One of the great rights we have as parents is the right to embarrass our children. Wait, make that a responsibility because, otherwise, therapists would go out of business.
I exercised my rights well on Tuesday when I took my son Saylor (future therapy bill $23,567) to Six Flags.
It began when I agreed to hop on Thunder River around 5 p.m., agreeing to get a little wet in an effort to beat the 146-degree heat, which I think is a record for Atlanta. Well, I didn’t get a little wet — I got soaked. To the drawers.
That probably didn’t put me in the right frame of mind to be stopped by security while trying to get in the line for the Superman ride. I was bit confused. I wasn’t carrying Kryptonite or anything, only an all-you-can-drink refillable souvenir bottle. That, apparently, was the problem.
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I was told I couldn’t take the cup and leave it on the ride platform as I’d done on every other ride that day. I was going to have to rent a locker for one dollar.
No, a dollar is not a lot of money when you’ve already forked out over a hundred dollars for a day of fun. But it was the principle of the thing. It was the dollar that broke this camel’s back.
By the time I’d exhausted my pleading and complaining, I was getting loopy from the heat and steamy drawers.
“I demand to see that old bald dude who dances around in the glasses!” I yelled. “Mr. Flags!”
But my son’s happiness trumps my pride, and I eventually relented. Besides, I didn’t want to get banned from Six Flags. I’ve already been banned from Anheuser-Busch theme parks over a money dispute. Of course, I’ve spent enough on their beverages over the years to buy Sea World, so maybe they’ll let me back in.
Saylor was embarrassed, but not nearly as embarrassed as when I decided to shed my wet clothes in the Six Flags parking lot. Fortunately, I was able to find a pair of underwear in the back of the truck. I’m pretty sure they were mine because they had Spider-Man on them. Take that, Superman!
His embarrassment only grew as I decided to dry my shorts on the way to a restaurant by hanging them out the driver’s side window as I navigated the interstates around Atlanta. Not sure the other drivers were real thrilled, either.
“Dad, please, please don’t let go of your shorts!” begged my horrified son, who probably had some premonition of my shorts flying away and my pumping gas in my underwear later.
“Don’t worry, Saylor,” I reassured. “It’s not like I’m texting while driving. Those people are crazy.”
Chris Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-320-4403