And trust me, I wasn’t a douchebag.
But they’re never far from my orbit, that’s for sure.
This one actually took place a few weeks ago, but it had to wait its turn. Enjoy!
My lovely daughter Sarah was supposed to visit a popular tourist destination/trap in our neck of the woods with her school, but a last-minute change threw the proverbial monkey wrench our way. Truth be told, I deal with more hiccups than a family doctor!
The Hook has no love for meteorologists; I’ll tell my guests this when they inevitably ask for the forecast. “Your best and safest bet is to just look outside, sir”, is my typical answer. And here’s why.
No sooner had we pulled into the school parking lot, than one of my daughter’s friends emerged from the school screaming, “The principal cancelled the bus! He thinks it’s going to rain!”
She then exploded from the drama.
So now I have a dilemma. Go figure, right? I had arranged for my supervisor to switch shifts just so I could attend this trip with Sarah while she still thinks her Dad is cool (relatively, at least!), and now my wife and I have to improvise.
So we said, “The hell with the principal, we’re going anyway!”
Now, my wife and I had won tickets through a school raffle, and Sarah was supposed to gain entry with her classmates, but that was no longer an option. Fortunately, I was able to sell a kidney and pay the $41 ticket price for my 12-year-old!
This particular park is great – if you’re a kid. Adults, however, recognize the fact that most of the park’s infrastructure hasn’t been updated since it opened in 1961! Retro is big these days, but there are limits. After being immersed in the hospitality industry for so long, I’m unfazed by price gouging, but again, there are limits.
Nonetheless, I resolved, under threat of violence from the wife, to have fun for Sarah’s sake. As we made our way through the growing crowds, I couldn’t help but remember just why this park ticks me off so much. It’s not the price gouging or the structural decay at all.
It’s all the walking.
The park is vast and if you take a good look around you’ll see the same look of complete and utter exhaustion on most of the adult’s faces,especially the seniors in attendance. Every once in a while, the leg friction, combined with the blazing summer heat, will induce spontaneous combustion in more than one tourist!
- “Margie! Call the embassy, I’m on fire!”
But don’t weep for a fallen tourist, my friends. They’re like cockroaches, if one is eventually vanquished, there are a million more ready to take his place.
Still, in spite of everything, Sarah had a blast and when we attended one of the park’s shows we were greeted with a pleasant surprise. Breakfast Television is a morning news program based out of Toronto which occasionally stages remote broadcasts from our little hamlet.
They were going to have their full cast and crew on the air the next day, but two of the cast, Jennifer Valentyne and Frankie Ferragine a.k.a “Frankie Flowers” decide to take a camera nad catch the local flavor a day early. We stuck around after the show and, after some mild protest/shyness, convinced Sarah to get her picture taken with some television personalities.
SARAH: It’s not like they’re on iCARLY, or anything!
Love that kid.
Still, she politely asked and they graciously agreed.
- The Unknown Cameraman, Frankie Flowers and Jenn Valentyne.
FRANKIE FLOWERS: So where you guys from?
VAMPIRELOVER: Just from here..
FF: Oh, playing hookey, are we?
THE HOOK: Well, we were supposed to be here with Sarah’s school, but the principal decided to listen to the forecast and cancel the trip.
FF: (Hanging his head in mock shame) Yeah, I kind of got that one wrong. All the forecast models said rain for this area…
It was then that I remembered Frankie Flowers is also the weatherman for Breakfast television!
I’m a baaad pussy cat sometimes.
We finished out the day with some vomit-inducing rides (sans the vomit, I’m happy to report!) and just as we were dragging our sorry tourist behinds to the Hookmobile, Mother Nature began to weep upon us.
Somewhere, Frankie Flowers was basking in the warm glow of redemption.