Sunday, May 08, 2005
It's A Schmaltz, Schmaltz World
To all the mothers who read this, I'd like to say thanks. Your children don't need you as much as you think. You should spend more time here reading my interesting, interesting posts.

To Mrs. Pops I'd like to apologize for not planning Mother's Day better. In retrospect the magician was a mistake. In my defense he didn't say anything on his website about fitting his entire fist in any of his orifices, let alone... well, the less said the better. I don't know if it was magic or not, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't impressed a little. And yes, I'm sure the donkey is going to be fine.

In addition to being Mother's Day, this weekend was also my youngest's second birthday (Saturday) and our trip to Disneyland (Friday).

At the risk of sounding obnoxious, I've been to Disneyland approximately 17 jillion times. It's just the way it works out here. Tourists go to Disney World in Florida, Anaheim Disneyland in for southern Californians. We have an insatiable appetite for overpriced pre-packaged entertainment and tepid dressed-up carny rides. Sure, we all go through our teenage Six Flags Magic Mountain rebellion--with its forest of flashy big-ass, vomit-inducin', neck-snappin', aneurysm-burstin' roller coasters--but that phase usually ends right around the time you start having to pay for your own gas. It's in Valencia, way the fuck out in the wilds of the north Valley, three freeways from everywhere. That and after the second or third race riot, the place just starts to lose its luster.

In the end we all come back to Disneyland, to Uncle Walt and his clean fake streets populated by giant fake animals cramming fake happiness up your ass at a rate of $25/lb.

Yes, it's sanitized and false, but goddammit it's clean and it's got rides for kids that go under 70 miles per hour and don't keep me and the missus up for three weeks comforting away the night-terrors. Every so often you get a kid with an unfortunate reaction to giant fiberglass inanimate flying elephants, but not in my family so far. It's good stuff.

As you know, the Bucket here is wholly dedicated to doing good in the world and helping my fellow man. Fuck you, it is too.

Keeping that in mind, I've prepared a primer for those out of state who might be thinking of visiting our humble version of the Magic Kingdom in the near (or not so near) future.

[Note: it's just possible I'm using the word "prepared" a little more loosely than you're used to.]

1) Take a second mortgage out on your house. If you're from out of state and you don't own a house, stay home. You can't afford it.

2) A case in point: lunch of three hamburger "combos" (this means +fries), one kids' meal (chicken, fries, drink), three drinks will run you $35.04. I'm not kidding.

3) If you're so excited about being in southern California and can't wait to try some Mexican food, do not eat at the Mexican place inside the park, Rancho del Zocalo. Save yourself $80 and get a microwave burrito from a gas station. Quality and service are guaranteed to be better. Plus, you can always leave the park and go to Juana Maria just down Katella Ave. (510 E Katella Ave.) in Orange. If you're going to annihilate your digestive tract anyway, you might as well enjoy it going down.

4) The adjacent Disney California Adventure park sucks balls. It's possible I'm still bitter about them building it on top of what used to be the Disneyland parking lot and making me tram in (with kids and stroller and every fucking thing else) from distant off-site satellite parking, but I don't think so. It's got like two decent rides and it costs exactly the same to get in as Disneyland. And no, your Disneyland ticket will not get you in to California Adventure.

5) Don't plan to go sightseeing outside of Disneyland. Anaheim is a shithole designed specifically to support freeway overpasses. Los Angeles is not just a shithole, it's a huge shithole no map in the world will be able to save you from getting lost in. The beaches, in point of fact, are actual, literal shitholes. The answer to "where's that smell coming from?" is always "the water".

6) You may not crash at my place. No, not even for one night.

7) I'm totally serious about #6.

8) There's no two ways about it: you will see gay people at Disneyland. If you're offended by the sight of two men hugging or two women holding hands in very serious non-sorority-sister type of ways, this is not the place for you. Disney loves them some gays. Their money spends just as well as yours does, despite what your pastor or president may have told you to the contrary. It doesn't bother me because I know it keeps people like you, Hypothetical Offended Reader, away from me and mine.

9) Stay as far from Main Street as you can when the parade is about to start (first one is around 4 pm) unless you enjoy being yelled at by light-baton wielding 19 year olds in maroon polyester uniforms or spat on by 80-year-old women trying to save precious curb space for their grandkids.

10) Never, under any circumstance, go through Adventureland. It just can't be done. They ship people in from all around the world to fill that place. It's crowded to a standstill before the park opens. The Indiana Jones ride is OK, but nothing is worth trying to maneuver through that solid mass of sweating humanity in shirts with no sleeves. For the love of Christ, just go around. That's why Jesus created Frontierland in the first place.

I could literally go on forever, but I won't. The place is lovely, despite my bitching. For the 50th anniversary, everything has been freshly repainted and given gold accents. Gold, gold everywhere. Disneyland is totally pimped out. Sell one of your kidneys and get there, ASAP.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.5


PS- if you do go, make sure you tell an employee how much you enjoyed the Disneyland Railroad passenger train. My in-laws' company designed and built the signaling system that controls the trains. Seriously. Unless one of them crashes or something, then I have no idea what you're talking about.


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