Friday, July 20, 2012

A "Short" Story

First, the backstory... a few weeks back I was bellyaching on Facebook about the minimum height requirement to drive the go karts at our local family fun center. I was particularly annoyed that, despite the fact that I am an adult with an actual drivers license who drives an actual car, I am not considered tall enough to drive the go karts. This warranted a great deal of self-deprecating short jokes and snarky commentary on how silly this restriction was. I received a lot of empathy from my friends over on FB.

Jump ahead a couple weeks... I took my kids to that family fun center without my 6'+ tall husband. While my son is quickly approaching my height, I was still the tallest member of our family there. So, I decided to see if the spunky young teenager running the go kart track would let me drive my kids around the track. I mean, come on: adult, drivers license, drove myself there in a real life car. These were the arguments I had all ready to throw out.

The young man did not require a long, drawn-out debate. I just said, "I know I'm not technically tall enough, but--" And then he said, "Whatever," and shrugged and let me go. I think my daughter thought we were getting away with the fun center equivalent of a bank heist.

We climbed into the kart and managed to snap all five buckles across and over and through and every which way. Engines were revving. A day's worth of exhaust hung heavy in the air.

"This is gonna be awesome," my daughter declared.

I was a little too smug at my "height requirement, schmeight requirement" moment to say anything. I just gave her one of those lips-turned-out, slow, pointed head nods.

All five drivers and our passengers received the "don't run each other off the road," "white flag means go," "red flag means stop" instructions. The white flag was raised high. I wiggled my eyebrows at my daughter. The white flag snapped down.

Karts sped down the track. Well, four karts sped down the track.

I couldn't get the gas pedal down. My legs wouldn't reach.

I was ... too short to drive the go karts.


Moral of the day: We have rules for a reason, people. Obey them. They are for your own good.

Actual moral of the day: If you loosen your 5-point harness enough and sit at the very edge of your seat and drive with the very tips of your toes, even short people can get the gas pedal in halfway and crawl around the track at a speed that will have your prepubescent passenger shaking her head and declaring "This is soooooo embarrassing." But, you got to drive the dumb go kart despite being freakishly short, and that is something.


T.J. said...

Best story I've read all day.

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

How funny. Sad too. Being tall, I have the opposite problem. My daughter is 6'3". She outgrew all the little kid rides before she was ready for the big kid rides. Everywhere she goes, people ask, "Do you play basketball?" She doesn't.

Terry W. Ervin II said...

My wife had the same issue when we were at a Go-Kart park near Myrtle Beach. She couldn't ride the largest/fastest ones.
And remember, clog/platform shoes could make a difference too.

Sarah M Eden said...

Platform shoes! Terry, you are a genius!

Sarah M Eden said...

Rebecca--one of my really good friends growing up was much taller than all of the girls our age (right about 6'0"). Even though we were on opposite ends of that spectrum, we both got that being an unusual height could be very frustrating.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Glad you found a way around it, even if it was a bit of a stretch. ;)

Krista said...

Oh Sarah! That is hilarious! And sad and quasi-triumphant! It's like that movie Lucas. I like the platform shoes idea.

Cheri Chesley said...

I second (third? fourth?) the platform shoe idea. Awesome. Sarah, this is a great story. I love your "moral" and "actual moral" endings. :)

Melissa said...

That was funny! Thank you for the laugh on this dull summer morning:}

Melissa said...

Thank you for making me laugh on this dull summer day!

russandkatie said...

you make me laugh!

Kate said...

Oh, you made me laugh and laugh. I had to read it out loud to my husband. And I laughed again!

Mary Kay Chicoine said...

As 5'1", I fully appreciate the platform shoes idea! Usually I just make those "tall" people's day and ask them to hand "poor little me" items from the top grocery shelf.

Taffy said...

Awesome story!
We always made sure our kids have tall shoes on for roller coasters. Speaking of rides, do you get to go on all the coaster rides?
So your kids learned a good lesson that day, right? :) You're a good mommy.


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