Kudos to Jessica, Mary Kate, Kelli and Beth for putting the Aquarium outing together; lots of fun, very well organized. If it weren’t for Beth snatching the food right out of our hands, we wouldn’t have even known there was a problem with lunch. Fortunately, the kids were too stunned to cry – so we had that going for us too.
Dear Camp Horizon Die-Hard Supporters,
Since yesterday I have been thinking, “Should I write an email and try to explain my insane behavior or should I just let crazy dogs lie?” One F has now made the second option seem ineffectual. So here goes–and rather than use my normal rambly mode of email writing, I will put it in bullet points. (Yes, I just learned how to do bullet points and really have very few opportunities to use them.) [bullets removed by editor, they were very nice though]
My plans for the outing: transport, arrive, hug, hug, look at fish, take photos of kids and fish, eat, hug, hug, transport.
My plans changed when Jessica assigned me to eat with the first group, gave me the list of people and times, and said to delay the eating time for 15 minutes. I naively agreed. This was Big Mistake #1.
My mind was consumed with the thought that now Group 1 had already missed 15 minutes of fish-gazing time and somewhere in the Constitution there is something about kids in Aquariums needing to see EVERY fish in said Aquarium.
By the time Group 1 got to the cafeteria, 8 of the 15 minutes were left. Tick, tick, tick…
We had been instructed to look for Kelli and Mary-Kate. Believe me, I looked. Alas, my search was in vain. I believe they were being held captive in the dining area. Should have taken a Xanax right then–my bad.
Cooler heads prevailed (adults in group one, i.e. Drew, Amy, James, and Emily) and allowed kids to go through nearby exhibit. Tommy wanted to go to the bathroom and walked into some curve of the building clearly marked “EXIT.” Flop sweat commenced.
Food and food runners no where in sight, I went with Jessica to reserve tables. We did, infact reserve tables, setting a new Olympic Record for speed reservations. At this point, I believe I lost consciousness.
When I returned to reality, food was on its way and I was yelling through the crowd of 743995 innocent passersby that Group 1’s food was arriving. Tick, tick, tick–fish swimming randomly about unaware of the state of emergency–tick, tick, tick.
SOME of the food arrived, but empty drink cups arrived for EVERYONE. This left each adult responsible for drink orders for 2-3 kids. A manageable situation for anyone who is not me. Drinks under control, I left the eating area to go in search of remaining food. This is where things took an ugly turn.
During my absence, members of Group 2 had seated themselves in the eating area. Some of them were beginning to eat the food that had been lovingly placed before them by the adults in Group 2. Tick, tick, tick…
Unbeknownst to anyone in Group 2, this food actually belonged to the remaining starving, fish-deprived children of Group 1. (Although I have no proof, my belief is that One F had full knowledge of the situation and gave out that food with the twisted hope of witnessing “Beth’s Big Implosion.” Yeah, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.)
Using my ninja “food emergency” reflexes, I began to permanently scar fragile children by ordering: “ Drop those French fries! Step away from the Chicken Fingers and no one will get hurt!” I began throwing food from Group 2 to Group 1. Katie Pece looked genuinely frightened. Drew and Amy actually stopped speaking to me. Should have begun an Valium drip on myself STAT–again, my fault. Little did I know, the situation was about to go from a tiny bit awkward to cataclysmically awful.
While surveying the damage, some unsuspecting child saw Jane eating ketchup with her fries, and dared to say, “Beth, where is the ketchup? I need some for MY French fries.” There was nothing else to do than declare a “RED ALERT!” With my everyday hero cape flapping behind me, I dashed to the condiment bar. Tick, tick, tick…
If Jane wanted ketchup, and one other kid wanted ketchup, the only conclusion to draw was that EVERYONE would be aching for ketchup and so I began frantically attacking the ketchup pump. Little cup after little cup after little cup was filled with the tomato-y delight. With amazing speed and no spillage, I delivered the “Official Ketchup Tray” to Gay (the unsuspecting, but always game mother of James and Amy) while barking “2 cups per person! 2 cups per person!!”
There was no time to stop and think how many Camp Horizon people were actually in attendance…tick…tick…Could one whole tray of ketchup be enough? Surely not!
Back to the condiment bar, pump…pump…tick…tick…one woman commenting to her husband “Apparently we’ll have to go to the other side.” Duh! Has she never seen “Condiment 911?”
As luck would have it, unsuspecting Camp Horizon people were leaving the food line en route to the eating area. Never one to miss an opportunity, I began hijacking their trays, forcing them into the seedy world of ketchup couriering. No one dared to resist. The fact that my pupils had turned from hazel to blood red may have influenced them a little. When at last I made my way back to the eating area, the only person speaking to me was 2 month old Ethan Rossi.
Apparently, Gay had been forced to make a citizen’s arrest when Jeff took FOUR cups of ketchup. Amy Gall remarked to her mother, the Ketchup Sheriff, and me, “You DO realize this is manic behavior, don’t you?”
To my surprise, all other children had been cleared from the area. What was that about??? However, the lack of children in the eating area meant a surplus of children actually viewing fish. Job done.
Not so fast there, Crazed Camp Mom! Now all Camp Horizon participants must exit the building–which can only be reached by going through the Gift Shop! Are you #@%&-ing kidding me????
Wearing a blue-shirt and a camera around my neck, every third visitor to the Gift Shop asked me to take their photo or quote the price of the little back-packs I was standing next to. I hope I am wrong, but I believe it was no accident that I was the last one out of the building…by about 10 minutes. Thank you Kelli for coming to find me.
On the way home, I grew to understand it is not only fish that live at the Aquarium. Apparently, sharks, whales, otters, stingrays and even alligators live at the Aquarium. Apparently fun was had. I was glad to hear it.
I will be seeing my doctor on Tuesday. I’m thinking an increase of my medication may be in order. I am also going to request a medical excuse stating that responsibility for logistics is not only damaging to me, but a threat to the world at large.
Dona Nobis Freakin’ Pacem!