Saturday, September 20, 2014

Amber Alert from Hell

I woke up in a pool of sweat, my pulse racing.  Wow.  The dream seemed so real.  But it wasn't just a nightmare....   
It was a flashback to the mid-90's.

4-year old Kimmy was "lost" in a brightly colored hamster tube at Leaps 'N Bounds.  It had been 10 minutes since I'd last spotted her behind a steering wheel waving to me through a smudged-up window 2 stories above my head.  

I had motioned for her to come down, but she conveniently disappeared.   

I followed her trail from below, anticipating her moves.  A-ha!  I spotted her in the control room at the top of the twirly slide.

I stuck my head up the bottom of the brightly colored curley-cue, "GET DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW, KIMMY WALT!" I barely got the "OR ELSE" out before I was hit in the lips by a pair of brightly colored socks.

Not hers.

I growled as I climbed up a purple ladder and yelled, "KIMMY!  I KNOW YOU HEAR ME!  COME DOWN HERE THIS INSTANT!"

I counted to 100.  She was still missing.  Damn!

I was going to have to go in after her. 

It's been over 20 years since I entered that hell hole and I recall it like it was yesterday. 

OMG!  The plastic was so hard.  My knees were killing me before I'd gone 10 feet.

And apparently I wasn't moving quite fast enough.  Terrorist todlers were tailgating me as I maneuvered through the tubes.  "Back off, Buster," I said to an unruly rugrat attempting an illegal pass on a curve.

It was so stinkin' hot.  And humid.  The aroma of sweaty children comingled with pizza and a hint of poopy diaper wafted around me.  And something else.  What was it?   

I rounded a corner and put my hand into the something else.  Puke.  It was all I could do to keep from adding to the collection.  I wanted to turn around, but the traffic jam of toddlers behind me prevented any change of course. 

I wiped my hand on the tube wall and did my best spider woman maneuver to get around the nastiness.

I was literally trapped like a rat in a maze.  I tottered down one tube after another, calling Kimmy's name.  The claustrophobia began to kick in as my panic intensified.

Then I saw the steering wheel.  She must be close!

I knimped (def: limp while crawling on hands and knees) my way to the smudged-up window to get my bearing.  I looked down only to see Kimmy looking up at me.

But she disappeared.  Was it a mirage? 

About 2 seconds later she was next to me.  My sweet, sweaty 4-year old Kimmy had come to my rescue.

I disembarked the curli-cue slide and considered kissing the ground, but decided against it considering the carpet's condition.  Then my day got even better.  The pimply-faced teen-aged bouncer told me that I was too big to go up in the tubes.

So I told him he smelled like farts.

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