Monday, July 27, 2009

San Diego (#2): It's Just That Easy

We spent our second day in San Diego at Sea World, and Nicest Guy In The World Ben Ormand brought down the Nicest Family In The World and we all hung out together, which was great. I'm hoping that Katie 6.8 will be my daughter-in-law someday, because she is mesmerized by Eli 7.11, and he's very fond of her, too.

NFITW left about an hour before we did. Eli's older than Ben's kids, and at his age, he can basically be a sherpa. So we stayed and did a few more things, like hit the Midway.

I know--the Midway is just an excuse to pay outrageous amounts of money to try a carnival game that is rigged for you to lose. I know that, but Eli was so ridiculously well-behaved on this trip that I told him I'd give him $10 (the games are $5 each, so it meant he got to try two).

He looks around for a while and settles on a game where there are four rows of "clowns" lined up and you try to knock them over with a baseball. I think it's called "Down The Clown," or something, and no, I didn't say "Go Down On The Clown."

We watched a few people play first, and they were terrible. The game is rigged, obviously, because the prizes are absolutely GIGANTIC stuffed animals, but these guys weren't even hitting the clowns, let alone knocking them down.

Eli flushes $5 down the toilet by giving it to the attendant, and he gets handed three balls. If he knocks down three clowns, he wins any prize he wants.

This, of course, is impossible, although I'm vain enough to think that after he loses, I may try once myself, because I'm a very accurate thrower (not fast, though), and I wanted him to win something.

This thought is still in my mind when Eli 7.11 steps up and fires a laser beam with his first throw, knocking a clown off and leaving no doubt about it.

I forgot--this kid can really throw.

With his second throw, he knocks off TWO clowns. Win.

The attendant looks dazed. "And it's just...that easy," he says in a confused voice.

It was ridiculous. It was great.

Eli picked out a giant blue gorilla, and by giant, I mean almost as tall as he is. So we lug this giant gorilla around for a while, and I name him "Pete," which somehow seemed correct.

Pete hung out in our hotel room for two days, but then it was time to figure out how to get him home.

"I can just carry him on the plane," Eli 7.11 said. No.
"We can buy a big duffel bag." No.
"We can ship all the dirty clothes him, then put Pete in our luggage." No.

"Little man, we're going to have to ship Pete home," I said. There was never any question of leaving him behind, because Pete was a win, and wins have earned their freight.

"Ship him?" Eli asked, a little upset. "What if he doesn't make it? What if he gets lost?"

"UPS is very reliable," I said. "Over 99% successful delivery."

"But Pete's never been shipped before," Eli said. "He'll be scared."

"No so," I said. "Pete was shipped from China originally, where he was manufactured in Blue Gorilla Town. He was probably at sea for weeks in a large shipping container. Pete is already an international traveler with extensive experience."

This is how we wound up spending $16 to ship Pete the big blue gorilla from San Diego to Austin, and every night we put in the tracking number to find out where he was on his dramatic journey. Well, not dramatic, really--it's not like he got out at Phoenix and rode the rails and wound up in a flophouse.

So this is Pete (with Eli 7.11):

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