I think that I shall never hear the term “tourist season” without imagining the term being akin withs, say, “deer season,” “duck season,” or “open season.”
As far as I’m concerned, any locale that actually put a bounty on tourist heads would be well within their rights to do so.
Hopelessly lost. When I am on vacation, a term I use loosely to describe our decision to make random left turns without rhyme or reason throughout various points of the U.S., I have often thought that all vacationers should be required by law to put a sign on their vehicle saying “tourist driver” akin to “student driver.”
Special treatment. A tourist-only driving lane would be beneficial as well. In that lane, out-of-town drivers could meander around town going alternately 12 miles an hour for miles with their blinker on (while looking for their turn), and alternately run through red lights (didn’t see it because they were reading a map); or brake for green lights because the intersection “might” be their turn (it never is).
Wasted advice. This lane would optimally include many easy turn offs where tourists could stop and pester locals for directions despite a) having no sense of direction whatsoever and b) no intention of writing anything down.
This leaves the helpful native with the disheartening impression that they could just as well have explained the directions to a paper towel dispenser for all the good its going to do the hapless tourist who just wandered off in search of something that is only three blocks away but will take them, at minimum, forty-five minutes to locate.
Season. This season will be extended year-round for hotel and motel employees who must deal with tourists at their cranky and hungry worst.
Never mind that at home, I have to step across two sleeping dogs, a pile of library books, and too often, unfolded laundry to get to my bed.
In a hotel I’m suddenly Mary Queen of Scots and cannot sleep without two perfectly fluffed pillows and blankets folded back “just so.”
Obviously, there is something about travel that makes a person lose their mind.
Clearly, that is the ONLY possible explanation for why, on vacation, we suddenly become nothing at all like the people we are at home.
On vacation I become convinced that I am, for lack of a better word, active.
Some sort of vacation induced dementia is the only possible explanation for how I managed to concoct the plan to hurl myself down a steep incline propelled only by a few thousand gallons of rushing water and the force of my own screams ON PURPOSE.
Meanwhile at home I won’t get into a four foot deep swimming pool on a dare.
Slide. Water parks and their evil offspring, water slides, are something dreamt up, as near as I can tell, by the devil himself when drowning the regular old fashioned way became too mundane.
No more can you simply splash around in the deep end gasping for air until some buff young lifeguard quits flirting long enough to fish you out.
No indeed, now you must hike up a couple thousand stairs in order to reach the top of the water slide which is located somewhere near where oxygen in the air grows thin and you feel surely you are in danger of being clipped by low flying aircraft while you await your turn on the slide (aka your date with certain death).
I think this was designed to sufficiently exhaust you – the future victim – so you’ll have less strength to struggle mightily and grip the side of the slide with arms and legs splayed like a cat being lowered into a bathtub to prevent your descent – which is what any sane person would do otherwise.
If nothing else, the sheer monotony of trudging up all those stairs is enough to make you lose the will to live at the thought of trudging back DOWN them all again.
This is helpful as, spirit properly broken, you will willingly accept your fate as the water slide’s next victim.
The descent itself is a complete blur of flailing limbs, abject terror and the searing burn of water being injected directly UP the nose until, blessedly, the slide ends abruptly by spitting the victim into a “splash pool” so named because calling it the “choking and gasping pool” was a bit too much truth in advertising.
It has been said that the best part of vacation is coming home.
Me, I think the best part of any vacation is coming up for air.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a really good screamer. She welcomes comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org; P.O. Box 38, Salem, Ohio 44460; or href=”http://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt”target=”_blank”>http://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt.)
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