The Crabbiest Place on Earth


They call Disney "the happiest place on earth." And the story I'm about to tell you today takes place in Epcot. So maybe it doesn't have to be "happiest place on earth" like the Magic Kingdom does. Maybe it's:

  • "The place of lines longer than the ones for TP during Cold War Soviet Union..."
  • Or "Eat your way through the countries of the world" (how I DO love those countries!)
  • Or "Get two minutes of seeing really cool dinosaurs, sandwiched in between twenty minutes of dry documentaries about natural resources sponsored by an oil company.

And if that's the case, then I won't feel so bad about what once happened there.

Now, I should preface this with: people who know me well, know I'm not really an aggressive person. I'm more the kind of person who gets punted aside by other people in line because:

1.) They didn't notice me standing there and
2.) Even if they did, I figure it's not worth raising my blood pressure fighting them about it.

I mean, I'm not a doormat-- I'm just practical. Plus, I can write about them later when they cannot deck me.

That said, I will tell you about the unfortunate time I completely and publicly snapped in the Family Amusement Park Where Dreams Come True.

It had been a conference for work. And one of my coworkers and good friends-- we'll call her Debbie-- Debbie and I had decided to save the company money on airfare by staying an extra day in Orlando at Disney.

Now, two things you need to know about Debbie. Debbie is a fantastic event planner-- she can organize ANYTHING. Why, she could herd 300 cats into a room and teach them a Broadway production, sell tickets and get glowing audience testimonials, all in the time it takes the pour the Meow Mix.

Debbie is also, um, not very tall. Like teeny. Like she says she's five-feet tall but then someone's pre-adolescent child leans on Debbie's head, is what I'm saying. I'm a giant, she's tiny. It's no wonder we've become such good friends.

'Kay. So Debbie and I finished our work gig and we were free for Epcotty goodness. So the one thing we decided to hit bright-and-early was the brand new GM Test Track ride. This is where people get into a makeshift car and willingly simulate being crash test dummies. This we do in the name of fun and vacation.

Debbie and I were excited about being those dummies.

The line, a sign indicated, would take about an hour, and since Debbie and I had successfully gotten through our work event, and were feeling mellow...

Until a certain family got behind us in line.

This family seemed to be comprised of a middle-aged woman, her mother, her husband, their two pre-teen kids and some extra woman who might have been an aunt. All of them were, well, large and shaped roughly like Sherman tanks. All of them wore tank shirts. But honestly, it wasn't the largeness that was of issue; I mean, people come in different shapes and sizes and that's what makes humans interesting. It was their unwillingness to recognize the boundaries of personal space...

Like I had one woman's boobs and stomach pressing into my back.

The line would move, Debbie and I would move up a bit and... Boobs in the Back.

I'd edge up, things would be fine for a moment and... Boobs in the Back again.

Then the line stopped when something in the ride glitched.

The family started to get bored and tired of standing. And that's when they discovered the fun that was the metal railings that guided the lines. Sitting on the metal railings, scooching along on their butts, swinging their dangling legs...

That was just the ADULTS.

Yep, Deb and I turned our heads, only to see at least three of 'em lined up, parents and a kid or two, butt-sliding along the high and low railings, a-kicking and a-swinging. (One woman had to stay behind to ensure her sweaty boobs were firmly implanted in my back.)

Fourty-five minutes this went on. Bumping, pushing, the kids jumping off and stepping onto our feet. And finally, there was the scooch that broke the camel's back, so to speak. The pre-teen girl butt-scooched too enthusiastically and fell off the railing-- toppling onto Debbie, knocking her right over...

Debbie, who was about the same size as the kid.

Well, that was it. I actually think I stepped outside of myself at this point. My eyes went red and Hulk-like. Words poured out of my mouth, but I didn't consciously feel like I was saying them. It was like I was listening to them coming from some outer overhead PA system. And this voice, this voice that was loud and angry and unnaturally mine shouted:

"YOU are the STRANGEST BUNCH OF PEOPLE I have ever seen! I have never SEEN such a family! There is such a thing called personal space and it is time for you to just

BACK

OFF!"

And they all stepped away from me.

And do I mean, all of them. The people in front of me gave me a wider berth.

The people to the side looked on with stunned faces.

And the family of Butt Scoochers, why, they all stood gaping and back a good three feet from where they'd been, boobs and bellies inhabiting their own airspace for the first time in almost an hour.

The little girl was dusting herself off and grumbled, "I SAID sorry."

Only Momma Butt Scoocher was open-mouthed and reaching a hand toward her to pull her away from me, the red-headed Medusa before them.

Debbie, at this point, was getting up and laughing hysterically. Because she had never in five years of knowing me seen me flip out like that. And neither had I. It felt good. It felt heady-- like a fresh ocean breeze to a person who'd been breathing the black oxygen of a coal mine all this time.

Until I heard the Butt Scoochers say something about calling Security... and I realized they were thinking about calling it on ME. For what? Oh, I don't know-- breaking a sound ordinance or something. Public embarrassment. Heck, they could SUE!

So they talked about me during the excruciatingly-long 15 minutes remaining in line, with security mentioned more than once to my burning ears.

And the whole rest of the day, I imagined being pulled aside by some friendly park employee in uniform, bringing me through some dwarf-sized door to explain I was no longer welcome in the Happiest Place on Earth.

Once we got through the Test Track, Debbie tried to get me to calm down by ordering me a Guinness with my fish and chips at the Rose and Crown pub in "England." And it helped, a little. But not really.

I mean, it was going to be a lot harder to plead my case to Mickey Mouse, wasn't it, if security brought me in all liquored up?

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Humor-blogs is no Mickey Mouse blog directory. There are cool cats, funny southern belles and witty dead roosters over there, too.

14 comments:

Da Old Man said...

"Butt Scoochers"

I'm dying here. : )

Jenn Thorson said...

Old Man, sometimes the English language doesn't QUITE contain the words you need... And sometimes those words are "butt scoochers."

Thanks muchly, as always, for the visit. :)

Lidian said...

Oh jenn, what a story! I am just like you, I am usually nice as pie, but then I snap and people are SO surprised!

You are so funny, why have I never come over to this blog before! I must have Of Cabbages and Kings in my Google Reader! (goes off to put it in)

Jenn Thorson said...

Lidian- Yep, like you, I can count my truly confrontational moments on about one hand, with a few fingers to spare. And those few times end up being pretty darned MEMORABLE, don't they?

PS- I don't know HOW you did find "Cabbages," but I'm awfully glad you did. Thanks for subscribing!

chyna said...

What is it with people in long lines insisting on standing on top of each other?! I swear these are the same people who while sitting in traffic have their bumper resting on your bumper. Like it moves the line any faster! That would have been fun to see you BACK them OFF!!! ROFL

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- I just don't know what they thought-- if they were annoying enough eventually people would just let them get to the head of the line? Mebbe.

The pushing was tolerable-- it was the unrepentant personal injury that was my goat-getter. :)

Greg said...

Oh, GOOD for you!!! Jeez, I can't bear the folks who have no sense of your personal bubble!! I'm glad they didn't come whisk you off to fix your angry attitude in some secret Mouseke-basement.

And BTW, I just love the illustrations you create for these posts. So creative and different...nice work!

Jenn Thorson said...

Heya Greg!- Heh, I wonder who else might have been in the Mouseke-basement?... Probably Donald Duck. You KNOW how HE gets sometimes. Yup, Donald Duck, and me-- Grumpy. :)

And thanks for the nice words on the illustrations. I just think the posts need a bit of SOMETHING visual and this way I don't have royalty issues, as they're mine.

GuildedAngel said...

Wonderful Blog Jenn, I really enjoy your humour and style of writing! keep it up.

Jenn Thorson said...

GuildedAngel- thanks very much for stopping by, and for the kind note! :)

Alice said...

That was so freakin' funny and I have to say YOU GO GIRL! I actually wished I could have witnessed it. I've only exploded about 3x in my entire long life and it felt GOOD!

Jenn Thorson said...

Alice- I don't think it was especially pretty. :) It felt GREAT though....

Well, for about five minutes. The problem with being chronically well-behaved is those moments when you stray just slightly, the guilt is so much you really don't get to SAVOR it. :)

Greg said...

I guess there'd be three of you in that Mouske-basement, really...you, Donald AND Grumpy (the dwarf)...perhaps one of the evil queens, too, I suppose.

And all this distracts us from the absurdity of a ride that puts living people in place of *crash test dummies*! Somehow, it doesn't seem quite what Walt had in mind...

Jenn Thorson said...

Greg- the Mouskebasement is getting CROWDED. :)

Actually, the Test Track Ride was pretty cool, as I recall. It's emphasis was on safety and technology.