It's difficult not to notice them. The parasailers floating through the air above Fort Lauderdale's coastline are often sandwiched uncomfortably between propeller plane advertisements like "Midget wrestling tonight! 2-4-1!" Are they enjoying themselves as they sit on their kite-elevated benches? Sadly, the answer is "Nope." Here's how parasailing actually plays out: You broker your para-deal with some dude in a faux cabana shack who's costumed a bit too much like a lifeguard. Next, you make uncomfortable chitchat with the boat's driver — a man who spends his days assuring obnoxious tourists (that's you) that they will be safe yet thrilled throughout their approaching ten-minute "experience." Then you sit on a bench, white knuckles gripping the side rails, preparing yourself for an adrenaline overload that will never arrive. You are lifted, slowly and carefully, to look out over a panoramic stretch of hideous and newly constructed high-rises, and then cautiously placed back down, with all the care of returning a baby kitten to its dresser drawer. And that, you realize, is how you blew $40. God, you're a chump.

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