Over the weekend, Mr. Tangerine and I took Ben up north to play with his cousins at an indoor water park (that indoor thing was handy, given the cold rain on Saturday and the sweltering heat on Sunday). Now, we all know that Wisconsin is America's Dairyland. And they love their fatty German meats (wienerschnitzel, bratwurst) and their deep-fried fish (a stunning percentage of restaurants offer "fish fry" every Friday night), but lest you think they're super Atkins adherents, let me tell you the sides served with the fish fry at our hotel: cole slaw (hey! vegetables!), bread and rolls, french fries, potato salad, and potato pancakes. (The fish fry? All-you-can-eat, bien sûr.)
The upshot of the Wisconsin diet is that, although the state doesn't make the list of the top 10 fattest states, the folks do run large. The stores stock larger clothing sizes, on average. And I looked positively bony at the water park. It was one big panniculus party, and assorted man boobs were on display. There was also a man who was so furry, I wanted to sic the Queer Eye Fab Five on him for some compulsory waxing. His back! His arms! His shoulders! Omigod, the shoulders. (My eyes!)
Regional language fun: An employee directed me to the "bubbler" to get some water. That's one of those things the rest of us call water fountains or drinking fountains, of course.
The 8-year-old nephew reported seeing the British zombie comedy, Shaun of the Dead, recently. Apparently, my brother-in-law rented the DVD and let his 8- and 5-year-old kids watch it. Now, I enjoyed the movie myself, but damn! is it ever violent. In what circumstances do you feel R-rated movies are appropriate for young children?
Sunday morning, Ben woke up with a stuffy nose, and the clever boy made sure it didn't progress to a nasty cold. I'm delighted for him. However, he transmitted it to me, and the sinus pressure is most bothersome. I'm lazy enough as it is—tack some malaise on top of that, and it's a miracle if I get out of the house.
I did get out of the house today, because the lovely people from Volkswagen brought me a new car for a 24-hour test drive (that viral marketing dealio) and I had to try it out. I was hoping to replicate the experience of driving a new Passat 5 years ago, when it was hip and newfangled and other drivers liked to make eyes at it. Sadly, the only attention the 2006 Passat got was from an elderly woman working at the grocery store. She admired it and patted it gently. Where are the young hipsters ready to goggle at the sight of it? (This may not bode well for the new model's reception in the marketplace.)
Okay, I'm going to lie down now...