I have already described why i am not allowed a ride-on lawn mower any more (see Sliding Down the Learning Curve, Things to avoid #1). This story is why I avoided for years riding down a water-slide, which is a pity because a good friend own’s the oldest water-slide in the State of Maine, and while it is no longer the longest water-slide it is certainly still lots of fun. He also has a radar gun, and by combining the two we have quite a competition going year to year of who can get the fastest run down the slide. he assures me no-one can actually go faster than the speed of the water, and he makes certain safety rules which I think also slow you down considerably, such as requiring the use of his mat, which I suspect were selected because of their slowing capabilities. He also does not allow head-first travel, which some feel may increase speed. However, after carefully studying the luge and skeleton events this winter in Soci, I am certain i will enter this years competition with a certain tactical advantage which will allow me to decisively take the speed record.
My friends advice, and he has owned this particular water slide for a few years now, is to wrap the mat around your derriere sideways, “like a taco” he put’s it, keep your feet and shoulders in the air, and try to stay in the water stream. Well I figured out by watching the luge how to stay in the water stream, you have to steer into the corners with your legs. Unfortunately I wasn’t ready for the big middle curve to have effectively two parts to it, and came out of the water stream on the second part, just as he caught me on the radar gun, so my speed was off, but this years event is approaching quickly!
Anyway, for years I gave water slides a wide berth, because at another buddy’s house, he had built his won water slide, out of sand and heavy duty sheeting, ending up at the bottom of his small hill into his orchard. You stayed on the slide by virtue of two plastic bumpers, and he just ran a garden hose down it to keep it lubricated, and there were of course no mats. Things were going swimmingly well, kids were sliding down, having fun, when I offered to help kids get up at the bottom, and decided to take some photos while I was there of some kids coming down the slide. Well one particularly plump child came down, and swirled towards me so I stepped aside, turning as I did so, and stepping on a wet tree root which forced my foot forward as I went back, dislocating the ankle in that foot, snapping off the bottom of the major leg bone, and dry-breaking the smaller bone in two places.
So at the ER they managed to relocate the ankle, but I had to have surgery to pin the bones back together. I think the major change since the last time I broke something was the pretty colors the bandages come in nowadays. I had a purple cast, a neon one, and a red-white and blue one for the 4th of July!