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Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - The Michigan Daily
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
LLUSTRAT ONS BY JOHN 00U ST
We exchanged a some-
what lengthy kiss ... it was,
again, a romantic kiss."
- BEAU BREEDLOVE, a 19-year-old former
mayoral intern from Portland, Ore., describing
one of his underage sexual encounters with
Sam Adams, the city's publicly gay mayor, in
a men's bathroom at City Hall. Adams has
admitted the affair but said they waited to
have sex until Breedlove turned 18.
"The Khomeini fatwah was
pronounced on Valentine's
Day, 20 years ago, so that
would be the worst."
- SALMAN RUSHDIE when asked by a New York
Magazine reporter if he had any bad Valentine's
stories. Rushdie went into hiding for nearly a
decade after the Ayatollah of Iran issued a fatwa
ordering his assassination in response to
his novel "The Satanic Verses".
Testing the waters at the
Oasis Hot Tub Gardens
I've always been a little suspi-
cious of the Oasis Hot Tub Gardens
on State Street. And to be sure, I'm
"I used to work at a pool, and
you can only get things so clean,"
my roommate.said when I told her
of my plan to visit the Oasis.
For many, including myself, the
idea of a rent-by-the-hour hot tub
room is questionable. It has a cer-
tain Las Vegas quality: what hap-
pens in the hot tub stays in the hot
tub - perhaps at the expense of
the next person to use the hot tub.
But admittedly, my qualms
about the Oasis aren't founded
on anything concrete. What do I
know about the world of rental jets
and rainforest rooms? I've never
been squeamish of hotel mattress-
es or bowling shoes - is a well-
used Jacuzzi any different? To find
out, I put my prejudices to the test
and went with my boyfriend for a
romantic night at the Oasis.
I checked online first to fig-
ure out the best time to go. For
two people, the cheapest rate -
$29 per hour - is offered before
4 p.m. An evening hour goes for
$36 Sunday through Thursday
and $44 on weekend nights.
On the website, I scoped out all
16 of the theme rooms available:
"Japan" with its oriental pago-
da, "Vancouver" complete with
totem pole and rustic fireplace
and "Bali" featuring a painted
One tab over from "garden
photos" is another labeled "water
purity," which attests in detail to
the cleanliness of the Oasis hot
tubs. But it wasn't exactly assur-
ing tobe so assured. Would a res-
taurant advertise that its kitchen
is sanitary? Or a hotel that the
sheets are washed?
Of course, those paragraphs
describing the "state-of-the-art
disinfectant and filtration sys-
tems" are exactly for the benefit of
skeptics like myself. And actually,
the water at Oasis does go through
much more than the Band-Aid-
ridden public pools of youth must
have. The water in each hot tub is
completely filtered out every eight
minutes and each tub is drained
and hand scrubbed almost daily,
Oasis manager Faith Frazine said.
"We know if people are con-
cerned about the cleanliness of
their waters, then they probably
won't be repeat customers," Fra-
Before I talked with Frazine
and had my cleanliness concerns
entirely put to rest, I gathered my
own impression of the Oasis. I'm
happy to report that the gardens
did not seem the least bit unhy-
gienic, though it was still quite an
Oasis stays open until at least 1
a.m. every night, so my boyfriend
and I chose to try our luck with a
walk-in appointment last Sunday
at 11 p.m. After parking our car,
we passed another, grad-student
type couple who must have just
emerged from their own love tub.
The woman - her short hair still
dripping wet - seemed to shoot
me a knowing smile.
Entering the building, we were
immediately greeted by the strong
smell of chlorine and aromatic spa
packets, as well as two smiling
women in bright floral shirts.
The employee who checked us
in acquainted us with the rules -
no food, no bubble bath or oils and,
first and foremost, no alcohol.
That last one, which was posted
on several walls, caught my atten-
tion. Was it to keep customers
from profaning the gardens with
drunken debauchery? Were the
owners of Oasis enterprising pro-
hibitionists? No. As it turns out,
it's because alcohol raises body
temperature, and for a company
that deals in 100-degree water,
the liability of a customer putting
a few back and passing out face
down in the Casablanca tub is too
"One beer is like 15 beers," Fra-
zine said. "It's not safe."
After declining to purchase a
bottle of St. Julien non-alcoholic
wine, my boyfriend and I were
led to the Borneo Rainforest room
- an open-ceiling space with the
gardens' largest hot tub, capable of
holding up to 10 people.
The woman guiding us men-
tioned that the room was often
used for children's birthday par-
ties, but the thought struck me
that it might be the setting of very
different, very adult kind of par-
But I pushed this thought from
my mind. The soft music flowing
from the changing room radio (set
to the "piano and guitar" station)
didn't suggest "porno" so much as
"Mom and Dad's special date".
Through a door we found our
private paradise, which consisted
of a large hot tub, a plastic palm
tree and a stone waterfall that had
been temporarily put out of com-
mission during the last few weeks
of extreme cold.
The space didn't really exude
Borneo - in the rainforest, I know,
waterfalls don't freeze over - but
with the rising steam lit by the
glow of alternating neon lights, it
was sort of like a dream sequence
in some Univision soap opera.
It was sexy in its way, not that
I'd recommend having sex. Being
mutually averse to pay-by-the-
hour sex locations, my boyfriend
and I didn't try. But if we had
wanted to get the most bang for
our buck, it might have been dif-
ficult. The eye-watering chemical
vapors and high water tempera-
ture discourage rapid movement.
Most visitors to the Borneo
room likely do what we did: stare
at the moon and enjoy the contrast
between the chilly air and steam-
ing water. Frazine said that Oasis
is busiest in the winter for just that
reason. She also said customers
corpe in droves to use the outdoor
tubs when it's raining, and that
they're even safe during a thun-
derstorm - a prospect that might
entice me to come back.
So in the end, I believe I've over-
come any reservations I had about
the Oasis Hot Tub Gardens. The
25-year-old company is what is
has always been: a sort of classy,
sort of cheesy escape just a few
miles from campus.
Three things you can talk about this week:
1. Geithner's stimulus plan
2. Sunken treasure ships
3. Radical anti-whaling activists
And three things you can't:
1. Job cuts
2. CNN's inaugural T-shirts
3. The pilot of Flight 1549 O
"You know it happens behind closed doors, obviously."
- PHYLLIS SHEPARD, a woman from Cape Coral, Fla., who witnessed a man making out with a
blowup female sex doll in the middle of a grocery store parking lot. George Bartusek, 51 years old,
was apparently groping the dolls outside his car as people walked by him. He was soon arrested.
Clammy Sosa is mad
For years, mascots have merely ran
around stadiums, flailing their arms
and attempting to pump up crowds.
They're no more than glorified cheer-
leaders with funny costumes.
Buts watchtout, sports fans, The
mascots arc taking the games into
their own hands.
Across the nation, innocent coach-
es and players have been accosted by
a group of seemingly friendly mas-
cots called the ZOOperstars.
The most dangerous of these -
Clammy Sosa - is an 8-foot-6 clam
dressed to resemble baseball slugger
Sammy Sosa. And Clammy has an
appetite for destruction.
According to the official Clammy
Sosa website, he "slurps up and swal-
lows everything in sight." The giant
clam backs up, sprints toward its
prey, pounces and swallows the per-
This video captures Clammy at his
most lethal. After playing catch with
a baseball player, the mascot backs up
and attacks the unsuspecting man.
After a few awskward moments, the
player's head disappears and his legs
are flailing from Clammy's mouth.
The playeris thencompletelyswal-
lowed by the gianteclam. Disliking the
taste of sweaty clothes, the mascot
spits out the player's shoes and uni-
form. He then trots off the field, his
job done and the crowd stunned.
- JASON KOHLER
See this and other
YouTube videos of the week at
BY THE NUMBERS
t i a
IL LUST RATION BY LAU RA GA RAVOG LI
Estimated weight, in pounds, of a prehistoric snake whose remains
were discovered by scientists in Columbia
Length, in feet, of the snake. It is the biggest snake ever found.
Maximum length, in feet, of the modern world's largest
snakes, anacondas and pythons
THEME PARTY SUGGESTION
A worthwhile Valentine's - Don't buy into it again
this year: the roses, the candlelight dinner and the
box of chocolates. Instead, turn Valentine's Day
into a holiday really worth celebrating. Make your
Valentine a friend who you've been neglecting - in
other words, finally follow through with hanging out,
People in relationships should especially consider
this. Just think of all the friends you haven't spent
time with since you met your sweetheart.
Throwing this porty? Let us know TheStotement umich.edu
STUDY OF THE WEEK
Men who read Maxim struggle with body image
Men who look at sexy female models in provocative magazines like
Maxim experience more body-image problems than those who don't,
according to a study published in the journal Human Communication
Research by researchers at the University of Missouri - Columbia.
For the study, the researchers conducted three different experiments
with male undergraduate students. In the first, they asked 77 students
questions about body self-consciousness before and after they started
reading the magazines Maxim, FHM and Stuff. In the second experi-
ment, the researchers had some students examine layouts of female
models while others looked at pictures of fit males. Last, the researchers
divided men into two groups: one looked at female models, while the
other looked at pictures of their "average-looking" boyfriends.
In all three experiments, the researchers concluded that men who
looked at the magazineswere more self-conscious about their fitness and
body image, saying they didn't have a chance with the female models.
- BRIAN TENGEL