Monday, December 11, 2006


  • They are SO FUN !!!!

  • A friend suggested that I try these out, so I did. The first time I couldn't get tickets, so the next week I arrived at 7:30 on Sunday morning. The next person in line (at a more sensible 9:30) was a fellow American from San Francisco. By the time the doors were opened, there was a long line. SF had spoken with a slide veteran who revealed that the fourth floor slide was the one to finish with, so our selected order of go was 5-3-4. Up to the 5th floor, feet in the bag, and WHOOSH! There is no way to describe it other than being sucked down the drain! Not some weak drain, but some sort of power assisted evacuation pump from a battleship or a skyscraper.

    The sensation is just delicious. It is sudden, instant, and intense. And over WAAAAY too quickly, before I knew it I was spewed out onto the landing ramp, slowing to a gentle stop. I had a HUGE SMILE and my whole being was shouting, I WANT SOME MORE OF THAT !!!

    So I barreled up to the third floor, a little line but only a couple of minutes. Whoosh! Not as long as 5, but similar.

    Dash to 4, a 5 minute wait. The attendant made his sliders put on elbow pads. Feet in the sack, push off...


    THAT's what I'm talking about! 4 is not just a cork screw, it has straightaways. So in addition to being sucked down the drain, there is this powerful side to side slamming sensation.

    The only way I can describe it is that I felt like a living physics experiment. No, I became physics, a living demonstation of Newtonian dynamics.

    PROFOUNDLY head clearing.

    I don't know who you are, gentle reader, but YOU WANT TO DO THIS.

    SF, who had to leave to catch a flight, was in the landing area and pressed an extra set of tickets on me. Turns out that the admitters had provided an extra set upon SF's request. So I used those, and waited for one more round. And I was still driving past Heathrow at 11.30.

    I spent about 10 minutes in the landing area watching the reactions. EVERYONE had a big smile, except for one child who had bumped his head.

    Sliding tips-


    5 and 4. Don't bother with the others.

    I saw all ages from 7-8 to late 60s.

    Wear clothes without big buttons or other protrusions, be "slick".

    Keep your head off the bottom of the slide and your elbows in.

    Try it with eyes closed, also eyes open. Just for variety.

    Spend a few minutes watching the landings.

    Final event, when I was leaving I was meeting an incoming group of twenty five year olds who looked like the sort who go to modern art galleries for the effeteness fix. Front and center of the group was a standard artsy pretty girl, with a Persian cast to her features. She had the standard "I am so above/bored/uninterestable" expression, her mouth a dead straight line and her face like a botox advert. Clearly she was out to impress the boys around her with her unimpressability.

    Having been on holiday for a month, I was at the no editing at all stage of behaviour. The slides had pasted a huge dazed idiot grin across my face, which stayed there as the group and I approached. I looked her full in the face, and we made eye contact. My smile got even bigger as I thought, and then said, "You won't look like that after you ride the slides- you'll look like THIS, too!" (Pointing to my face.)

    Her mouth twitched just the least little bit, and she looked down to avoid showing emotion. But she smiled later, I'll bet.

    And to the San Franciscan, thank you for the guidance, the tickets, and mostly for the improvement that sharing brought. Seeing you experience it and light up too made the day even better. I hope you made your flight.

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