Thursday, July 06, 2006

Like Wal-Mart, miniature digital cameras, and diaper-wearing cats, the concept of a water park is far better than the executed product. There are plenty of exciting rides to experience, people to anonymously grope, and even a large play area for the children to frolic in and enjoy. Parents who bring their little ones have ample room to sit around and do nothing (which they seem to enjoy), and fun is to be had by everyone. The trip down to the wet fun zone is filled with joy, delight, and anticipation. But as soon as you set foot onto the filthy concrete ground of the park, you stare with squinted eyes as all of the delight you so recently possessed evaporates into thin air, so much like the surrounding chemical-laden fluid.

The water park in question here is none other than Georgia’s own White Water. A real peach she is. Beyond the obvious filth and general stench of this water-wonderland, the vast majority of its problems lie in the people who actually visit it. Admittedly, White Water isn’t exactly located in the “filet mignon” of the state. It lies just on the border of the “paper towels and mustard” region, to keep the culinary metaphor afloat. Most of its patrons aren’t the classiest folk around, and their strange ways of talking and facial expressions show this. The combination of filth and country-fresh hill-folk inspire images of the park only as a dirty bathroom floor covered in white trash.

Speaking of dirty bathroom floors covered in trash, those were certainly provided as well. Except instead of just white trash, the floors were covered with an ample dose of urine. The fact that going bare-foot around the park is suggested doesn’t make the walk over the cold, slick tiles of the bathrooms any more appetizing. Urinals that extend all the way to the floor are lined up all along the wall, which only cater to having even more buckets of penile-fluid splash across the floor. Odors pour from each of the stalls opposite the urinals. Upon further inspection, I can declare that those odors are the result of un-flushed poop nuggets, urine trickled haphazardly on the toilet seat, and an assortment of cigarette butts and other charming litter lying limply on the floor or floating in the bowl. Changing into dry clothes at the close of my day of fun while locked in one of these chambers-of-hillbilly-paraphernalia-and-dung proved to be a balancing act of Barnum and Bailey proportions. I had to balance one foot on a sandal that was floating on top of the thin film of pee resting atop the tiles. While doing this, I had to slide my wet, E coli-soaked bathing suit around my enormous Johnson and legs and then rest it carefully on the dusty toilet paper dispenser. As I stood there nude, I could only think of the possible things one of the people outside the flimsy stall door could do to me at that precise moment. I quickly shook the thought off and continued the trapeze walk to dryness by slipping into my dry trousers and underoos while concentrating on not slipping and falling face first into the yellowed rusty toilet. Eventually I completed my mission safely and left the stall with only six sexually transmitted diseases.

I can only assume that the rides and supports holding them up were constructed by a traveling gang of chimpanzees who were exiled from a mediocre circus. The craftsmanship is equal to a 3rd-grader’s Pinewood Derby racecar, though instead of a 6” car speeding down a plank of wood, these rides hold hundreds of people. Rides sitting several stories high in the air sway from side to side on wet, rotting pieces of wood secured to the McDonald’s-quality plastic tubes only by a dozen or so rusty bolts. Even the staircases that deliver the attendees to the start of the attractions are built of the cheapest scraps of lumber available at the local yard; and they have water splashed, poured, and relieved on them for several hours each day. Whoever designed many of the rides must have had one twisted sense of humor. Take “Runaway River” for example. This ride shoots its passengers through a dark, partially-open, winding tunnel while on a raft built for four. At the start of this ride, when the riders are asked to board the rafts, the vessels are floated in one of two small pools (two rafts are alternately sent down to improve waiting times. I also don’t know why I’m telling you these things) before being launched down the passageway. To be blunt, the two pools that temporarily house the rafts in combination with the tube that functions as the ride form an incredibly phallic image. Here’s a diagram to visualize my point:

During the long waits for the short rides, it seems that many of the children who were enjoying the park along with me couldn’t resist my alluring pheromones. While waiting in a 20-minute line under the sweltering Georgia heat on a rickety, swaying, soggy heap of wood that will probably collapse any day now, I do not want to be assaulted, groped, fondled, or handled. Basically, it would be cool if people would just keep their hands to themselves. In fact, here’s something for the kids standing behind me in line that day to read: Unless I have personally gone out of my way to kidnap you, I do not want your head and/or appendages rubbing against my buttocks at any time. Seriously. One little hillbilly child couldn’t keep his hands off me. He seemed to have a strange obsession with head-butting my pooper. And the fact that he looked like one of the hellions from “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” made me all the more inclined to hurl his limp, uneducated body straight off the staircase. I kept my cool for the time being, though followed him once he got off the ride and defecated in his lunch.

On the subject of redneck younglings, it seems as if certain portions of the Southeastern United States are just now receiving broadcasts of Home Improvement from 1994, because the mullet that Jonathan Taylor Thomas perfected is apparently back in style. The combination of girlish hair, strange accents, and two-piece bathing suits made differentiating the boys from the gals a real country challenge. A lot of these kids rode the rides in their Sunday best; donning such gear as T-shirts, glasses, and shoes. And by “shoes” I don’t just mean those horrible “pool shoes” worn by creepy old men and lepers, but actual shoes, as in the kind made by cobblers in the good ol’ days. Real sneakers some people were wearing while in large pools of water. I don’t understand the need to wear glasses or sunglasses while submerged underneath several feet of liquid ice either. Luckily the park rules didn’t permit wearing sunglasses on the rides (a choking/stabbing hazard, I suppose), and the fools who chose to wear them were made to look appropriately foolish as they sent their $4 pair of Douchebag brand aviators hurtling down the water before them. Maybe the sun was too much for their eyes so they needed the sunglasses. Perhaps they were near-blind without their glasses and needed them so they didn’t step off of a ride without their swimming trunks. Or maybe they’re just dicks.

What the park attempts to pass off as edible substances called “food” are no more than pricey turds, in the sense that they are expensive and taste like human waste. They sell school cafeteria-quality food at mediocre restaurant prices. The $7 microwave pizzas must be an exquisite feast for the standard park-attending folk when compared to their usual dinners of cat food and Depression-style tomato soup. It would be a big plus to many customers if the park would offer healthier options on their menu, because this would probably aid in slimming down a good portion of the guests who are currently in the “sweaty pig-people who look to be the result of incestuous relations” category. Now don’t get the wrong impression and assume that I believe I am better than these people. But if one of the circus-people attending White Water on any given day and myself were both in a fancy restaurant, my belly would be full of steak and their hands would be full of dishes and dirty water.

The park is a series of extremes. From incredible heat that causes musty sweat to trickle down the greasy, wooly backs of the park-goers to freezing cold water that will make any man’s pouch instantly tighten up like a sun-dried raisin. People range in shape and size from slender gals who looked fresh-picked from Auschwitz to husky men with lumpy, floppity man-breasts just waiting to be pinched. But all of these rare sights culminate into a sticky, stinky stew that is just strange and interesting enough to warrant a taste.