It is now late June and Evan is working as a lifeguard and Erin is going swimming with friends.  Inevitably at this time of year somebody always brings up the story of when we were at the water park and I got slammed by the fat chick. Even though everyone has heard that story more than once, it’s probably worth preserving it here.

Back in 1984 or so when I was still in grad school, relatives would always come visit us in the summer in order to go to Six Flags Over Texas or one of the other parks and stay with us for free.  At this particular time, we all packed up and went to the water park:  Wet ‘N Wild.  I never wanted to go but I always had a great time when I went so I’m not sure why I never wanted to go but I still don’t.

We all lined up to go down one of the twirly water slides.  This one had a traffic light at the top; you were supposed to wait until the light turned green before you started sliding.  They were trying to avoid one person landing on top of another at the bottom which I found out was a really good idea.  Nowadays they have lifeguards at the top of those things to enforce the rule.

The light turned green and I started sliding.  I also heard the woman behind me immediately start down right after me.  I could hear her screaming right behind me.  I remember being annoyed at the time and thinking that I need to hit the water and clear out fast.  I hit the water and then my world went black.

Unconsciousness is a funny thing.  It’s like in video games when an explosion goes off next to your character and to mimic injury, the sound goes off and then gradually increases in magnitude.  The screen often goes dark especially around the edges.  That’s exactly what I felt like.  First water then nothing followed by muffled sounds and a vague sense of floating face-down in the water.  I came too pretty soon and thrashed my way to the nearest edge of the pool to retch and cough up water.  The whole time I was getting angry and thinking “why was I floating face down and no lifeguard showed up!?”  Mel, her sister, and brother-in-law came around to check on me but they were laughing.  This made me madder as I clung to the side still coughing.  They thought that was funny?  I still had no idea what had happened but I assumed that the woman behind me had landed on me.

It turns out that’s exactly what had happened.  The report was that she was pretty heavy and that she had come down right on my neck – one leg on either side.  I disappeared underneath but nobody cared because at that moment, she came out of the top of her swimsuit.  So everyone’s attention immediately turned to those big boobies and nobody even noticed the guy floating in the water. Mel’s young nephew got a lesson in human anatomy that he still remembers to this day (fondly, I imagine).

They didn’t stop laughing for a long time.  We sat down nearby (away from the embarrassed woman) where I rubbed my sore neck and tried to see the humor in it all.  In fact they’re still laughing about it and I’m starting to see the humor in it.