Friday, September 22, 2006

Part 4– You never live down the mistakes you make.

Now before we get to the trip in earnest, or Orlando if you must be specific, I feel I must share some historical milestones along the path to this trip. Why??? Filler, people. It’s something to chew on whilst you wait for the start of the actual trip.

So, picture this: 1984. I am the plucky young age of 13. I was a chubby, nerdy type; even then; as now. Only now I have less hair.

My family (consisting of my Aunt, my Mother, me, my sister {it ain’t grammatically correct - - it’s chronological}) wings our way to Orlando and stay offsite. We do this because we weren’t going to spend all of our time at WDW. And we were cheap. This was before Disneyitis had set in in my life.

So we do MK and EPCOT. Because that was all there was then.

At that time, there wasn’t a Test Track. Or the Living Seas – even Nemo-less. If you asked who Nemo was, the answer would have been the captain of the Nautilus (for literate types) or some cartoon on Captain Kangaroo.

Now I must digress here to share a traumatic event in my life. You are wondering, “Wasn’t this whole thing a digress?” Can digress be used as a noun? Do I care? NO- onward. The traumatic event occurred at Six Flags Over Texas. We lived about 2 ½ hours from Six Flags Over Texas (in Arlington). It was the only amusement park I knew. Except that we had (at that time) a dinky amusement park in Oklahoma City. And since said park was dinky, we didn’t go often. Read: ever. We went to Six Flags. It was the coolest park to my mind. Until – that day.

We had taken a family trip. My Mom loved roller coasters. Back in the day. Not so much now. But Six Flags had a Runaway Mine Train. It wasn’t a high thrills coaster. Except this is like 1982. High thrill had a different meaning then. I remember the ooohs and aaaaahs over the first double loop steel coaster there. Now people are like, “That’s ancient, dude.” But my mother wanted to ride the Runaway Mine Train. And because she didn’t want to look like a weirdo riding by herself, she coaxed/needled me to ride it with her.

Now, you have to understand, I come from a long line of people who enjoy food and not exercise. We are an abundantly robust family. At my age 11, my mother was considerably larger than I was. So here we are, in a runaway mine train car. The bar, which is our only security, closes down upon my mother’s lap. Since she was much bigger than I was, the bar did not reach my lap. Or chest. Or any other part of my body so that I might find a sense of security in being restrained.

And we were off. Around corners; over hills; down through valleys; through the mine building with the lame theme elements; down the swooping hill; under the water; and back into the station. My mother is laughingly hysterically. Not at the ride. At me. Because of my color. And the look on my face. You see I did not have fun on the ride. And my mother did that to me. I have issues but my fortune cookie says I have a good chance of recovering. Someday. Digress over.

That traumatic event sets the stage for ONE of my most embarrassing moments at Disney. The year: 1984. The place: Tomorrowland Transit Authority/WEDway People Mover (As it has been known and was when this incident took place). Family is all sitting in the mover. Up until this point I have made it very clear I DID NOT want to ride a roller coaster. Or anything else that might possibly convey the idea of throwing me out of the ride vehicle. I was so bad I didn’t even do Toad. I know. “It wasn’t that bad.” Hey, it’s my problem, and I have to live with me more than you do.

But we are riding the TTA/WWPM. And you all know that part. When you go through the mountain. Space Mountain is a roller coaster. I wasn’t really paying attention. All I heard was, “blah, blah, bluh, blah Space Mountain, bluh, blah, blah.” And I went ballistic. My mother had done it to me again. She had gotten me on a roller coaster. She tricked me and betrayed that parental trust I had in her. Well it took no end of reassurances to calm me down and convince me that we weren’t really going on Space Mountain. And I knew they were lying. So I was only convinced when we got off nowhere near Space Mountain.

Why is this important? Because as we were preparing for the last trip to Disney, my mother and sister both bring up the subject, “You going to ride Space Mountain?” <<>>
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