As we talked & watched the kids our conversation was interrupted by a strange sound. We looked over to the source of the sound just in time to see a 50 year old woman emerging from this slide:
This my friends, was quite a site. I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture above, but the tube for this slide is really, really small. There are some attractions at this playground that an adult can comfortably enjoy. This is not one of them. Trust me - I've tried to fit into this slide. There is no way an adult can sit up as the hole is probably only barely 2 feet wide. And the curves are sharp so anyone taller than a few feet would get a real whipping from the slide. Obviously this woman was taller than 2 feet, so she was laying flat on her back when she flew out of the slide at a 90 degree angle. This made landing on her feet nearly impossible, which she wasn't able to do. Instead, she crumpled into a heap in the wood chips below.
My first inclination was to rush to her and offer help. I mean clearly she must have been trailing her child in the tiny wooden structure above and slipped and fell into the slide. Or maybe a pack of beefy 10 year olds cornered her, stole her wallet, and then forced her down the slide.
Just as I was about to make my move a full size black Labrador flew out of the slide and landed right on her head. Yes, a dog. As she got the dog off her head, tried to adjust her hair now covering her face, and brush wood chips off her skin & clothes, it probably would have been polite of me to look away. But I was too mesmerized. I couldn't even blink. I mean, I didn't want to miss anything - what if a dolphin came flying out of the slide next and I missed that? She awkwardly stood, giggled, and then realized I was staring at her. She quickly explained "She just loves to go down the slide, but is afraid to go by her self."
I'm pretty sure I was supposed to respond to her explanation, but I was too confused. I was scanning the immediate area for a little girl and could not find one. I blinked my eyes a few times to confirm that her little girl wasn't just wearing a really realistic dog costume. But no. There was no little girl.
Which can only mean one thing. This 50 year old woman navigated a series of child sized ladders, steps, and tunnels, with a large dog in tow, to get to the top of this slide. She stood in a line of probably 10 five year olds for who knows how long, waiting for her turn to ride the slide. Since 5 year olds tend to be bad at standing in lines & sharing turns, especially with unknown adults, she probably had to be somewhat force full to get that turn. She then managed to smash herself into this tiny tube, turn around, pull her dog in behind her, and descend the scalding hot metal slide only to land in a crumpled mess at the feet of all the other adults. All this so her dog didn't have to ride the children's slide alone. And this apparently is something she has done before.
Like I said, people around here go crazy for their dogs.