SLIP and SLIDE (aka. A lesson in the best-laid plans)


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This past weekend I attempted something I hadn’t done in over two years. I intended to host a 100 foot Slip and Slide at a local park. You might be inclined to ask, “Wait, a Slip and Slide? Isn’t that a little immature for a twenty-something with a budding career to be doing?”

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Well, first off I would probably spout something about embracing the child inside, never letting go of your imaginative spirit or something as equally cheesy and kitsch, but secondly this isn’t your kid nephew’s bright yellow lawn toy. This is a 100 foot high-speed, oil-driven thrill ride. I mean seriously, you could hurt yourself on this. Like, for reals.

“So, what do I need to reenact this breath-taking, fear-inducing, body-wrecking slide fest?” Well you’re in luck, because it’s pretty simple.

What you’ll need:

  1. 100 feet of clear plastic. You can get this at most hardware stores in the painting isle. Note: DON’T USE BLACK PLASTIC. Trust me. You don’t want to be burned while trying to have the time of your life.
  2. Baby oil. And lots of it. You want to be able to oil up at least 100 babies back to front. I usually get seven or eight of the large bottles.
  3. A hill. It doesn’t need to be Everest or anything, but a nice sloping hill will help with acceleration.
  4. And lastly, but most importantly, running water. This is tougher to find but most parks have floor faucets in their restrooms that you can hook a hose to if you don’t mind looking strange for a few minutes crouching on the floor of a park bathroom.
  5. You might also need a special valve key designed to open and close the valve that has a square hole, I recommend getting a 4-way key with different sizes to be safe.
  6. With all of this water and fun to be had you’ll want to document everything. Make sure your phone is outfitted with a Preserver Series case from OtterBox.

All of this being said, we made our way to the park to enjoy the sun and wouldn’t you know it, a large group of LARPers (live action role players) had taken over our hill with their phony foam swords, spears and shields. I would have asked them if we could use the hill if there hadn’t been a soiree of ten year olds who would have done nothing but whine.

Feeling defeated, my friends and I trudged down to the swollen Poudre River and stuck our feet in with high hopes to slide gloriously on the morrow.

And then it rained.

It stayed gloomy and windy all the next day. Heck, I barely left the house since the wind was kicking up all of the tree pollen of which my face is not a fan. When Sunday finally rolled around it was a beautiful 80+ degrees and I was ready to go … when I came to realize it was Father’s Day and everyone was visiting with family.

In lieu of never actually getting to Slip and Slide this past weekend, I still had a wonderful weekend. I played by the river, went for a beautiful bike ride, was very productive on household chores, and even got to laugh a little at some LARPers. Overall it was a very successful weekend.  So I guess all in all I learned that our best-laid plans can still go awry and you just have to make the best of what you have with what you’ve got.

Disclaimer: OtterBox nor Derrick Burton are liable for any symptoms from pure excitement you may induce if you attempt the 100 foot Slip and Slide, including cuts, scrapes, death, dismemberment, happiness hurls, or blissful disregard of your weekend responsibilities.


About the author

Derrick Burton

Derrick Burton

My name is Derrick Burton and I am an artist. Whether it be computer graphics, painting, drawing, printmaking, mask making or anything in between, I take pride in my artistic sensibility. In all honesty though I try not to take life too seriously. I was born in Boise, Idaho; home of the potato empire, and I moved to Fort Collins, Colorado (where I presently reside) to study graphic design. Well, I was enraptured by the people and landscape here so much I decided I didn’t want to leave, and was lucky enough to wrangle a job here in town. If I’m not working my tail off producing content for the OtterBox creative team, I’m probably swinging in a hammock somewhere.

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