Let me start off by saying right away: Sorry to my peeps in Wisconsin, this rant is not directed at you.
With that apology out of the way and considering that spring break is upon us, I felt this post to be blog worthy. So here it goes…
There is a special vacation spot in Wisconsin, approximately 3-4 hours northwest of Chicago, which promises Illinois families seeking a quick vacation, oodles of family fun and bonding time.
A place where a river, a lake, and a plastic pool playland converge to form the “Waterpark Capital of the World”. A place known as the Wisconsin Dells.
Or, as I like to refer to it: Hells Dells.
Hells Dells, the resort spot where Wisconsinite locals ply their wares and treat their Illinois tourists with unmasked disdain, and charge a fortune while doing so.
At least, that’s been all four of my past Hells Dells experiences.
Maybe it’s just that the folks who live and work in Hells Dells have come to find the folks from the greater Chicagoland area to be rude and demanding. Or maybe they’re just cranky all around. I don’t know, but I swear, Hells Dells residents seem to HATE people from Illinois (or perhaps they just hate me).
I won’t go into every transgression that has ever happened to me while at Hell Dells (but think along the lines of numerous parking tickets, anti-abortion protesters holding up graphic pictures on busy intersections, and a beetle problem in a hotel room). Instead I will provide a brief recount of my last HellsDells episode, or the Glass Incident, as it is known around my house.
A few years ago during the gray, gloomy, and cold month of March, my family had a three day stay at a giant indoor/outdoor water park resort that was teeming with children and adults stuck indoors. The first day was spent in the ‘Cavern’ indoor pool, which consisted of plastic molded and colored to resemble Gold Rush era caves, boulders, and bridges. Encircling this water wonderment was a "lazy" river designed to be floated in with yellow inner tubes. There, each member of my family claimed an inner tube and we proceeded to float in a giant loop around the Cavern 3,465 times in a 6 hour period along with 13,000 other people.
The second day was spent at the “nation’s largest indoor wave pool”. Well, at least that had been the plan. Except when we arrived at the wave pool, it was empty. As in: drained of all water. Which meant no waves, no inner tubes, no nothing. Wait, I take that back, there were two green garden hoses, yes folks, two green garden hoses, filling up the pool. At the rate the hoses were flowing, I suspected the pool would be ready by mid-April. Oh? And the two mutant guys in charge of filling up the pool? Um, yeah, they were entirely unable to offer me an explanation of how exactly, a giant wave pool became devoid of water and thus waves, overnight.
Being me, I marched myself to the front desk and asked for explanation.
Me: What happened to the wave pool?
Front Desk Girl: Someone accidentally left the drain open over night and all the water leaked out.
I looked around to ensure she was talking to me, then asked:
Me: Am I being punked?
Front Desk Girl: We are sorry for the inconvenience ma’am. The pool should be filled up by tomorrow. Here’s a $25 off coupon for your next stay. You have three months to use it.
Oh, okay – THANKS! What GIVERS!
Not wanting to again partake of the Cheerio Bowl (our nickname for the Cavern pool) we spent the better part of our day crammed in a tiny hotel room along with thirty other desperate parents and their whiny children, painting ceramics with meager brushes (that I’m pretty sure were procured at a highly discounted rate, as they appeared to be obtained from a garage sale some thirty years prior.) All this of course, was at an extra charge.
After three hours of painting a light switch plate while trying to comfortably fold my 5’9 ft frame onto a toddler chair, and then having my exposed big toe stomped on by a tike who decided to throw a temper tantrum while his mother sat by idly, encouraging him to 'work it out', I decided I had HAD ENOUGH.
Still seething during dinner, my husband tried to ply me with numerous fruity alcoholic drinks in an effort to calm me down. While this type of tactic usually works, this time was different. Even though I was intoxicated, I had several years of pent up frustration (nay, hatred?) built up against Hells Dells and like a volcano, I was ready to blow (Or is that what whales do? Perhaps I was ready to explode? Erupt? Regardless, I think you get my point). Anyway, this is what happened:
Me: I haffa an idea
Glenn: Oh no.
Me: Oooh yest.
Glenn: What? What are you going to do now?
Me: You are gonna hafta be my hit car.
Glenn: Hit car?
Me: Noff, not hit car. Other car.
Glenn: Why don’t you have another Tropocana--Banana-O-Rama? I’ll ask the waiter to double the rum again.
Me: NOFF! (hic). Om meant getaway car. You take kids.
Glenn: You know, your starting to sound a little like Tonto.
Me: Stoppit! Dis is serious bidness. I hafta plan to get a glass.
Glenn: What do mean you have a plan to get a glass?
Me: Oma steal a glass from dis restaurant.
Me: Beeeeecauzzzzz! I like the logo-glass and I hate HellsDelps!
Glenn: But this restaurant didn’t do anything to you.
Me: It doesn’t matter!!! Can’t you see? Itsa HelpsDells conpairacy!
Me: Why youf repeatin me?
Glenn: I don’t think you should do that.
Me: Ooooooh big (hic) man. Whaf you gonna do, tellon me? You know you can no stop dis. And you can no stop me (table pound) when I know whaf to do when I wan!! Itsah plan now in notion. I wan the glass, Oma gonna take it. And everfree time I use it, will remind me how I got even with HellsDess.
Glenn: (Rolling his eyeballs at me) It’s a plan in notion, alright. You couldn’t have said it better. Come on kids, let’s go get the car. Better go give your Mom a kiss too, just in case she ends up in the slammer.
Me: Come here my babies, gimme kisses. Mommy (hic) lovefs all the both of yous.
As my family headed out to retrieve the getaway car, I formulated my plan:
I was going to nonchalantly walk through the bar with my drink and pretend to sip it on the way to the restroom. Once in the women’s bathroom, I would dump the drink down the toilet, flush, wrap the glass with a wad of toilet paper, stealthy put it in my giant purse, and then walk out the front door, unnoticed.
As I got up from the table, I made a mental checklist: Food bill had been paid, check; I had grabbed a glass with some drink-life left, check; I remembered to put my shoes on, check; I also remembered my purse, check; I ensured my family made it to the car, check. Alrighty then, I-WAS-RET-TO-GO!
I sauntered my way across the restaurant, lazily sipping my drink. As I reached the bar area I tongued the tip of my straw and give the bartender a buzzed little smile that’s screamed: just another woozy Illinois broad headed to the little ladies room. I then successfully completed the walk through the bar and headed over to the hallway where the restrooms were located.
Hot damn, I thought! So far this was EASY-PEASY. I checked behind me, no one was around. Trophy glass in left hand, I reached the bathroom door, opened it with my right hand, and BINGO, I was in baby! Plan in notion, indeed.
Why were there men in the women’s bathroom? And urinals? Hey, what the?
HOLY SHIT, had I walked into the wrong bathroom?
After a brief moment of panicked eye contact with a surprised bald guy trying to stuff his peter back in his pants, I quickly backtracked my way out of the men’s restroom. Oh boy.
Two minutes later, I was firmly ensconced in the passenger seat of my hit/getaway car, with my belt safety latched.
Me: Well whaf?
Glenn: Did you get the glass?
I looked into my lap and decided not to answer.
Glenn: Helloooo? Earth to France.
I could tell Glenn was not gonna let this one drop.
Me: I got dis instead.
I proceeded to hold up my replacement Hells Dells trophy.
Glenn: You got a soup spoon? How did you get that? What happened to the glass?
Me: I don wanna talk bout it. Take me back to hoftel. I hate DellsHells! Omm never coming back.