Monday, January 6, 2014

Dear Frederick, MD

I like your town.  I was served the best Monte Cristo sandwich I have ever eaten at the now defunct Jennifers.  I bought my kickass dart set at your shop Edgeworks, and then got some Aerobars at the English store across the street.  That's plenty of good times right there.  What I am writing to you about is a bad time I had, and letting you know that you have the ability to make sure that it never happens to anyone ever again.

As with most things that happen to me, everything started off innocently.  I went back to my friend Furious T's house for a weekend away from college.  To my recollection, we had designs to take a trip out to Gettysburg, or some other Civil War site, but for Friday night, we decided to stay local.  When in Frederick on a Friday night with a hunger in your belly and a thirst only an ice cold pitcher of cheap beer can quench, you will find yourself at the Old Town Tavern.  We met our friend Bangor Van Goor, and after several beers and low priced hamburgers, we bought a couple of sixers for the walk home, and hit the town.  Luckily, I was wearing a fishing vest, which I believed was the height of fashion at the time, so I was a walking dispensary for beers and cigarettes. 

After much walking and a couple more beers, we found ourselves in the lovely park of yours.  No, your benches and gazebos had no hold on us.  We needed entertainment, and where better to go on a drunken night than the playground.  The junglegym was too low to the ground, and I hit my head on that.  The swings made the beer make me dizzy, and the springs on the rocking horses cannot hold a drunken gigantor for longer than a few seconds before pitching him to the ground.  Bangor and I did a wicked remake of the Rob Zombie "Dragula" video on the play train, but that didn't last long enough.  What drew my attention was the play fort, with its tantalizing enclosed corkscrew slide.

I clamored up the steps, and establishing my lordship over the castle, and did my best impression of the French knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail.  I postured some more, and then rocketed myself into the mouth of the slide.

There's something you didn't advertise on all those signs that said useless things like "The Park is Closed At Night" and "No Loitering".  What you failed to mention was that a very tall overweight man wearing a fishing vest full of cans of beer will easily get stuck in your corkscrew slide.  For one, my body was too long, and my feet were a foot or two from the bottom of the slide, while my head ended up a foot or so from the top.  The corkscrew had my body screwed around, and the bulk of my vest and my bulk itself made a nice tight fit for a slide made for children.  Unfortunately for me, my friends had frolicked off to play elsewhere, and I couldn't move myself out.

What you didn't count on is that I am a genius.  I was able to ascertain that I needed to lose bulk, and after several minutes of trying to think myself thin, I was able to worm a hand into my jacket and peel free a beer can.  Draining that, I became less bulky, and even more brilliant.  By the time I finished a third beer, I was able to wriggle myself to get my feet closer to the ground.  More importantly, I was able to get to the inner pocket of my vest and get my cigarettes, and that is how my friends found me.  They saw plumes of smoke coming out of the slide, and knew that it could have only been me.

So, to get back to what you can do: please implicitly label that your park is not for drunken manchildren.  Your rides need specific height, weight, and most likely, age requirements.  Failing this, please install ashtrays in your corkscrew slides.  I was covered in ash when they pulled me out.  This could have been avoided.  You could have done something, but you did nothing. 

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