Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Lily Pad Incident

So we would go on these long epic trips down to Utah for long stretches of time, which was fantastic. However, it did mean we got rather dirty with no real way to shower. Oh, we had one of those stupid "solar shower" things, but those don't really work for crap.
like this. for those who are unfamiliar with the concept, you put water in the bag and then let it heat up in the sun. then you shower in the lukewarm miserly drizzle that trickles from the tiny stupid spigot.
There were times when I think my sister and I resembled red-dusted little hobgoblins. Plus, even in Utah, the streams feel like glacial runoff, which isn't really something you want to bathe in. So on occasion, we would venture into civilization in search of public pools. Those were great because you could get clean and play around, plus people generally didn't notice if you were a little too dusty. You learned to move around when you were in the water, because a spreading cloud of rusty sand particles drifting away from you was always rather suspicious.
"let's go swimming, Mom!"
Anyway, we went to this one pool that was really awesome. I don't remember where it was, but it was fantastic. It had all sorts of different things to play on, and slides, and swings and the like. It was great. Possibly one of the most fun features was a set of giant floating "lily pads" made out of foam. They were chained loosely to the bottom of the pool, so when you jumped on them, they moved around a good bit, but not too far. Then there was a network of ropes over them, so you could grab on to something as you jumped, making for more stable footing- the things were pretty difficult to stay on. They were slippery and moved more than you thought they would. My sister and I were having a blast- challenging each other to see who could make it across the stretch of pool without falling off, playing chicken, things like that. It was awesome.
Google did not understand what I meant when I said "pool toy floating lily pad" so instead I present to you this picture of an ugly, ugly fake frog floating on a lily pad. Enjoy.
And then my dad decided he'd join in the fun. So he swaggers over to check out the whole lily pad set up. My sister and I, worried for his elderly well-being, try to give him a little coaching, since we ourselves were essentially experts by that time.
"Ok now Dad, these are really trickier than they look. We really would recommend that you stay quite low, and try to seize the ropes overhead when you go in for a jump." (so I might not have said exactly this, but it was probably pretty close...)
My dad nods, and studies the situation before him. Then he takes a deep breath, and proclaims loudly for the entire pool to hear: "ROPES ARE FOR WEENIES!" and makes a death-defying leap for the first lily pad.

It didn't end so well.

He hit the first lily pad with a smack like someone threw a fish on a concrete floor, and then the whole thing tipped, and he slid, defeated, into the water. My sister and I looked at each other, looked back at my dad, and then started laughing so hard we could barely breathe.
yeah, like this fish. feel bad for laughing now?
To this day, "ropes are for weenies" is a common utterance in our household, usually said right before someone does something they might not be quite equipped to handle.


  1. I SAW THAT HAPPEN! Haha, remember when we both ended up in the St. George swimming pool? (It was in St. George, by the way) and yes, the lily pads are awesome.

  2. Thank you for NOT mentioning that I was wearing an American flag-themed speedo at the time.