An invitation to Parakai pools reminded me last night about the time I developed a urinary tract infection following a teenage stint on the waterslides at Waiwera. According to the doctor, it’s pretty common due to the high-velocity body-slash-water dynamics. Unless they were simply trying to reassure me. Either way, I promptly declined the invitation to return to the pools for fear of the dreaded UTI.
If you consult my ever-growing book of dilemmas (the unwritten version, currently only available in a live audio book, for six installments of only $49.99**) you won’t get too deep before stumbling across an even more embarrassing experience that reinforced my severe dislike of slides, and what’s more, camps.
Cast your mind back, if you will, to age twelve. Form Two, in all its glory. I don’t know about you but this was one of my favourite years. I loved Intermediate School, that is until we went to camp – several days away with your friends – doesn’t sound so bad does it?
Early on in said camp, a mudslide was established down a very steep bank at the campsite. By mudslide I mean a long strip of plastic that ends in a small, shallow pool of murky, muddy water.
Tween by tween we each took turns at throwing ourselves down the slide, aided by some lemony-fresh dishwashing liquid. Good ol’ kiwi summer fun. Harmless!
My turn arrives and I slide ‘n’ squeak my way down in front of the crowd. All limbs still intact, I reach the bottom of the hill and squelch speedily into the mud. Unfortunately I picked up an unexpected hitchhiker upon landing…
Of course it was me that hit the jackpot and landed right on top of a stick in the most unfortunate place! I dislodged the stick and emerged from the mud, with a small stream of blood running down my leg.
In pain and suitably mortified, my teacher sent me off to the showers to sort myself out. To make matters worse she followed me to my cabin and said she’d need to inspect the damage! As if being twelve years old isn’t awkward enough as it is.
For the rest of the camp I wasn’t able to join in any of the activities, lest anyone forget my moment of glory. I vividly remember the camp gossip – two kids were having sex for the first time, meanwhile I’m stuck in my cabin wearing a sanitary pad due to a muddy stick up the foof!
Needless to say I’m not so fond of camps. Or slides. Or slides at camps. Or sticks. Or slidy sticks. Or sticky slides.
[**Let’s be honest – most days I’ll dish it out for free, sometimes in front of far too many people, before I even realise it’s happening.]