Hot Tub Time Machine

My parents had a hot tub. They went through this phase where they hung out with this hip older couple who had tons of money, and my mom envied the wife so much it was truly pitiful. She literally had items on her Christmas list that were followed by, “Like Betty’s.” A cheeseboard like Betty’s. A ceramic sculpture like Betty’s. A set of salt shakers LIKE BETTY’S. I assume she’s given this envy by now because it would be “Dementia like Betty’s.” I digress. Anyway, guess who had a hot tub? Betty. So my parents got a small inheritance and built a weird cedar room onto their house and put a hot tub in it. I was in college at the time but came home during the summer, and I had no use for that hot tub. It’s one thing to sit in a bathtub, but hot tubs are, like, really hot and stay hot and also the jets are annoying and ALSO the room was unheated, which I guess is a thing and anyway. I wasn’t interested in the hot tub. I was shamed for it for some reason, oh yeah, my mom was a dick. Oh and in the interest of burying the lede, my parents and their friends (like Betty’s!) sat in it in the nude.

1. Why do I want to put my bare ass in the same water my mom’s bare ass has been in? What is this, 1880 with the weekly bath?

2. Perhaps I was grossed out by my dad’s declaration that I could not just unexpectedly enter the house, because “things” might be going on in the hot tub.

This makes me want to throw up right now.

That summer I was in a community theater production of something. It’s what I did in the summer-did a musical at “Theater in the Park” which was a big stage sitting in the bottom of a great big hill in a City Park. People brought blankets and all that jazz. The last weekend of the show, my parents went out of town, so I invited everyone to my house for the cast party. Keep in mind this was one of those giant old school musicals like Annie Get Your Gun, or I don’t know, Oklahoma or something with a chorus of like 30-40 people and 16 more significant leading characters and a director, orchestra, music director, choreographer etc.

A lot of people came to this party and it got so out of hand, you don’t even know. People raided my parents’ liquor cabinet and someone drank a whole bottle of some scotch my aunt brought back from .. I don’t know, Scotland? But the worst thing was The Hot Tub Like Betty’s. People went insane. People jumped in. They did handstands. Water fights. Liquor was poured in it like it was a punch bowl. And then. And then.

People started getting naked. Shedding their clothes, right there, right then-right in front of everyone. Some got in the hot tub. Some just walked around. Others sat casually on couches and drank beer and talked. It was the damnedst thing I’ve ever seen. It was like a virus. One person got naked and for some reason another person thought, “Oh. We’re getting naked. Okay.” And then it infected others and oh my Jesus Christ. Not everyone in the house took off their clothes. I didn’t, for example. Because someone had to be clothed in case the cops came to the door on a noise complaint. (My parents next door neighbor was a mass murderer TRUE STORY so I’m guessing he avoided the cops, but you never know). I just didn’t know what to do. Nudity is not a crime, but…the groupthink was really creepy. One of the naked guys was incredibly drunk and wanted to go home and back then we were mostly like, “OK, close one eye if you’re seeing double!” But I really wanted to get out of the House of Nude, so I said I would drive him home. I put him in my mom’s Porsche Like Betty’s (it was a shitty used Porsche) which I was not allowed to drive and I put him in there naked. I didn’t know where his clothes were! And at this point I was just bewildered and desperate and let me say something right now. I.Was.Not.Drunk. I had nothing to drink this whole night. Why? If there were ever a time to drink it’s when you’re seeing some guy from the orchestra with his oboe out.

I drove him all the way home and just let him out in front of his house. I don’t know how he handled it. Why did I just say “handled.”

Everyone left eventually, of course. There were a few naked stragglers sleeping on couches in the morning but I made them get out. They weren’t so confident in the morning with hangovers and were like, “Where are my clothes?” And I said, “I do not know sir, perhaps you should not have shed them so quickly, ya weirdo.”

Then I had a dilemma. I had a hot tub that was well and truly fucked. There were cigarettes floating in it and all manner of liquids and oils (BLEH) and some cups and beer cans and god knows what else. And the water fights and jumping etc. had taken the water level down below the built-in benches. I was so screwed. I do not know anything about hot tubs, but I’m pretty sure this one needed to be drained and cleaned and refilled and chemicals put in it, like a pool, and I had like 24 hours to fix it, or I was going to be in deep shit with my parents.

My affirmation for today should be “I am resourceful,” because I got in my car and went to the place it was purchased and threw myself on the mercy of this guy who worked there. I literally didn’t know how the hell I was going to drain it, like did I bail it, or… (you use a garden hose somehow defying gravity) and he told me should clean it with bleach and then fill it back up with the garden hose (who knew – honestly I thought some sort of special water went in there) and then he sold me the chemicals I needed (“I can just put this on your parents’ account,” “GOOD GOD NOOOOO, NO, NO, IT’S FINE, I…YOU GET IT, RIGHT?”) And then he drew a picture of how to turn the heater on and off.

Reader, I got away with it. I called my “cool” aunt and told her I needed her to buy me some Scotch so I could pour it back into a bottle that someone had drained and I was so sorry but it was the expensive stuff she brought from Scotland and she said “Sure, and don’t worry I bought that crap at the duty free shop at LaGuardia.” She showed up later with some Canadian Mist and we poured it in there after carefully throwing back two shots so it looked exactly at the level it had been. Yeah. That’s why. Sure. I love that woman. She’s 81 now and she would for sure show up after I murdered someone and bring a shovel. A light shovel. Because she’s 81.


  1. This post is… a lot. I hope I am the cool aunt who would bring the scotch or the shovel or whatever but I have not been called upon to do any of that yet. Back in the day I would have been frantically trying to make sure everybody had access to their clothes and hiding in the kitchen. Hope you will tell us more about the mass murderer. Also “oboe” is great. 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you’re back. “If there were ever a time to drink it’s when you’re seeing some guy from the orchestra with his oboe out.” LOLOLOLOL

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