Sunday, October 09, 2005

Yet Another Post Where I Inappropriately Touch Animal Statues, Among Other Things

Table of Contents:
1.) where I don't almost drown
2.) where I go to the Dells and touch animal statues inappropriately

Tuesday Night's Flooding:
Almost a week without a post and none of you even called to ask if I was still alive after the great deluge. That whole Tuesday night raining thing was pretty exciting. I went up to Maple Grove to see my friend Kyle for some beer (and to watch some episodes of Survivorman, which I'd never seen, but which is greatly amusing). I called Pooteewheet as I was leaving to say that it had been raining and storming but looked ok, and she didn't disagree. So I had no idea it was as bad as it was. I basically shot out of Maple Grove (and past several very wet signs - nothing like getting your Focus on the Family-advocating sign out there during a bit of flooding to give it that authentic Biblical feel) back down 494 to 77 to Diffley and home. 494 was a continuous wall of two cement barriers trapping the water into a river going the same way as the cars, but never got more than a few inches deep, so was navigable, albeit very frightening when a car shot away from the barrier into your lane to avoid a deep patch. But my neighborhood was a different issue entirely. When I came off the highway, there was a fire engine blocking off the road. So, like all individuals who are sure that if the main route is bad, the back roads must be better, I hopped off through a shallow stream that was the frontage road and seesawed back and forth until right before my house I plowed into the first 8 inches of a several foot deep puddle of water with a car bearing down behind me. I blinked my break lights like a madman while trying to back up, but the other car just kept coming, so with my belts screaming from the water and the subtle smell of liquefied dirt evaporating off the engine, I went forward and sideways instead, letting him plunge into the water where I had just been. He came to a stop long before he would have stalled out and even though I was quietly cursing him, I sat still long enough to make sure he could back up before I continued on my merry way, worried that if I stopped my spark plugs would be too wet to ever start without the aid of a cookie sheet and the oven (honest, listen to a bit of Car Talk). Only to encounter yet another large body of water, deeper than the last. Then another. But by then the original route had opened up on the opposing side of the intersection, where it was highest, and I was able to squeak through and home.

The Dells:
We took the car to the Dells, so it obviously was none the worse for the wear. Even the gas mileage was fine, and we only had to buy four gallons of gas in Wisconsin (we might have been able to squeak by with 0, but it would have been a gamble) at their inflated rate of 30 cents over the Minnesota average (cheese to gasoline research tax, I'm sure). This was our third time to the Dells in a year, but as it's the anniversary of the first time, we can safely consider it the first time this year. We go off season to avoid the people and pay half price. However, I should warn everyone who might go, if you go to Great Wolf and you have a small child who's been before make sure Wiley's Woods has not been turned into a haunted house first. Eryn would walk into the hallway, point at a picture of a wolf surround by balls and announce, "That's Wiley. That's Wiley's Woods. It has no balls. They made a haunted house. There will be balls next time." and then stick out a big, sad lip. She was far more interested in the waterpark this time, however, and even ventured within splashing distance of the several-hundred gallon bucket when it tolled its imminent dumping. I'd go into more details, but it's a water park. You just do watery things. The highpoint for the adults is generally ribs and beer at Moose Jaw and the omelet at Denny's (not Denny's the chain, a different Denny's, totally unassociated with the chain that makes a stupendous breakfast).

So, on to what I'm sure you're primarily interested in - me inappropriately touching animal statues (among other esoterica) - note that no children were traumatized in the creation of these pictures.

The big mouse at Black River Falls. We stopped at Perkins, just so I could reaffirm that I hate Perkins. My pancakes were crusty and shiny on top, not to mention cold enough that I had to ask to have them reheated. My hash browns were white and approximated one point five fork fulls of food, that was if they'd been particularly edible. My eggs were colder than the pancakes. Eryn, however, liked the sausage, and Perkins does make me appreciate breakfast at (the non-chain) Denny's that much more. That's his tail by my hand, by the way.

This is a horse ride at the Moose Jaw that Eryn wanted to sit on. We didn't put money in it; we just let her sit on it. We're cheap, and that's more money for beer. However, it's worth a picture because it comes with its very own six shooter and it's really disturbing to take a picture of your two year old with a handgun built into a cyborg horse.

It's even more disturbing to note that if she put money in the ride, she could shoot at vaguely-racist representations of her ancestors. Ah, the good old days of gaming.

This isn't as funny as it is when you can read the display. It has several naked bears and the order "Touch a bear to start" as well as a sign that warns that one of the bears is personally going to "pop out" at you. It's like a bad touch bear display and really rather disturbing (beyond the fact that the clothes you can win include a leather outfit and a half shirt).

Me touching moose butt on the top of a Moose Jaw Brewpub delivery vehicle. As I was taking this picture, I bemoaned the fact that with all those children driving by, I was loath to do what I was sure Dan from PlanetDan would do, which is give it a good goose and make a silly face.

A bock and an oktoberfest later, and dark enough to ensure most children were gone...

This is from inside the Moose Jaw. This is perhaps the most frightening piece of animal reuse I've ever seen. I'm not sure whether to admire the fact that they used the whole deer, creeped out by the obvious creepiness of the thing, or confused because the deer had six feet. When I really think about it, I get the impression that the deer had twelve feet, six on a side, and looked like a deeripede, and that's disgusting. On a positive spin, if Mean Mr. Mustard is ever angling for a passive-aggressive divorce, I think taking his wife here for a candlelit dinner beneath the deer feet might put him on the fast track to splitsville.

Finally, this is my friend Dan'l playing the Uncle Fester game at Great Wolf. He paid seventy-five cents for the privilege of being electrocuted. That's the whole game - it just ramps up and up and shocks you - the slow version of putting your finger in a light socket. Pooteewheet is apparently no wiser than Dan'l and wandered over to where Eryn and I were sitting in a game booth (once again, not actually spending any quarters), sucking on her finger and noting that "it hurts". Apparently you used to be able to win a few skee-ball tickets for playing, but the little sign now notes that it's "Just 4 Fun!"

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