But I Regress . . .

Sunday morning I pulled the basil from my friend Kaye's late summer garden out of the refridgerator and made a large batch of pesto to freeze for the winter. Then Herb and I hopped into Valty and took a long drive through the foothills. Up to this point, it was a day filled with very adult activities. A few hours later we looped around the city and pulled up to the home of my co-worker gone friend gone boss, Matt.

Matt turned 30 this week. And what better way to celebrate than a gigantic, homemade slip-n-slide in your backyard? There is no better way, I tell you. Apparently, Matt and Tamara originally thought the classic S-n-S would do the trick, but it had been tossed off to the side by the time we arrived. In its place was 40 feet of industrial strength plastic. You may say fun. I say dangerous. Because at the end of this sheet of plastic was the edge of the yard, complete with a tie wall and a three foot drop off. But Matt and Tamara are smart and they thought of everything. The wooden railroad tie wall had been padded with old carpeting. And at the bottom of the drop-off . . . you got it - a wading pool!

We survived the first hour without anyone mentioning the fact that Herb and I were merely onlookers without our swimming suits. But as the keg emptied, the masses got rowdier. Now, before I go any farther, let me remind you that I am on a quest to rid my body of all things that aren't useful - so the only bevie in my red party cup these days is water. All decisions made henceforth were without any sort of liquid assistance.

It started with Matt approaching Herb. "Herb, what would it take to get you on the Slip-n-Slide with me?" The reality is that Matt has a self-proclaimed Man Crush on Herb. Has had one for years. I think he really wanted to see my hunky and dreamy guy without a shirt on. Trying to save my husband from unwanted attention through the power of distraction I blurted out, "You would have an easier time getting ME on that thing NAKED." It was one of the those moments when your brain is not computing what you are saying as quickly as your mouth is producing the words. But by this point, the natives were wrestless. They had already had a naked party train down the slide with five grown men and were ready for something new! All of a sudden, guests who were previously disinterested in the presence of the Harji at the party, "YEAH! That will do too!"

At this point, Herb jumped in and tried to take the focus off of me. "Okay. You know what it would take for me to go? I am going to need the baby pool at the bottom filled with Strawberry Jell-O!" At this point Matt begins shrieking for Tamara to find some Jell-O. That guy REALLY wanted to see my husband topless!

About 20 minutes later, Herb had sufficiently distracted Matt with conversation of Fantasy Football, which is apparently powerful enough to take the focus off of Matt's quest to see Herb catapult his half-naked body down 40 foot of wet plastic. At this point, Tamara emerges from the house with a satisfied smile on her face and a large glass of steaming urine-colored liquid. "Sparkling Tangerine!!! It isn't Strawberry and it hasn't firmed up . . . but . . . it is Jell-O!!!"

The inner frat-boy emerges again. At this point, I think Matt was actually chanting Herb's name. Herb's response? "I said strawberry." As Herb's stubbornness on the subject became apparent, Matt got bored and turned his attention back to me, "Cara???? What would it take to get YOU on there?"

Who me? Little old me? Well friends, I am much easier when it comes to making a fool of myself, so really all it would take is you showing enough interest to ask the question in the first place. Thrilled but pretending to be exasperated, "Gimmee a t-shirt and boxer shorts!" And then, in a brief moment in which I must have forgotten that we were taking turns saving one another from unwanted attention, "And Herb will go with me!" You should have seen the look on his face. After quickly computing his expression, I let him off the hook.

Moments later, I found myself in my boss' bedroom with his wife, hoping that his skinny-man boxers will fit over my butt. At this point, I was completely committed to the Slip-n-Slide. After all, I had perfect strangers chanting my name and if the boxers didn't fit, I was going down in my pink polka-dotted GAP "Cheeky" undies! The boxers fit. And while in the moment, I may have been a little disappointed that I didn't have a good excuse to take the plunge in my underwear, in hindsight I am very grateful that I fit into a 30 inch waist pair of shorts! I guess that sugar-free diet is good for something!

There I stood, at the top of the hill with two drunk men - stretching . . . yes, stretching as they coached me on technique. At one point, a bikini clad girl who had taken to sliding down the hill on her knees, slow enough to miss the drop-off but fast enough to get down to the cooler for another Bartles and James looked at me and asked, "How much have YOU had to drink?" Unimpressed with my tea-totaler's reply, "Oh! You're gonna hurt tomorrow! You will really need some Ibuprophen!"

All of a sudden, I found myself running. Fast. I felt my toes in the muddy grass. The plastic crunching beneath my feet. And then. I stopped. Laid down. And slid. About half way down the slide. And here is one thing I love about drunk people. They have very skewed boundaries and as a result they attach to strangers very quickly. And with that attachment comes loyalty. As I peeled myself off the plastic, unsure of what my next move might be, I heard one of my drunk coaches yelling at the crowd behind me, "NO! Come on! No booing! No booing!!!! Come on Cara, you can DO THIS!!!"

WHAT!?!! They were booing? Decision made. I ran back up the hill. My drunk coaches are strategizing and encouraing me. I am focused. I run. I stop. I drop. I slide. Half way down the hill. Again. This happens two more times. By this point, the crowd wants me to succeed. And I have determined that I will NOT relive my elementary school days of public humiliation! I am already wearing my bosses underwear and now I am soaking wet with nothing to show for it. At least Tamara had the foresight to give me a BLACK t-shirt. That is, at this point, about all I have going for me!

Finally, determined NOT to be "picked last for the kicball team" ever again, I let go of all fear (and most of my sensibilities) as I ran across the grass, hit the plastic and DOVE! No stopping! About half-way down, I realized, I am about to hit the edge of a wodden wall and then drop three feet into a kiddie pool. I closed my eyes. It didn't hurt. Herb was there at the bottom - with the garden hose, filling the pool - and as I hit the platic, he lifted the edge of the pool up to brake my fall. And it worked. It didn't hurt that time. Or the next two times.

But yesterday and today . . . now that is a different story.

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Blogger Jennifer Coomer said...

mad props, cara, mad props.

11:30 AM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger hurricanic said...

You're the shit, Cara. Hilarious. Only thing that would've made this better is it the boss' boxers would've slid off unintentionally half way down. Wish I could've been there. Anyone have the foresight to video???

6:02 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger denverherbie said...

There might be a video here...


6:10 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger Lolita said...

i can't remember--were you there when we skinny dipped in the 'ville? i think you'd have enjoyed that too! :)

10:15 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger hurricanic said...

Herb, I think one of the best parts of that video is your little giggle on the second go. Cute.

10:46 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

i don't remeber skinning dipping in k'ville - certainly doesn't mean it didn't happen. the reality is, i am much more modest these days. i can't believe some of the things i did back then - like pressing my bare buns against the floor to ceiling glass window at the front of the library!

11:25 AM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger Kelli Gambee said...

That is sooo awesome. I want to go to a party with drunk friends and play on a slip and slide. I am sooo jealous. None of my friends would do that...maybe Matt!

7:06 PM, August 19, 2006  

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