Sorry, Nobody Told Me Owning My Own Waterpark Would Be Hard
As the days get longer and we approach another sliding season, I've gotten many emails and letters and summons asking me about my waterpark, and begging me not to re-open my waterpark, and etc ...
Just buried in paperwork over here.
And rather than respond to those all individually, as manners and the law require, I'd thought I'd instead use the venue of this list-based comedy website to address some of these questions and concerns, and even, if I might be so bold, apologize for some of the events that occurred at The Slick 'n Sloppy Chris Bucholz Experience last year.
Hold on to something, kids ...
I Am Sorry About All The Fatalities
I know, right? I went there right off the bat.
Gotta knock 'em dead early.
Obviously this is what you all want to know about, so let's get this out of the way first. I am sorry about all of those deaths, even though almost none of them were my fault.
-- more letters come flying in --
Sorry. None of those deaths were my fault.
According to the Terms & Conditions of The Slick 'n Sloppy Chris Bucholz Experience, which I promise to make available at some point in the near future, patrons of the waterpark acknowledge that there are certain risks inherent and unavoidable in the operation of a very economical waterpark, and that they will not hold me liable, or sue me, or even get angry at me if they die.
So I can be sorry about what happened, and troubled, and completely reprehensible, without being guilty. The system works.
Actually a pretty clear sign something's not working, but whatever.
But let's circle back around a bit and try and draw out why those fatalities happened. It mainly starts with one issue, namely ...
I Am Sorry That Water's Not Cheap
I mean, it's not expensive in small quantities, like if you just turn on a tap or whatever. But if you don't have a tap, because you're technically squatting in a waterpark that was abandoned 20 years earlier, you have to improvise. A hose and a willing neighbor is kind of your best bet, but hoses aren't cheap, especially when your neighbor keeps confiscating them.
Seriously, what the fuck, Jack In The Box #2218.
This isn't a one-time expense, either. Due to evaporation, splashing, and the nature of a very poorly sealed waterpark, the water demand is more or less constant. With hoses running 24 hours a day, the city will ask a ton of questions, and many of those questions are actually fines, and it just all adds up.
Obviously, this isn't really your problem, reader; you're just an authority or regular splashing enthusiast. But the relative lack of water in my waterpark may have been a contributing factor to some of those fatalities, and more fundamentally, the water supply reflected a financial situation which was the source of even greater issues like ...
I'm Sorry People Are Reluctant To Pay Good Money For A Poorly Sealed Waterpark
The established waterpark industry has no problem using their market strength to keep their competitors down, up to and including the spreading of rumors about how "dangerous" and "poorly sealed" other waterparks are, or tattling to the authorities about "how many people die" there.
Come on. Fight your own battles, you huge babies.
The end result of all this skullduggery is that the only people who were willing to attend a new upstart like The Slick 'n Sloppy Chris Bucholz Experience weren't willing to pay a ton of money to do so. Not only did this limit our revenue, it also means, and it pains me to say it ...
I'm Sorry The People Who Did Pay Were Not Good People
Now, I'm of the mind that all people are inherently honest and worthy, and obviously I was in no position to turn away anyone willing to spend eight dollars for a family pass at The Slick 'n Sloppy Chris Bucholz Experience. But it must be said that that price point attracts a certain ... clientele.
The kind that doesn't know the word "clientele."
This is not a criticism! I generally enjoyed every moment I spent with the people who attended my water park, and if not rich in wallet or shirts, they were rich in character and joie de vivre. And off-brand beer.
In fact, it was their thirst for cheap, trash-bag beer that really kept the park open during those troubling first few months, especially once I realized I could sell it to them on site. So why am I sorry about this? Well, because this led directly to ...
I Am Sorry About The Swim-Up Bar
A little-known secret of the waterpark biz is that most of our money is made at the concession.
Ok, maybe it isn't much of a secret.
Which presented me a unique problem because I wasn't licensed or even really equipped to provide food at The Slick 'n Sloppy Chris Bucholz Experience. Many of you who attended during the early weeks will recall the garbage bag full of chips I'd leave out by the wading pool, the best solution I could come up with at the time.
At least until me and some of the fellas did some brainstorming.
It turns out that, while liquor licenses are even harder to get than food services licenses, liquor board inspectors don't even think to check out abandoned waterparks when conducting their inspections. Several minutes later, our swim-up bar was born.
Actual photography wasn't permitted there for obvious reasons, so enjoy this stock photo in lieu.
This was when The Slick 'n Sloppy Chris Bucholz Experience really began to hit its stride, and for a few brief shining minutes, it seemed like we might just make it, all of us, together. But it turns out that serving vast quantities of mid- to low-market beer to miscreants in an abandoned water park can have its downsides ...
I Am Sorry We Hooked Two Water Slides Together
Of those booze-fueled-miscreant-related problems, the biggest by far was the decision to hook two water slides together to see what would happen.
Grievous lower body injuries. That's what happened.
Other things that happened that were regrettable: a grievous upper body injury, a lost pair of sunglasses, a Bad Incident, and some skid marks. Also there was that one fella we fired down one waterslide and completely up the other and we never saw him again.
Which ultimately brings me to ...
I Am Sorry About All The Additional Fatalities
I realize now that I hadn't told you earlier that I was dividing up the fatalities into two separate groups; the fatalities that definitely weren't my fault, and the fatalities that also weren't my fault but it's Iffy.
Iffy isn't actually in the law books, but it will be by the time my case makes it through the courts.
It was ultimately this second group of fatalities, and also a third group I don't want to talk about, which inspired me to not open The Slick 'n Sloppy Chris Bucholz Experience for a second season, and to flee into the long grass. So to any patrons reading who did actually want to return this year, I thank you for your enthusiasm and promise to leave a garbage bag of chips out for you sometime soon.
And for any authorities reading, I totally promise I have learned my lesson this time, and please don't touch the chips. This isn't about you.
Previously in this series:
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and one hell of a fella. As the author of the amazing novels, Freeze/Thaw and Severance he thinks you should definitely go buy both of those now. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.
Learn how the generation gap makes it impossible for us to all get along in The 5 Most Half Assed Apologies for Historic Crimes and see how teens are unfairly judged in 6 Types of Apologies That Aren't Apologies at All.