Saturday, 2 January 2016

Death by Pan Galactic Fartle Blaster

At last it was the day of Boys'R'Us Mungle-style. I had developed a plan over the last few months which was to take my best buds on basically exactly the same trip I did with Poppy, but to just not tell them and say it was a boys-only expedition.
romsey rapids boys-only party trip And so it came to pass, Oh yes it did, that we left Jof in the shower and drove right past the JB's road and had to drive round again and picked them up and drove to Ben's and acquired him too. A carful of us boys is not a sight to behold so much as a sound to be-hear and very excited we all were.
I opened my presents which was a card saying Now You Are 6 and some Pokémon cards and some money and knowing that we would be in a swimming pool and a muddy field, Ben had brought his Pokécards with him so we sat and argued about whose cards were better for the duration.
We drove right past Grandad's place and reached the car park of Romsey Rapids which is vaguely like the Pyramids, really, but with a differently shaped waterslide and differently abled underground water pumping systems.
Only problem was, some other people had had the same idea as us, remarkably, and the advertised wait for pool entry was 1 hour. We posed by the sign saying how seriously they take pool hygiene and went upstairs to find a table only 4th time lucky.
cowherds pub the avenue southampton commonThe posing-sign said that if there was an "Accidental Customer Contamination" (small person crapping themselves in the pool) they would close immediately, filter for 9 hours, swap 20,000 gallons of water, load it with chemicals and work overtime to clean up. Also, they've had to do this Code 24 routine 10 times in the last year and it cost them an extra 50 grand, that's some expensive poo.
So we sat and waited ages while the tannoy lady said Bing-Bong can all those with orange wristbands exit the pool now, Bing-Bong can all red wristband holders approach the pool etc and eventually it was our turn (yellow band) and we attacked.
The pool has a long wiggly narrow channel which is part of the 'Rapids' aspect. Under-floor pumps make the water go around and every now and then, supplementary blasters increase to ramming velocity and undersea volcanoes blow bubbles up your butt and they are called Pan Galactic Fartle Blasters, honest.
southampton common park in wet weatherWe all had a go on the waterslide apart from Robert and many of us got bucketed by the big tipping bucket and we sat in the hot tub and chased each other round and round the wiggly circuit and lay in wait in the little current-free inlet and attacked and tickled and dunked.
I suppose we got an hour and a half wet-play and then we drove across Southampton to the Cowherds, my favourite pub-restaurant which has the added bonus of being right by the giant park. We had real food for real people and drew on the kiddie menus and a lot of it was very rude, with amusing pictures and ditties and our main hobby seems to be making up songs although we are not yet talented scriptwriters.
Outside it was immediately clear that although the rain had stopped, its after-effects lingered on in a mudbath of epic proportions. The climbing tree had been cut down so we missed out there, the slides were functional but ended in lakes and to be fair it was the 2nd of January so not necessarily the best day for extreme parking.
4 best buds singing songs about seagulls southampton commonBut we'd brought 2 bags of bready-type products and the ducks were looking hopeful. Sadly, the seagulls were much more aggressive and noisy so we had to scare them off while attracting ducks which is not easy, and then you find the pigeons are trying it on too.
It wasn't until we'd run out of Co-op loaf and shredded croissant that the swans arrived so we walked back down the Muddy Brick Road singing about seagulls and ducks and getting lost in the woods because we kept getting cut off by ditches.
We learned about duckweed-covered ponds and how they look deceptively like grasslands, but we didn't learn the hard way, as our spirit guide broke off branches for us to probe the murky depths and Johnny kept a couple of magic wands for later.
The day should have ended there but we had a pillow fight recently and grudges were still active so we came back to mine for a showdown, removed our shirts, cleared the room and let fly. Robert got one in the eye which was our only real adverse event of the day apart from the importation of 73 kg of mud and by the time the lads were dropped off, I think we did just fine. Teamwork was excellent and we had no casualties, what more do you need apart from more birthdays. Later we watched Star Wars (Empire Strikes Back), and you know, each one I see makes the next one make more sense. Looking forward to #7.

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