...and His Attack

Given that I was 5'2", the sheer size of the man did not register as being humanly possible in my 14-year-old brain.

It was one of those summers in which residents born without the desert-dweller gene would flee the city like so many citizens in Godzilla's wake.

Being 14 then, my best friend and I had already planned our summer, and it expressly involved going to Las Vegas's only water park every day for as long as we could barter passage with our parental units.

On this day, we had noticed some rather serious bustle at the front entrance of the park, but paid it no mind, as we had to _immediately_ stake out our towel spot as close to the volleyball court as possible (it often had the best view of the lifeguards).

Our territory established, we began the march toward the spinning, self-propelling "lazy river"—the place where you could parade yourself past the opposite sex in a bathing suit without even having to swim. But in my infinite wisdom, I had left my hair tie back at the base camp, and jogged quickly back to retrieve it.

I had to stop short as I glimpsed the large shadowy figure hovering by our towel HQ. It was Shaquille O'Neal.

Given that I was 5'2", the sheer size of the man did not register as being humanly possible in my 14-year-old brain. As he moved, he was being followed around by a troupe of six or so people, and this display of height differences between him and his flock looked to me quite like a mother duck leading her ducklings safely across the street, while they followed instinctively in a line behind her.

After a few minutes, he headed toward one of the tube rides, his ducklings safely behind him, and I remember wondering how in the heck he would even fit through the tubes. Were they made Shaq Attack-proof?

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