Mark Terry

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Eighty-Seven Tootsie Rolls

April 12, 2008
As I mentioned, we spent a couple days at the Kalahari Waterpark and Resort in Sandusky, Ohio last week. In general, we had a pretty good time. We noted that although most people we encountered working there were pleasant, the lifeguards and staff at the waterpark itself appeared to be just about as bored as it is humanly possible to be.

The exception was the surfboard areas, which I did not try, but my two sons did. In case you've never seen this, it's a slanting tank with water rushing upward at a gazillion miles per hour and they use boogie boards to surf on. It looked like a blast, but it also, to this 44-year-old contact-lens wearing guy, looked like public humiliation (could've lived with that), lost contacts (almost lost on on the Zip Coaster, a water roller coaster), and some bruises, because almost everybody falls off the board and gets rolled to the top of the hill. It's fun to watch, but I was iffy about actually doing it under those conditions. Anyway, the two guys manning that station appeared to be the only people at the park enjoying themselves.

Anyway, Kalahari also has, of course, a big arcade. It's modeled after the Dave & Busters model or whatever, where you play various arcade or video games, which then cough up tickets, which you cash in for crap. It's sort of Training Wheels for Adult Gambling Addicts, in my opinion (and there were adults acting pretty damned excited about winning tickets that were probably going to get them a pair of fuzzy dice if they were lucky). We killed an hour or so there on our last night, having spent most of the day in the water. My oldest son played some games, but he wasn't too interested, so of the $10 worth of tokens we bought, most of them were used by Sean, (Dad used 2 tokens to play Galaga, one of my older favorites, which probably dates me). He won 175 tickets, which wouldn't even accommodate a pair of fuzzy dice (and you need something like 5,900 tickets to get the portable CD player--you do the math). Tootsie Rolls were 2 tickets, or you could get a roll of some other candy for 100, or some junkie plastic toys that would occupy him for about 10 minutes.

The woman at the counter, probably college-aged, looked tired and I told her so. It is, after all, a really noisy place to work. She nodded. I said, "Pretty noisy work environment." She nodded again, said, "I have a headache every night when I get home." To which I commented, "You're definitely not getting paid enough for that." She muttered, "Minimum," then tried to help Sean pick out his "prize."

What he chose was to use the entire 175 tickets on Tootsie Rolls--87 of them. (Must take after his Dad, given that he wants his winnings in chocolate). The woman at the desk seemed mildly shell-shocked, then wandered over to a drawer, found a paper lunch sack and started tossing handfuls of Tootsie Rolls into the bag. I saw her saying something to her co-worker, which was probably, "This kid wants 87 Tootsie Rolls for his 175 tickets. No way am I counting these things."

So that seemed to make Sean happy (and everyone else in the family, for that matter). And I hope the woman gets a better job in the near future. A quieter one, at least.

Mark Terry


Blogger Aimless Writer said...

I guess when I complain about my job...I'll think of this girl, trapped by noise and counting tootsie rolls.
My kids surfed in Hawaii for the first time. They wore their contacts. Fell off the board a million times before they got the hang of it. I have to wonder how they didn't lose their lenses.
And now I have to go find some chocolate...

1:47 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

My first thought was getting minimum wage is nothing. Does she even get full-time hours? Health insurance? (I'm a little obsessed with the health insurance issue.)

I want to go to Kalahari, bad. But DH is allergic to chlorine. :-(

Chocolate! My kind of kid.

3:32 PM  
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