Our first morning in America was spent sleeping off the effects of a 24-hour travel day. Then, full of vim and vigor, we set to work enjoying our vacation.
We went to Wal-Mart.
Listen, I know that people like to bad-mouth Wal-Mart: it’s full of rednecks, it oppresses the workers, the company is mean, etcetera.
Those people are mealy-mouthed bastards and I hate them. Do you know how many times I’ve said “God, I wish I had a Wal-Mart” in Europe? About once a day.
From tampons to tools, you can find it all, at low-low prices, with an elderly friend greeting you with a smile as you come in the door. It’s like grandma opened up a store, since it has everything you’d ever need, lots of stuff you never want, and no porn whatsoever.
Now, at this particular Wal-Mart, there was a feature I’d not seen before: a two-deck parking garage with a cart lifter. I had parked on the bottom floor, though, and therefore had no excuse to use the fascinating device that lifted a cart up like it was on an escalator without letting it tip over to disturb the contents inside!
Hey, screw the Romans and their aqueducts; that’s cool. I spent the entire trip to Wal-Mart trying to “forget” things to have a reason to come back, park on the top level, and use the cart lifter.
Damn Wifey and her list. We got everything. And because she’s scary efficient, everything is listed in the order that you arrive at it in the store. It’s like you’re on a bombing raid, and she doesn’t want anything left alive after you’re done.
Once we’d strafed Wal-Mart we headed over to a restaurant called The Mayan Adventure, in Salt Lake City. If you are a man, you must take your significant other to this restaurant. Trust me on this.
Every thirty minutes, they have some blah-blah about Mayan festivals or whatnot, and then cliff divers come out and proceed to take five or six dives off the cliff face into a pool. Every seat in the house has a good view. The food’s okay.
But the divers are all these college boys in skimpy loincloths. It’s like female Viagra. I’d get season tickets to this place if I could. I can’t stress enough that this restaurant is a can’t-miss attraction in a town where pornography is not easily available and booze is strictly controlled.
At one point during the show, after a diver had executed an amazing double-flip dive into the water below, somebody yelled “I’m gonna pay you fifty bucks for that!”
I was at first relived to see that it wasn’t Wifey, but then a little concerned that it was the boy. It became even more alarming when Wifey produced a 50 and began trying to fight through the crowd to tuck it in his loincloth like at Chippendale’s. Thankfully we wrestled her to the ground before she managed to reach the divers, or I don’t know what would have happened.
After lunch, it was time to find out how well the new portable DVD player worked. So I sat the kids down in front of it and then discussed politics and backgammon with Wifey in our private room, if you know what I mean, and I think that you do.
I love that restaurant.
We tried to go swimming later that evening, but the water was too cold to do anything other than preserve meat. That was when one of the children remembered that we’d promised to buy them a camera to share, but forgotten to put on the list.
“No problem!” I said. “We’ll go to Wal-Mart right now!”
“It can wait,” Wifey said. “There are plenty of other Wal-Marts.”
“But we have to go to that one,” I said. “We know where it is!”
“We’ve got a GPS,” she countered.
“But if we don’t go now we’ll forget again,” I said.
“We need to go to dinner.”
“We can have dinner down there!” Checkmate, Plebian.
Score one for the good guys: we ended the day at Wal-Mart, using the cart lifter to hoist our single item up. The kids giggled with glee, I was thrilled, and the cashiers looked at me like I was mentally ill.
The only down part of the evening was that Wifey didn’t want to go back to the Mayan for dinner.
Tomorrow: The vacation begins in earnest