We were in the usual line to get in, with a group of obnoxious teenagers in front of us. As soon as they got in one of them ran over to the first souvenir booth and blew a wad of money on a HUGE Shamu stuffed animal. Literally 8-10 feet long and 2 feet wide. After walking away with her prize it suddenly dawned on Einstein and her friends that this was not something they could comfortably drag around with them all day.
So they decided to rent a locker. It was obvious (to all but this group) that they were too small to hold Shamu. This was quickly becoming the best show in the park.
They hauled mammoth Shamu over to the lockers, which were the size of an average high school locker. And into this they tried to cram a stuffed animal bigger than a Volkswagen. Simple observation showed it wouldn't fit, but they sure tried, pushing Shamu in head first, tail first, dorsal fin first. Of course, none of this worked, but one had to admire their efforts. They then went to ask for their money back on the locker rental, but couldn't get a refund. So they put their purses in, instead.
At this point the locker attendant, who I'd assumed was enjoying the show as much as we were, ruined everything by suggesting they put Shamu in their car. They thought this was a grand idea, and carried monster toy off. They were back a few minutes later, still lugging Shamu, because they'd left their car keys in the locker.
Sea World has these expensive "interactive adventures" where you can be a trainer for a day, assisting with the care and feeding of dolphins, whales, and various other flora & fauna. I could just see myself working the "Wild Arctic" polar bear display:
Dr. Grumpy: "So what are we doing now with the polar bears?"
Trainer: "It's their feeding time. Don't worry about the locked door, we'll be back for you later Mr. Grumpy!"
Dr. Grumpy: "It's DOCTOR Grumpy! Hey, open this door! HEY! HEY!"
Ar the Cirque de la Mer show a family in matching baseball caps sat next to us. During the act a clown went over and lifted up the father's hat. Not only was dad bald, but he had a wad of money under his hat for safekeeping. The clown and Dad both looked pretty surprised when a bunch of $20’s fell out. The clown quickly gave the hat back and went to find another victim.
There is nothing as embarrassing as having your kid go up and loudly ask the attendant at the penguin exhibit why Sea World’s penguins don't dance like the ones in "Happy Feet". Mrs. Grumpy and I pulled paper bags over our heads.
Apparently assholes go on Summer Vacation, too. The kids and I went on the “Journey to Atlantis” roller coaster. There was a guy in our car who was on his cell phone when he got in, arguing with someone at the other end. He wouldn’t hang up, and the attendant came over and said, “Sir, I can’t start the ride until you put the phone away”. Mr. Asshole yelled back “It’s an important call, damn it!”. Then people in line began yelling, and the attendant came over to take Mr. Asshole off the ride. So he put the phone in his pocket, and the ride started.
As soon as we were on our way, of course, he whipped out the phone again and began talking to somebody “Yeah, the dumb kid who runs the ride made me put it away for a minute”.
We hit the first big drop, and the phone flew out of his hand, disappearing into the water 50 feet below. It was awesome. As we left the ride I watched Mr. Asshole arguing with a superviser that the park was at fault for him losing the phone, and demanding they buy him a new one. I hope like hell they don’t.
After this we sent the kids off to the playground, while I went to pee. The bathroom music was “Play that Funky Music, White Boy”, and I got to watch the guy at the urinal next to me trying to pee, disco dance, and sing, all at the same time. Like watching a gong show audition.
Later in the day we went over to see the Budweiser Clydesdales (yes, they live at Sea World). There was a small fenced pasture in the back, with a solitary horse wandering slowly around it and a security guard leaning on the rail. He was being chewed out by a crazed man insisting that the pasture was too close to the rollercoaster, which was terrifying the poor horse (who didn't look at all terrified). The guard was trying to be polite, but obviously had no idea how to respond to this irrational fruitcake. The guy actually finished off by saying that he was going to write a letter to both his congressman AND the Audubon Society (really!) What is with people?
If you buy ice cream at Sea World they give you these great plastic bowls, which Mrs. Grumpy loves to have at home. Since ice cream here is expensive, and we’re trying to save money for next week’s cruise, she’s been watching to see if anyone abandons some at a table so she can nab them.
Late in the day she grabbed me to say that she’d just seen some tossed into a trash can, and (of course) wanted ME to get them.
So, doing what any parent would do, I told Frank to go get them (Hey! That’s what kids are for!). Unfortunately, as he walked over to do so, a guy with a rake came over and mashed down the garbage so they were beyond his arms’ reach.
I prayed none of my patients were watching, walked over, and pulled them out of the garbage myself. And then I looked at Frank and loudly said “Frank! Mom told you not to throw these away!”
When in doubt, blame your kids. If they’re not around, blame the dog.