"Wow, we're a long way up!" I exclaimed as I looked across the water park from my perch high above. The sound of rushing
water drowned out my voice. "I bet I beat you to the bottom!" I told my friends Kris and Jason. They both nodded at me as if to say, "you're on!"
As the line split into two lines that ran up to the water slide tubes, I chose the shorter of the two lines. I looked back at my friends and
grinned a wicked, evil smile. I knew this was the fast line, I was already pulling ahead of them in the "race".
Three people in front of me. Ten in front of them. Two in front of me. Six in front of them.
And then my line stopped. Dead.
Kris arrived at the front of his line, and he promptly loaded himself into the tube. I looked around frantically, why had my line stopped? Then I saw
it, or should I say, him. A third grader had planted himself at the water slide, my water slide entrance, and he was having second thoughts about going.
"I'm not sure I can do this!" I heard him squeak to the patiently waiting life guard. I nervously looked over at the other line. My friend Kris has just
launched himself down the tube, laughing all the way at my misfortune. How could this be!
I glanced back down to see the third grader had death gripped the sides of the tube, his knuckles turning white under the pressure of the fear he had coursing through
his body. There was no way this kid was going to make it down this slide.
Jason's scream of joy and laughter only reminded me that the race was still on. My tube, still road blocked.
Finally, the lifeguard said, "okay kiddo, you either need to go back down the steps, or..."
He never got to finish his sentence. In a blink, I saw the third grader release his weakened, scared hands, and like a rocket, he took off down the water slide
like a bullet. I think I heard him say, "I'm going nooooooowwwww," as he turned the first high speed corner.
I sat myself down, locked and loaded for speed. The lifeguard said, "give him a minute head start then you can go." I twitched with excitement, I could still
catch Jason and Kris if I flew down this pipe.
"Okay, you can g..." I never heard the rest, I was already at the corner before the lifeguard knew I had left. I was going so fast down the pipe. My skin felt
like it was flapping in the wind. I took the corners high and tight, not losing any speed along the way. And then it happend.
I turned the fourth corner, and there, in front of me, was the third grader, stopped in the middle of a long straight away. He was squeaking his
way down the waterslide. With each passing second I cut the distance between us in half. "Squeaky, squeaky," he pulled himself along a few inches at a time.
All I could imagine was a mangle of our bodies crashing into each other. That's when he turned and saw me coming. His eyes were as big as moons. "Squeaky, squeaky, squeaky,"
he picked up his efforts to regain speed, but it was too late. We had reached the next corner, collision time.
That's when the most amazing thing happend. As I took the corner, I went up and around the third grader. Our eyes locked on each other, and he looked up at me as
I went up and around him, not even grazing him as I went by. When I zipped down onto the next straight away, I finally realized what had just happened. I let out a
"whoohoo!" as I plunged into the pool at the bottom of the slide.
I emerged from the pool to find my friends waiting for me, both grinning like cats. Then behind me, I heard..."squeak squeak" as the third grader pulled himself into
the final streach, then landed in the pool.
My friends couldn't believe what happened to me in that tube, but they can't explain how I came out of the tube before the third grader.
This story is one that my class loves to hear about in class. Apparently, I tell it really well.