It began when one of my daughters remarked, “I have a brilliant beyond brilliant idea! Let’s go to Universal Studios.” Once again, I had fallen into the parental tourist trappings of another theme park adventure. Participants included two scheming daughters, two precocious granddaughters, and one not-so-happy-to-oblige sluggish woman (moi) who is always trying to avoid exhausting funfairs. The kids called it their fun place. I called it a magical arena full of more toys than I could afford for eight hours while pretending I could still think straight.
The granddaughters were dressed and ready to fly through the fairyland. The daughters and their mother needed to be catapulted to the park, and were then espresso energized by way of Starbucks. I needed enough caffeine and carmelized sweetener to walk that communal event. I was one of those sluggish people who appreciated coffees invigorating significance, which probably explained my electricity while dancing with my ten month old granddaughter, asking nothing in return but frequent pee breaks. Eight cups of water per day and I’m a casual bathroom visitor. Yet one cup of coffee and there are abnormal changes in the urinary system and the need to pee is intensified by a million. I turned into a speed demon, wanting to use the mommy had an accident excuse to forge forward in bathroom lines.
We proceeded to the world of Harry Potter where we entered the main amusement ride that holds a high level of screaming activity. What looked like the cloaked headmaster of Hogwarts approached us and my twelve year old granddaughter became breathlessly besotted. For a minute there, I thought Hallie Parker was my grandchild when she proclaimed, “I’ve dreamt of meeting you my whole life and I just hope that one day you can love me as me, and not as the person my mother thinks I am.” She isn’t the same freckled-faced drama queen as she is a comedic charmer. The caped wonder provided us with information about baby swap whereas we were able to use a password to skip ahead in line and take turns on the ride. We passed people who were fixated on us with such sisterly betrayal as if we were no doubt, the lowest most awful creatures on the planet. Regardless, we still had to wait in line amongst murderous stares and with my urgency to release a stream from the front faucet yet again, if you know what I mean. And I thought a constantly weeing baby was bad. Either way, large amounts of incontinence is hard to ignore.
With my kids right behind me, I told the ride operator, “It’s me, or them. Take your pick.” He took my kids first, probably because he didn’t want to deal with projectile vomiting from a panicked elderly person who ends up freaking out on this drop tower of perpetual terror. Little did he know I needed to get on and off that thing rather quickly before it was necessary for my bladder to lower its water level again. I swear my kids were so happy to go ahead that they turned into a couple of Elvis impersonators when they told the guy, “Thankyou, thankyou ver much.” I’m sure both my daughters would have liked to disclose, “She’s never had one cup of triple espresso her entire life and she shows up today totally stimulated.” I could have added some spice to their non-verbal commentary by adding, “It was a little too robusk for a cup of coffee if you ask me, but then again I’m impartial to being supersonic.”
Once my speedy body was on the rapid rotating track, I felt my organs floating inside me, not to mention my leaky drawers. Any respectful carnival goer would have visited the restroom first so not to lubricate the seats of amusement rides. Flying high above the Hogwart castle, my eyeballs were practically forced into the back of my head. I called out to the person who was handling the contraption at the far end of the wild ride, but he couldn’t hear me above my gasping or the ten million other shrieking occupants. Thankfully no kids could hear my swearing. The young male attendee watched me exit in such a way that he most surely expected me to go weak in the knees and fall into his arms and sob hysterically. Okay, I did cry hard, and tears fell down my legs. My trembling frame staggered off looking pale as school chalk with vessels bulging in my forehead, and with wet panties. Holding it in was just as hard as trying to control the bamboo in my yard. I’m sure the other riders thought I was the bloody incontinent ghost of Christmas past. Nothing would have pleased me more than to say, “Being older and incontinent is not a crime you know.”
I wasn’t prepared for another landing. Once three o’clock rolled around, I was jolted away from the coffees potency and very close to collapsing. I ended up flat on my back in line at the Simpson’s motion simulator ride where it was open season for the frenzied whir of bypassers. It was time to go home to a glass of something that would relax me. When I did I told my girls, “Here’s to you. May your lives be far less complicated than mine.”
Let me sum up this theme park adventure. I had a great time. I now have a new loan to pay. Next time I’ll be wearing something for the weak end, or make my bladder gladder by not going at all. And I’m writing this from my bed because I still haven’t recovered.