Fear In All The Wrong Places
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!

I know I've been away, but you see the in-laws were coming for a visit and I was busy trying to conquer the laundry, make the house look as if a capable, orderly housewife is married to their son and hiding all the kids' Harry Potter and vampire books. Then, once they got here, I was all busy watching Fox News for hours and pretending that I use reasoning and quiet tones to discipline my kids and planning and prepping dinner by 8:00 AM.

But, Whew....I'm back. So, let's do this.

There's been a lot of shocking news lately. I know because Fox news has been on at my house 24/7, at a super loud volume. I haven't missed a thing.  Celebrities are dying, celebrity governors are quitting mid-stream, wizard kids are getting the swine flu and missiles are being launched by scarily, insane dictators.

But, the most shocking of all, is this....

Walt Disney World Monorail Crashes

Now, before I go any further, I will say my deepest condolences go out to the family of the driver killed in this tragedy. From what I've read, the world has lost a bright young man who had a promising future in his path. It is a terrible shame.

For those of us who frequently visit the Land of the Mouse, this is beyond belief. This would be like Santa Claus slipping as he slid down a chimney, breaking his neck in the fall and  being found by little Susie in the morning, all stiff and blue, a striking contrast to his jolly red suit.

Bad things just don't happen in Mickey Land.

Disney World is a magical paradise. There is never any trash on the ground, not a single candy wrapper or cigarette butt even with the millions of visitors a day. Mosquitoes, flies and all other stinging insects of The Tropics do not dare enter this hallowed ground. (I have no idea how they pull that off, being built in the middle of a swampland.) Fireworks explode from the sky every night. Tinkerbell flies through the air and princesses glide around, greeting everyone while a discreet security guard stands by to politely disengage overly excitable fans. The place is completely safe. You can even leave your kid in stroller parking and no one will take them.

Or... well, at least that's how Disney's grand illusion works. When the bad does happen, we don't hear about it. Disney's pretty good about that, keeping us all blissfully ignorant. And I like that.

I have always hopped on to that darn monorail, confident the worst thing that could ever happen to my family was to have to stand because no seats were available and hold the hand rail teeming with freak, foreigner superbug germs.

Not anymore.

Now, I have something else to fear besides swine flu, child abductors, rare strains of tuberculosis, airplanes, Tylenol, socialized medicine, ab fat, getting E Coli from the wave pool at the water park, Scientologists, Marilyn Manson, ATV's, (a common, dangerous recreational vehicle in the South and if I ever hear my kids have ridden one, I will cut them. They know this, but it is still something I fear.), constipation, sharks, people finding out about my loser math skills, staph infections, Amy Winehouse, (not the singer part of her, but the crackhead), and the eventual day I decide that elastic waistbands are my fashion of choice.

My life is drenched in fear.

I thought Mickey's house was the one place I was safe. I mean, kids don't even get lost there, maybe misplaced, but never lost.

We were there recently and I was doing my favorite thing, people watching when this man came running through Frontierland shouting a child's name. I knew that gut-wrenching, total fear in his voice. Every parent has experienced a lost child, even if it's only for a few seconds, and there is no other panic in the world that can compare.

Even before I had kids I knew that panic. A group of friends from the neighborhood decided we would go to the state fair. There was only one of us at the time with a child, a darling, apple-cheeked, 5-year old boy named Cory. With a large coalition of adults and one child, you'd think that kid would be well supervised. You would think.

When we arrived at the fair, I was appalled to see a tent that was selling leashes for kids.

I was appalled but not surprised. I don't know about other state fairs, but ours is a place teeming with toothless carnies, roaming gangs looking for other gangs to knife fight or whatever gangs do to each other, and Rednecks of various shapes and sizes, all wearing the same confederate flag themed t-shirts, with sayings like, "Lee surrendered. I didn't and I will whup your Northern ass."

It's a terrific place to people watch.

One time, we had a contest to see who could find the trashiest folks. My sister-in-law won within seconds when she spotted a couple who looked to be about 13, pulling one of those metal, collapsible wheeled carts, the ones people in the city often use to tote their groceries home. But, theirs was not full of groceries. No. Theirs carried their toddler, clothed in only a dirty diaper, his little blonde face, peering out from the bottom of the deep well of the baby/grocery cart.

And so leashes for children are just a small part of the freak show.

Before we could purchase our first corn dog, Cory had disappeared and we spent a frantic, terrifying eternity looking for that boy. He wasn't even mine and I thought I would die in those anguished minutes of searching.

We found him standing in line for the Tilt A Whirl. After his mother hugged him fiercely, she marched him over to the tent of leashes and informed him if he left her side again, she'd let him pick out the color of his leash.

The father at Disney was in the same kind of panic. His wife was behind him, her head spinning in a thousand directons, looking frantically for her little boy. I jumped up to help. She told me he was four and his name was Charlie. He had dashed away after a character. They'd lost sight of him within seconds as the crowd swallowed him.

I did what I knew to do, what you should always do, especially when you're at Disney. I began to yell like a town crier, announcing to the mass of unknowing that there was a missing child, a four-year-old lost boy named Charlie and for everyone to please, check out their own kids in case they had Charlie by mistake. Within seconds, undercover Disney security dressed like regular tourists were flocked around us getting the vitals, relaying the info into Walkie Talkies, and fanning out.

A little Disney secret. That dude standing next to you in line in the bermuda shorts and Mickey ears? He's not who you think. It's why no bad ever happens at the land of All Things Mickey. Charlie was found within minutes and the blissful magic of a Disney day continued like nothing ever happened.

I simply can't add monorail crashes to my list of daily angst. Geez! Disney do us all a favor and cover this one up, like the good, bazillion dollar corporation you are. Blame it on Tinkerbell. She's got a bad rep for naughtiness or one of Ursula's hexes or even some bitter Michael Eisner vengeance. But, for my sake, please don't blame it on mechanical troubles or driver error or any of the things that will force me to stop riding the monorail. I'm going to have no choice soon, but to hop on Tinkerbell's back. My last bit of foolproof transportation.

That's right. If you look hard enough, you'll see it, the magic of Disney at work, the safety harness attached to a wire, that keeps even pixie fairies safe.

Today's Must Have Dowload: Modest Mouse's, "Missed the Boat." Because transportation's been on my mind and because I've been in a Modest Mouse I-Pod replay, lately. This funky, groove of a tune got me through three loads of wash. Laundry motivation. Speaks volumes for the song

1 comment:

allie said...

it was so shocking to hear about this accident. i just can't understand how it could ever happen. maybe i'll stick to the ferry boat!

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