Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Hello Everybody!

What a weekend. I feel guilty for all the sitting around that I did though. I did get a good drawing started. At least, I think it's good. But I also fear it may turn to crap after I've put in the next 10 hours or so inking and coloring it. I envy those people that this stuff comes easy to. Oh well. I'll press on.

The freakiness at the Acacia Park Uncle Wilbur Fountain continued yesterday.

I took my kids back for the first time in two years.

The last time, if you will recall my mentioning (if I mentioned) we were treated to watching a homeless man bathe himself (clothed, thank god) while all the kids were running around acting like it was normal or something. The only thing that kept me from totally freaking out about that was the huge amount of chlorine that is added to the water. It did, however, keep me from returning to the fountain for the remainder of that season or the entire next year.

But I finally broke down because it was a nice day and when I mentioned the possibility of perhaps (maybe) taking them there for a bit, in a while, they both started doing a happy dance and singing my praises at the top of their lungs. Okay. Not that happy, but it was the most excitement they had shown that weekend, including going to watch the fireworks displays.

So we went. Halfway there it started to rain, but we continued. By the time we got downtown the rain had stopped and everything smelled nice and ozone coated, yet comfortably warm. There was still a decent amount of cloud cover and since it was 5:03 the fountain was playing the music and the animatronic figures were visible and spurting water in all direction.

For the non locals, I should take a moment and explain the Uncle Wilbur Fountain to give you a better idea of what it's about, but I'm a bit pressed for time so I will instead provide you a google link. I love you guys, but I'm in a hurry dammit!

When we reached the fountain the kids leaped from their shoes and took their frolicking places. My 4-yr. old daughter was practically vibrating with joy. My son, who at 11 years old is less than a head shorter than me already, was also excited, but not quite to the point of vibrating.

Their mother had joined us and we took a seat on one of the benches and watched the kids play.

And if I were to end the story here it would all be happy. Hah. Shall we continue?

No homeless man bathing this time. Fate upped the ante. Instead we had a homeless couple with two dogs. One was a little ratty, terrier looking, Benji dog, and the other looked to be a hound dog puppy.

The dogs were initially with the woman who was sitting at the bench to our left. The guy, I later realized, was at a table behind us. I only found out that because AFTER SHE HAD FINISHED TAKING THE DOGS THROUGH THE FOUNTAIN she left the hound dog with him.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Once I became aware of this woman I started to worry. My daughter LOVES animals. And bugs, but that doesn't pertain at this time. I hope.

The woman had just finished soaking the dinky dog and was amused at how pissed off it was from the whole experience. She then took the leash of the bigger hound puppy and was leading him to the fountain jets.

I was a bit concerned that my daughter would see the dog and run over to pet it and be her loving self. I shouldn't have worried. OF COURSE she saw the dog and ran over to pet it and be her loving self. My 'freak-out' meter started to rise but leveled off at around a 3. There were other kids around the dog and the situation seemed non-threatening.

Then the woman put my daughter's hands on the dog's leash and wrapped them in her own hands. She proceeded to lead my daughter and this struggling dog into the fountain. 'Freak-out' meter totally shattered. I was up and out of my seat and over to them before she had been able to take more than two steps. I disentangled my daughter from the situation and led her back to the bench where her mom and I tried to explain some of the dangers of life to a little person that couldn't grasp it.

After she had promised to leave strange dogs alone and had run back to play some more, the woman come over to apologize and tell us that she didn't mean any harm. I accepted the apology mostly because I couldn't see any benefit to going off on this woman especially since no harm was done other than seriously freaking me out.

After that, other than the drug deal happening on the bench to our right between a seedy looking dude rolling a cigarette and a 12-year old girl, the Manson family gathering at a table behind that bench which included the aforementioned girl, and what appeared to be a pedophile's photo shoot, the remaining hour went well. The fountain opened up, the music played, the kids had a blast and then it was time to go. I can only take so much freak-out in a day. My daughter cried and cried. She wanted to know when we would be back, and didn't want to take "soon" as an answer.

I didn't make any promises, but the "plan" is to go again on Saturday. Assuming I can fix my meter by then. Perhaps if fortune really smiles on us we will get to witness a mugging.

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"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."