Feb 18, 2017

The day I saw angels on a waterslide tunnel

On the day of my most recent panic attack, I was wearing a black swim skirt and a pink and black swim top. Blue arm band on my wrist. (That’s so I can ride til I die but I’m seriously considering handing it back to the Lobby Lady and telling her the words “SUCK IT”) I have quickly decided that donning a swim skirt is not the way I want to go out. I mean, you know?  Who wants to be remembered for a swim skirt.  Who invented those clingy things anyway?

Emily and I are just chatting it up while in line for The Tornado at Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte, NC.  Not a care in the world, really. Allison had just told us about how fun The Tornado is so we were giving it a try. Going in blind.  Ignorant, really.  We were talking about spring break. Watching other people in line. Wondering why that girl had snowmen on her swimsuit. Maybe she’s a Canadian swimmer?

I looked behind me at the old man standing with his grandson. He had to be 70+. I told Emily that if HE can do this ride? So can we.

Y’all. Ain’t no way he made it out alive. If anything he probably should have worn his life alert.


*I* should have worn his life alert.

After 15 minutes or so Emily and I made it to the top. I see the 4 seater yellow floaty come along. Nice Young Man holding it still for us while we heave our bodies down to it. You know? They should really consider making those butt holes bigger.

No. Wait.

That didn’t sound appropriate.

Those holes where your hiney sits. Those should be bigger.

And the handles need to be wider.

Also a defibrillator might be nice.

The young man was saying something. Not sure what because either a) all my brain heard was blah blah blah I hope you have good insurance or b) it was simply too loud from all the other bodies before us being slung down that dark hole of a slide.

I’m beginning to think this is a bad idea.

I’m thinking I may lose a contact here.

Why am I not wearing a snorkle?

Crash helmet?

Welp. Too late. Young Man has pushed the Too Small Hiney Hole Floaty down the Dark Tunnel of Death.

Guess who’s facing backwards? Yep! Black Skirt Suit!

At first I think hey this isn’t actually THAT bad. So what if it’s as dark as 3am? (Ain’t nothing good happening at 3am) So what if it’s fast? Pfffft….no biggie. I had four babies ripped from my belly. I can handle this.


That’s when Emily’s face turns….lord I don’t know….PALE WHITE?

And then she says it, as my back is still to the tunnel, “OH MY GOSH MOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!”

I turn to look, because y’all. I am oblivious to the sudden catastrophe that awaits just beyond my shoulders. I turn to look and there you have it. SUDDEN DROP OFF. We are actally going over Niagra Falls in a barrel.

We in trouble.


GUYS. I can promise you that the Too Small Hiney Hole Floaty was not even touching the tunnel.

We. Were. Airborne.

And that was when I realized a concussion is a real possibility in this situation. This death trap that I was zooming down was nothing but one big whirlybird tunnel.

The best way to describe my life at that moment is like this. You know those giant bowl things that you see at Ripleys Believe it or Not museums and fun parks where you put a quarter in it and it whirls down and around and around for 30 seconds? Disappearing into a black hole? That was me. Except I’m way bigger than a quarter which means the gravitational pull inside of that tunnel moves me with a much greater force.

A speedy quickness, if you will.

And now comes the part where I wonder if I have a signed will stored somewhere. Cause things ain’t looking so good for Mrs. Gibson and her black skirt suit.

Emily was just a hollerin.

The roar of that water around us was fierce.

The pressure of my heart IN MY FREAKING THROAT was nearly unbearable. Ever tried to swallow your own heart?

I was shouting out random thoughts. Crazy talk, really. I wasn’t in my right mind at the moment. “WHAT SICKO CREATED THIS SUCKY IDEA?!” “BURY ME WITH FONDUE AND A 24 PACK OF SHARPIES!” “THATS NOT THE CORRECT WEIGHT ON MY DRIVERS LICENSE!” and “I ONCE ATE 2 WHOLE KIT KATS WHILE HIDING IN THE PANTRY!”

Up the side of the tunnel we go. Whoosh! Splatted in the face with water.

Up the other side we go. Whoosh! Peed in my suit a little.

Repeat 5 more times.

Then I think I blacked out because I actually don’t even remember getting off of that Too Small Hiney Hole Floaty.

One minute I’m thinking that I’m going to get to heaven wearing last year’s model bathing suit and the next I’m walking back to the safety of our pool chairs with Emily. Our hands shaking. Our hearts pumping. A slight bit of wee slipping down my leg. Emily kept saying, “Allison said that it was FUN TO HER. I’M GONNA GET HER!!”

And me saying, “French fries are yummy because squirrels in the road with pajamas on Saturday.”

We agreed to play it cool around Dad. Oh yeah, big fun. You should totally do it. “Where’s your insurance card? Safe deposit box? Who gets your jeep when you go? Lemme hold your wallet you’ll never need that again.”

Really it was THAT terrifying to me.

Side note: Allison said,  “It’s like you get to heaven and the angels say what are you in for? And I say ‘tornado’. Then they say, ‘oh what category?’ then I’ll have to admit it,  ‘No. The Waterslide. Great Wolf Lodge 2017. Like my skirt suit?’

*below is a stock photo I found online because who’s dumb enough to take a camera on that joker?


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  1. Carolyn says:

    Scariest ride I’ve ever been on. Glad you survived!

  2. Leigh-Ann says:

    Loving this beyond words!!!!! Thanks for a belly laugh!!!!!! #gladyousurvived

  3. Oh my gosh! You have me laughing out loud at my computer screen reading that.

  4. Tara Sena says:

    HILARIOUS…????????????????what a great read!!!

    • Mandy says:

      My 9 yr old son and I rode it today. I don’t think I have fully recovered my souls that rocketed out of my body! We were past vertical in that wet death trap. Never again.