Monday, December 05, 2005


I know. I know. I'm a horrible, terrible person. I'm so corrupt, I'm practically a (burning) Bush appointee. I'm so jaded I could be mined... for jade!

But I can't help it. It's who I am!

So, we went to Knotts Berry Farm this weekend and I was, let's say, less than enthusiastic. I know I should have been. After all, we were getting in for $10 each, thanks to being a friend of a cop and a fireman. (That's Billie and Dan, in case you didn't know.) (Cop & Fireman... you know... public servants... people the Revolticons hate.) Billie was there with my book, With Eyes to See, telling me how much she LOVED it. What's not to like.

By the way, they were there with some nieces and... well, other nieces. When they asked what the book was about, Dan said, "It's about people who gouge their own eyes out." And these kids are TINY!... Granted, the book is about people who gouge their own eyes out...

So, we got inside and we're going from ride to ride and I am, let's say, underwhelmed. I'm grumbling in all the lines for the rides - though, I will say, there are hardly any! But, really, Knotts is the smallest amusement park in the world! If Disneyland was so small, they'd call it Disneyroom! If Magic Mountain was that size, it would be Magic Mound!

But I got better as the day went on and I even shopped with Vicky at all the little shops. Actually, it was mostly little shops. What the hell is with all the little shops?! We went from shop to shop to shop to... and my feet started to get tired.

All day long, I was trying to convince Vicky to go on Bigfoot Rapids, one of those white water because they put soap in the water kind of rides. One of those rides where they say "You will get wet!" and then turn a hose on you as you step off just to make sure.

Vicky was having no part of it.

Somewhere along the way, there formed an unspoken agreement that she would go on Bigfoot Rapids with me if I went into the Mystery Lodge with her.

We had an agreement.

So, Billie and some of her nieces went with us on Bigfoot Rapids. Vicky was grumbling through the whole line - a lot like I was earlier in the day. We get on and Vicky and I, both of us sadly the heaviest people on our innertube-like raft, are positioned right next to each other. Simply, grade-school science (remember? science?) tells us that we're gonna get very wet. We're hosed... or soon will be. Sure enough, Vicky gets hit by a big wave. This makes me laugh - but not for long. Because I get hit by a huge wave! Everyone else on the raft laughs, even me... but not Vicky. She's wetter than anyone else. She's wetter than the ride! She's wanting them to turn the hose on her just to dry off!

I felt pretty bad about that as we walked around the park. Sadly, that wasn't the worst thing to happen. Vicky got a call on her cell. Her grandmother was in the hospital, doing very poorly. She could die. The decision before us was if we should go and drive up to Lancaster to see her before she died or if we should stay and remember Audrey (her grandmother) as we knew her. Audrey was too far gone to recognize us if we did go and going there would just make that our last memory. And we didn't want that.

Give me just a minute here. The only grandmother I ever knew wasn't exactly what you'd call a nice person. On top of that, she liked Rosa... so meeting Audrey was a wonderful gift. I met her in a hospital. She's never been very well. She's old and frail. And I'm so grateful for meeting her. From only the few moments we've had together, I think she's an angel. And this is coming from someone who hates old people! (We'll get into that another time but let's just say I can't stand the coming attractions.) The thought of her dying just tore at my heart and there, amidst the crowded paths, Vicky and I held each other.

(Audrey is still in the hospital. She's doing very poorly but she's got a will like titanium.)

Since we were staying, it was time for the Mystery Lodge. I thought I'd gone on this years ago and I might have... but they must have changed it. Now, when you walk in, there's a large hall in which you're asked to wait. And so, we wait. As we're waiting, this announcer walks out and tries to warm up the crowd - the mystery here being who would ever think he's funny. The other mystery is when the show would start. Because we kept waiting. Another mystery: why weren't there any chairs? We had to stand... and wait... and listen to this chump's bad jokes.

And then, lightening flashed! And the lights changed!

And then the chump made some more bad jokes.

Finally, some doors opened and we walked into a theater where we sat on benches. The chump said a few things, which nobody listened to, and the show began. It was a special effects show, in a way, with an old Indian (an actor) telling a story. Now, to be honest, the show was pretty good. Cheesy but good. It would have been a thousand times better without the chump and his stupid comments.

After that, we went home. Wet and a little sad.

But we had a pretty good time...

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