August 05, 2004


When I was a teenager, I worked at a nearby amusement park for a few months. I signed up for the rides department, which I figured would be more fun than food service. I was assigned to the river ride, which has big inner tube boats that seat 8 people.

My job was to step onto boats as they came along the belt and make sure people were strapped in properly. When they got off the ride, I made sure they got off safely without falling to the belt below. To do this, I had to stand with one foot on the boat and one foot on the walkway they jumped to. My body was basically a wall to keep them from slipping.

Often the ride operator wasn't paying close attention and I'd end up going for a little ride on the boats while I strapped a child in. I'd get off the boat at the next stop on the belt and go back to my post. I almost actually made it to the river launch once, but managed to get off just in time.

One day the operator set the boats in motion while I was actually making the step from the boat to the walkway. I fell about 6 feet to the belt below and had to climb back out with a sprained ankle. I wasn't seriously injured, but I was pissed off that she wasn't paying any attention.

Shortly after that, I left the boat ride. I'd had enough little injuries to decide it wasn't safe with that particular operator in charge. I got a job somewhere else, but returned to the amusement park one summer after I turned 18. I poured beer that year.

I'm 29 now, so this was 14 years ago. I spent about 3 months at that boat ride. I almost forget that I did that--it was so long ago and such a short time.

I'd probably forget it altogether if the falling down to the belt part wasn't a mildly interesting anecdote when you're standing in line with someone, waiting for a boat ride. It certainly doesn't define who I am today, and I don't put it on my resume.

Now, I don't want to equate working in an amusement park to being in a war zone, but John Kerry and his handlers need to focus on more recent events if they want to win in November. We ALL know you served in Vietnam. If that's the only thing you have on your resume that is worth comparing to Bush, I have a newsflash for you:

Al Gore served in Vietnam.

Posted by Jennifer at August 5, 2004 12:38 PM


Good point, Jen. And a nice anecdote to boot!

Posted by: Daniel at August 5, 2004 02:53 PM

Wait. Al Gore served in Vietnam?

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford at August 5, 2004 03:12 PM

I think that is a big problem with Kerry. He doesn't really have a solid record in congress to run on.

Posted by: Pete at August 5, 2004 09:23 PM

Excellent segue from story to point. I have several (more than three) friends who served in Vietnam. They are all voting Bush.

Posted by: Todd at August 6, 2004 07:36 AM