Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My motivation is in the crapper this morning...

There's a lot I could be doing today.  I'm not feeling it, though.  It took me awhile to wake up this morning because I was having a dream that I was on a SeaDream cruise with practically no ports.  It was so real that I remember dreaming I'd need to write about it on Cruise Critic.  In fact, it took me a few minutes this morning to determine if I was dreaming or it was real.  Once I was totally awake, I knew I had been dreaming.  Too bad.

My molar is not annoying me this morning, so at least that's better.

Here's another random thought I had this morning.  Back in the early 80s, when I was about nine years old, I went with a friend to Annapolis, Maryland.  I stayed with her and her grandparents for about a week.  Then my parents picked me up and we drove back to Virginia by way of the Eastern Shore.  I seem to remember stopping in Chincoteague and Assateague, where there are wild ponies.

Being a horse crazy kid, I was pretty excited about visiting there.  My dad was driving an ugly, bright orange, VW van with a popup top.  I remember spending the night in it at a campground in Maryland.  The next morning, my dad decided he wanted to go swimming in the pool.  I went with him.  Unbeknownst to us, the pool was closed, but for some reason, we were able to access it.

After a few minutes, my dad got out of the pool, but left me in the water.  Next thing I know, I hear this old man yell "Hey!  What's that kid doing in the pool?!"

I quickly got out.  He confronted me, asking what I was doing swimming.  I told him my dad had gone swimming and I was with him.  The guy said, "Oh, so your father can't read either?  There's no swimming when no one's around!"  In retrospect, I realize that guy was unnecessarily mean to me, but at the time, I was really humiliated and upset.  I'm sure he yelled at me because he was worried about liability, but as a young girl, I didn't know about such things.  He made me cry.

Mortified by the man's sharp words, I ran back to the camper, where I refused to sit on a seat, lest someone see me.  My parents took me to breakfast at a Hardee's.  Because it was late morning, I wanted a cheeseburger, but they weren't serving them and my dad said, "This is one of those places where you have to order what they want to serve you."  My parents hadn't seen the guy yell at me and when I told my dad about it, he kind of blew it off.  I stayed upset, though, because it was his fault I was in the water in the first place.  And hell, he hadn't even gotten me out of the water when he decided to get out himself.  As an adult, I realize how stupid that was.  Nowadays, someone might have called CPS.  Fortunately, the only harm was my extreme embarrassment and shame.

Later that day, we went to a water slide in Chincoteague.  It was a pretty cool slide and I couldn't wait to get on it.  As I was about to sit down, I slipped and went down backwards.  I was terrified, but apparently going down backwards impressed a bunch of people, including a cute teenaged boy who congratulated me for my "bravery", even though I had only gone down backwards because I'd totally slipped and fallen.  The water slide made up for the scary encounter with the campground guy.

Don't read any further if you're squeamish...

Years later, I wondered about that water slide.  Out of a sense of nostalgia, I went looking for evidence that it still existed.  I finally found it when I read a story about the man who had owned the slide.  Turns out he was a sex offender named James Jenkins.  That, in and of itself might be shocking, except for the fact that Jenkins was so upset about his urges to molest little girls that he decided to castrate himself with a razor while taking a shower in jail.  He asked a guard for a razor so he could be clean shaven for court the next day.  The guard hesitated, but gave him the razor.  Then Jenkins put an apple in his mouth to muffle his screams as he removed his testicles.  Having cut them off, he then flushed them down a toilet in the jail.

Needless to say, I was shocked to read about that.  At the time that I found the news story, it was the only thing I could find that mentioned the water slide in Chincoteague that I remember so well.  I don't think the slide is still in existence.  I've looked for pictures or mentions of it.  I'm pretty positive that Jenkins' slide was the one we visited because, at the time, it was the only slide in the area.  So, on that trip to Chincoteague on the way home, not only did I get yelled at by a scary, mean old man at a campground, but I also visited a water slide owned by a pervert.  And not only was the guy a pervert, but he later actually took it upon himself to cut his own balls off with a razor and flush them down the toilet.  

And all those years, I thought it was the mean guy at the campground who was offensive.

I'm glad childhood is over.


  1. I've never spent much time at Epinions and don't even know how it works, but it seems weird that it's closing so quickly with so little notice.

    1. I wasn't surprised. It's been going downhill for some time now. It's still sad, though.

  2. I think a memoir would be a good start. You already have a ton of material.


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