Friday, October 30, 2009

Just add vodka

Summer camp was a place to meet new friends and make innocent paper plates over the summer holidays. I had spent the build up to my summer holidays in 1998 preparing my mud-friendly wardrobe and stylish Power Rangers lunch box for my first camping experience away from home. This seemingly jovial camp trip was cut short as I performed a summersault down the inflatable wet water slide. Needless to say I spent the next two weeks at home with a white block of sponge around my neck.
So last Saturday when our friend was throwing his 21st “Big Kids Party” we all rushed into our coordinating outfits with matching pigtails and pacifiers. On entry we saw a giant jumping castle and 100 litres of punch; I was more interested in how we would divide 100 litres into 150 guests rather than the menacing bright yellow jumping castle staring me in the eye. For the duration of the afternoon I played drinking games on the benches, blew bubbles, played pass-the-explicit-parcel; anything to keep my attention away from the generating castle in the centre of the lawn. As the music dimmed, we were informed that the party was drawing to a close and all the blurry-eyed big kids ran to the stairs of the castle. With my punch in hand, I found myself being dragged by my friends and started to mount the moving stairs. My apprehension and childhood-flashbacks were lost amongst the bright balloons and swarms of people waiting to take their last jump behind me. So I jumped. No summersault, no pencil jump or head dive; just a basic slip into the muddy water at the end. As I made my abrupt fall into the end of the slide, I felt like I had finally conquered the same thing that had cut my summer camp two weeks short. I clambered off the sides as I was reunited with my empty glass. Once again, my happiness was short-lived as I heard the roar of an inebriated jock slam into the walls of the slide and send me tumbling onto the tree stump with surrounding concrete blocks.
So it’s true, alcohol can loosen your inhibitions and make you scream that little bit louder on a slide. Whether I decide to be drunk or not, it’s safe to say I’m dressing as Bubble Boy on any future water slide.

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