Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Explosions and Anarchy.

Let me tell you about this Schlitterbahn experience.

For starters, going on a Tuesday was not effective. Thousands of other people had the same idea, so lines and crowds were just as bad as always, and the heat was predictably hot. Duh.

It wasn't so bad, though. Schlitterbahn has three parks on two different lots. Schlitterbahn West and Schlitterbahn East, which breaks into two parks called Surfenburgh and Blastenhauf. We parked at West, the main park, with the giant hot tub with in pool bar. 

We were there maybe two and a half hours and got to ride three rides, when suddenly there was this deafening exploding noise. Everybody stopped to look around. Then the water stopped pumping on the water slides and the tube chutes. People got stuck mid slide as the water went down into the pool but the pumps couldn't bring it up. The vendors lost power in freezers, refrigerators, and margarita machines.

The power was gone. 


Well, those of you who have witnessed a transformer exploding know exactly what happened. Why the transformer exploded is the far more interesting story. A teenage boy, probably texting while driving, drove his car straight into a pole, and thus the transformer exploded, knocking all of Schlitterbahn West into a rideless, filterless existence.

We couldn't ride anything. We couldn't even enjoy the pools because the filters were no longer running, and with all of those people in the water I couldn't even consider the idea of dangling my feet. As for my margaritas? They were melting slowly in their machines, unable to be sold because Schlitterbahn employees couldn't do hand made tickets for anything except cash, and I had no cash. Just my card. 

So we decide to take the tram to the other park after lunch, and it's about two when we finally make it onto a tram (because everybody was leaving West hoping to have fun at East) and we get in line for a ride. And we get to ride two rides because East parks are still running, and then I look up and I see a cover of blackness coming towards us.

We find ourselves in the middle of the worst drought Austin has ever seen, we go to a water park for a little fun, and then a huge storm finds us. We immedaitely decided to go back to West and pack our things and leave. It's already four thirty. Everybody seems to have the same idea, and after waiting for twenty minutes for a tram, the rain starts pouring down on everybody waiting outside. The wind picked up and cut viciously through the scanty protection my swimsuit and skirt offered me.

And then a tram pulls up for us, opens the doors. We think, "Thank you! We can get out of the cold!"

And then a huge swarm of people from the end of the line rush forward and cram onto the tram, pushing over employees, those of us who were next, and people crossing to the parking lot trying to get to their own vehicles. 


I don't know what the fuck their problem was. They were all soaking wet from the rides anyway, and we were already cold. The employees finally got them under control, but they couldn't tell who had already been on the trams and who had rushed from the end of the line. Rather than punish everybody, they decided to let them all go. Then a woman and her five kids pushed forward and begged to be allowed to go on, her husband was already on the tram.

We all started shouting, "No, it isn't fair! Make her wait! Make her husband get off!" 

Her husband stuck his head out. They should have made him get off since he was obviously one of the people who rushed the line. How else could he have been on board but his wife and kids stuck at the end of the line? But they let them on. And then let the families of everyone who had sneaked on go, too! We were outraged! We were standing there, the rain pouring down, the lightening striking, thunder clapping so loud we all had to cover our ears, and for what? For a bunch of selfish idiots to break the rules?

When we finally got let on more people tried to run up. And we sent them happily away, yelling at them that they had to wait just like everyone else. When they just decided to stand in the isles and try to wait it out, the bus driver ordered them off, screaming that the tram couldn't leave with people standing. 

When we finally made it back to our stuff we found it mostly dry thanks to having been under the table. And on the way out we got passes to come back another day, free of charge, because between the power outage and the rain it had just been a bad day. 


I hope it's not nearly as bad next time.


  1. Of course. Why wouldn't the power go out while you were at the park? And why wouldn't Mother Nature suddenly decide to end the drought in dramatic fashion while you were all standing around outside at a water park in bathing suits? It makes PERFECT sense!

    (Read this in a mental voice DRIPPING with sarcasm)

    Well, at least you got a free pass to come back. Hopefully your next attempt for Summer fun will be more enjoyable. :) :P :) (Fun with emoticons!)

  2. Oooh, that sounds like a nightmare! You know, line rushers are just plain rude. Everybody has to wait their turn--what's so hard about that?! Ugh.

    It's nice they gave y'all free passes--hopefully the next day will be enjoyable. I'm sorry you had to put up with all of that. :/

  3. I don't know if it is a seasonal park but I always try to go a few days after school starts or a few days before it lets out for summer. Good Luck next time. Free the margaritas!

  4. I'm trying to think of a "Drakeism" telling you how it could be worse, but I can't think of anything. At least you came out alive.

  5. This is why you should always carry a loud and angry CO with you wherever you go. Someone to yell "You better BACK the frack up and get your mangy butt back in line! What the SNAP do you think you're doing?"

    People. **snort**

  6. Sounds like you had way more fun than I did. I just went to work and wrote a bit on the novel. No lightning here, unless you count that stuff I have stored in a bottle on my desk.

  7. "We can get out of the cold!" God, how I long for the opportunity to say something like that.

    Sounds like you had a pretty schlitty day.

    As for breaking rules, I stopped at the Super Wal-Mart after work. I was buying exactly three things, so I got in the ten items or less line. There was a lady in front of me with like half a cart full of shit (way more than ten items), and a whole sheet of coupons for Similac that the cashier couldn't figure out how to ring. I've seen this sort of thing happen countless times, in countless stores, and the cashiers never, ever, ever call the people on it. They just ring them up like it's nothing.

    Now I have to go change my cats' schlitter.

  8. And riddle me this: Why on earth would they give a water park in Texas a german name? That just seems very incongruous to me.

  9. That's crazy. I wouldn't have been satisfied with a mere free pass. I would have asked for my money back right there and told them I was never going back. Then I'd go back again later.

  10. I'm not a fan of going to places like that, be it a waterpark, themepark, or local fair. I love the rides and such but I hate the people. Sometimes while up at the top of a tall waterslide I imagine how wonder it would be to throw some of those jerks like the ones that don't understand the concept of why everyone else is waiting patiently in a line over the side or at the very least chuck them down the stairs.
    By the way, I wish it would rain here. My yard looks like straw and a lot of my garden has gone crispy.

  11. Candice, I think Mother Nature is going to be added to The List.

    Frisky, next time they should give us free margaritas. What a waste! And it's going to be hotter in August. Balls of fire!

    Rebecca, it is a seasonal park. It opens in March and closes in October. It's best to go after school starts, I agree. The problem is that Band Season is in August and so getting a day off in the middle of it to go back will be more than difficult.

    George, I have one. It could have been hail instead of rain. That DEFINITELY would have been worse.

    Rev, where could I go about hiring a CO to escort me to water parks? I don't even know where the nearest prison is...

    Scott, lightning in a bottle sounds like more fun than lightning in the real world...Also, sitting inside and writing a novel sounds way better, too. Unless you're one of those people who enjoys writing a novel while relaxing by a pool. In which case, we could have switched places.

    Bryan, that's totally up to the employee. When I worked at Wal-Mart for that short period of time, they would pull me up to the front to cashier frequently when lines were awful. I always got stuck on the express, and if someone came up with what was obviously more than the line limit I told them I couldn't check them out. They always made a fuss, but I said, "It's not fair for you to make everybody who followed the rules wait longer because you don't feel like waiting in a longer line. Either take out what you really don't need, or move to a different line." Most people meekly obeyed and either cut down their purchases or moved. Some people got management involved, and they were told the same thing. Employees just don't like confronting people. Next time you should say something. If you complain, a lot of times a cashier will either check you out first or send the person to another line.

    Darev, probably because the area the park is in was famous for the German and Polish immigrants that inhabited the area. A lot of German names are prevalent in the town. Plus it's just fun to say it out loud. SCHLITTERBAHN!

    Brent, they were offering refunds via snail mail, but that would be hardly worth it.

    Asha, where have you been? I was just asking if anybody had seen you around. I was getting worried.

    I often observe that parents are more impatient than their children when stuck in a long line. I don't like waiting in long lines, but I certainly don't complain or get impatient about it. Although I do have to say that I love going to places with my cousin. He's autistic, so we get a special needs pass that allows us to go straight to the front of the line for any and all rides. It really annoys some people, but how do you explain to an autistic teenager that he has to wait in an hour long line?

    Yeesh. Maybe we should just cross our fingers and hope that a really good storm comes for a week!

  12. Why do you assume the teenage boy was texting while driving? Maybe he was just manipulating himself or something else equally innocent.

  13. Because that seems like the only logical reason he could have to run straight into a pole without making any attempt to swerve away from it. Unless he was attempting suicide.

  14. . . . Or manipulating himself. Some guys do that while driving. I spend a lot of time on the road, and I can testify to the fact that there are a bunch of weirdos and perverts out there.

  15. Oh. You mean jerking off.

    Yeah, I suppose he could have been doing that, too.


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