall and my favorite part – a chaise lounge in the shade where I could read.
Saxon talked me into going on the Lazy River. (But don’t let its name fool you.) First you have to squeeze your butt into a big innertube and plop down into a river of rushing water. Then you get sucked up a big hill, through a curving tunnel and dropped over three waterfalls on your way down. I found it downright frightening. Especially since my grown-up ass barely fit in the innertube.
The first time I went on the Lazy River I got caught in a whirlpool at the top of the River. I went in circles for a good five minutes before being dropped over the waterfall. (I may or may not have screamed.) By the third waterfall my ass had unstuck from the innertube and I went over head first and ass last. By the time I blubbered to the surface, Emma, Aubrey and Saxon were laughing hysterically at me. I had also jammed my knee when I fell and it hurt like a sumbitch. (I may or may not have cried a little.)
I shook off the injury and let Saxon talk me into trying it again. I was determined to keep myself upright. This time the second waterfall shot me out of the innertube like a cannonball. I was bucked out of the river and landed on the sidewalk on my shoulder. I flopped about like a beached whale (I may or may not have screamed) until a nice lifeguard helped me squeeze my butt back into the innertube and tossed me back into the river. I successfully navigated the third waterfall without incident. I looked around and Saxon wasn’t at the bottom yet. After a few minutes I heard her laughing. Or was she screaming? Saxon shot out of the tunnel, hit the third waterfall, flipped over and sank. By the time she floated to the surface I was bleeding where my shoulder had been flayed by the sidewalk and she was acting like a little crybaby because she had fallen out of her innertube on all three waterfalls. We decided to exit the Lazy River before one of us got killed. (We ignored the taunts of Emma and Aubrey.)
We went to the wave pool with the other five hundred people and floated. It was nice and peaceful and didn’t cause bodily harm. My shoulder had stopped bleeding and I felt at one with the Universe. Then Saxon said she had to go to the bathroom. I replied, “Don’t be silly, pee in the pool like I just did.” (To those dozen people who overheard me and rushed out of the water: I WAS JUST KIDDING!)
Next we decided to try the small slide. This went without incident except when Saxon stubbed her big toe climbing the stairs. (It hurt real bad and still has a bruise. She made me insert this part.)
Four hours later, we got back into our car to head home. We were thirsty, hungry and cranky. We made a pit stop at Quik Trip to fortify ourselves for the long drive. I needed caffeine so I grabbed a cup and headed for the slushie cappuccino machine. I had never worked one of these machines before, but it looked simple enough. It had a big black plastic handle with a “P” written on it. I grabbed the handle and pulled. The handle broke off. I looked around. Nobody saw me do that. I stuck the handle back on and pulled again. This time the handle snapped in half. I looked around. Nobody saw me break it. I put the handle (now in 2 pieces) beside the machine and slunk off. There was an identical machine on the other side of the store. I watched a woman use it. She pressed on the handle and coffee slushie sloshed into her cup. (Oh. My bad. The “P” stood for ‘press,’ not ‘pull.’) I waited my turn, then pressed and got my slushie. Except it wasn’t so slushie. It had melted into just plain old cold coffee. Oh, well. I figured I would just add some ice cubes to it and call it good. I stood in line for the ice maker. When it was my turn I pressed my cup against the metal contraption. The machine growled, jerked left to right, then vibrated like an unbalanced washing machine. I jumped away and shielded my face.
Saxon tapped me on the shoulder. “Maybe we should leave before you destroy the entire store.”
Once home, we all changed clothes and went to Emma’s favorite Chinese restaurant. It was a buffet and we were all happy and eating and going back for seconds. I picked at my plate and also picked at Saxon’s plate because she had gotten stuff I hadn’t seen and that’s what cool about having a girlfriend, they don’t mind if you eat off their plate, too. I speared a chunk of chicken-something off Saxon’s plate and chewed it – Blech! It was all gristly! I spit it out onto my plate. I was taking a drink of water when Saxon said, “I can’t believe you put that in your mouth. I had just spit it out because it was gristle.” (omg, I put something in my mouth that Saxon had just chewed and spit out?!)
I choked. And I’m not going to incriminate myself by telling you that I spewed water out my nose and pooted at the same time, but let’s just say that Emma and Aubrey and Saxon laughed until they cried and the people in the table behind us got up and moved.
Later that night we watched an old Joan Crawford movie that was so bad it was good. We had a fun interactive movie experience. (That means we yelled at the actors on the screen.) “Joan, look behind you!” “Omg, you stupid woman, he has a gun!” “Don’t just stand in the closet and cry, kick him in the nuts!”
Emma’s birthday finally came to a close and as I kissed her goodnight, I said, “What was the best part of your day?”
Emma answered, “I liked it all, but my favorite part was when you shot water out your nose and farted at the same time.”
“Well,” I said, “You only turn twelve once.”
making the world a happier place, one book at a time.