By DARREN HANDSCHUH
Who knew a little incident at a local water slide park would wind up being the topic of conversation that would provide entertainment for my friends well into the winter months.
It all began with a family outing to the aforementioned aquatic recreation facility that has a rather shallow landing pool. That is the part at the bottom of the slide where you splash into the water and a time of merriment is enjoyed by all.
The problem is, this particular water slide has a rather shallow landing area. Well, it was shallow for me anyway as my 100-something kilogram frame does not slow down in water like a little 10 year old does.
To counteract this lack of depth in the landing pool, I have to slow down ñ a lot ñ before I reach the end of the slide, a fact I forgot on this particular trip, which was the first of the year.
So, I happily went tearing down the slide as fast as I could, while thinking about all the fun I was having. Just as I reached the exit of the tube of doom, a faint memory flashed through my mind about slowing down long before I arrived at this point.
I hit the water with the force of a Russian nuclear-powered submarine and the thimble-full of water did very little to stop my scraping along the bottom of the pool. To keep people from slipping and sliding in the pool, sand is painted into the floor, offering excellent traction, but in my case it was like doing a knee-slide along a big patch of sandpaper.
The instant I was wracked with searing pain I realized my error. I got out of the water and found a huge strip of 'road rash' that was as painful as it looked.
I headed to our picnic table to assess the damage when one concerned citizen approached me, ìExcuse me, but do you know your leg is bleeding?î
ìWhat! My leg is bleeding? You're kidding me? Holy moly it is. Thanks for pointing that out, if you hadn't of done that, I never would have noticed the burning pain that was shooting through my body. Sure am glad you were around.î
A little first aid stopped the bleeding and over the next couple of days two impressive scabs formed over the gaping wounds.
A buddy of mine summed it up best, ìIt looks like you have two strips of bacon glued to your leg.î
Thanks pal, I appreciate it.
To add to the situation, we were joining those same friends on a trip to a northern Alberta city that has a huge water slide park located in a mall on the west side of town.
When we got to the slide entrance area, I asked the girl behind the counter if I was allowed to go in with my wound.
She looked at my knee and without changing expression in the least said, ìOh yea, no problem. We've had worse than that in here.î
For a brief moment I was relieved I would not miss out on the fine family fun, but the joy was quickly replaced by the thought of, ìHow much worse?î
If two strips of bacon weren't enough to keep someone out, what was? Deep down I did not want to know, but all of us adults found the declaration a little unsettling.
I blocked the thought from my mind as best I could and off we went to slide the day away. I must warn you the following is kinda gross, and by kinda I mean, very.
When you spend a lot of time in the water, any scabs you might be packing around with you become rather soft. After one particularly fast slide, I noticed I only had one scab left on my leg.
I apologize for the mental image, because I am sure everyone is picturing the same thing I did ñ a giant, alligator-sized scab floating around the pool. I really am sorry about that.
When I told my friends they were completely grossed out and the scab that got away has been a topic of conversation ever since.