Punch Drunk: Why Stop at a Giant Waterslide? 


Have you heard the huge news? A giant street water slide is coming to Richmond.

Slide the City is a self-proclaimed “family friendly slip-and-slide water party event,” and it’s taking place on East Byrd Street, near Riverfront Plaza, on Saturday, June 18.

It’s exactly what it sounds like. A huge slip-and-slide — it’s padded — is laid down on a hilly street. Water is added for the slip factor.

I have questions: First off, why? Does Richmond need or even want this event? Will the street closures cost the city and taxpayers money? But again, why?

Now you could immediately say back to me: “Why even question this bountiful gift?” Asking why there’s a giant water slide coming to a Richmond street is like asking why everything at Mamma ’Zu is so good. It just is and that should be enough.

Giant street water-slide enthusiasts may ask, “Why hasn’t this already happened in Richmond?” You may ask, “Do giant street water-slide enthusiasts even exist?”

Well they didn’t, until it was announced that a giant street water slide was coming.

I don’t think anyone will argue, like the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, that having a giant water slide come to Richmond signifies that we’re becoming a tier-one city. With this giant water slide, we can now compete with the big boys, like Birmingham and Providence.

Plus, and more importantly, the 20 seconds of pure bliss that one experiences when riding a giant water slide down a hilly city street can only be described as orgasmic. Let’s agree to that as the only comparison.

Can we also agree that Minor League Baseball is admittedly a minor thing compared to a giant street water slide? For once, Nutzy will have to take a back seat. Sort of like he does to Gene Cox in that new Elephant Auto Insurance commercial. Gene Cox and giant water slides run this city. Sorry, Virginia Commonwealth University basketball.

To recap: Giant water slides and Gene Cox are orgasmic.

So what else can we do to turn our little city into a huge fun park?

• Zip lines, everywhere. Need I say more? You haven’t lived until you’ve zip-lined from Willow Lawn to downtown in two minutes flat. The GRTC Pulse just became obsolete — and it hasn’t even started running yet!

• Rid the North Bank Trail of those pesky hikers and mountain bikers by the addition of a concrete street luge course. Don’t worry, people who use the trail to get high — we’ll add some secretive nooks for you to litter with trash. Blaze on, young people.

• Convert Byrd Park into huge paintball warfare arena. First team to occupy the Carillion through force wins a free paddle boat ride.

• Transform the Kanawha Plaza dirt patch into a life-size Excitebike course (shout out to Luke Witt for that one.) Let’s make Richmond’s dirt great again.

• Stroller Olympics: Team Carytown versus Team Short Pump versus Team Libbie and Grove. Winners get a brand new minivan from McGeorge Toyota. Losers die or they get banned from Whole Foods. It’s up to them.

• Something involving the North Side? Maybe something at Richmond International Raceway? I honestly don’t make it to that area of the city enough to come up with anything. Is Battery Park nothing but batteries? I’ve always wondered that.

• If the city keeps plowing giant piles of snow on top of the cars lining Boulevard, we could hold some sort of half-pipe snowboarding competition. Also, while we’re talking plows and last week, can we always remember that #SideStreetsMatter?

Speaking of baseball on the Boulevard. It’s a novel idea, but damn it, it just might work!

Alas, for now, we must make do with a giant street water slide. Slide the City’s event in June will cost you $10-$45 with prices increasing the closer we get to the event, which seems a little costly. Event organizers also mention that you’ll have to purchase an inflatable tube, which is required to slide, at the event.

But can you really put a price on going down a giant street water slide?

No, you cannot. Take my money.

Now if only the downhill portions of the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10-K were converted into water slides. Is that too much to ask? S

Jack Lauterback also is co-host of “Mornings with Melissa and Jack” on 103.7 Play weekdays from 6-9. Connect with him at letters@styleweekly.com, or on Twitter at jackgoesforth.




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