Getting out of town is something I love to do. As much as I love where I am from and never want to live anywhere else, I still love to see the sights. So when I had the opportunity to go to Disney World with my family, I jumped at the chance. I had been there when I was a kid once but my memories of that trip are fuzzy, which seems to happen more and more these days. So we loaded up the family truckster, said goodbye to Jay Catsby (Charlie Brown Darden was out of town already) and headed south. I had no idea of what I was in for.
The first place we went to was some kind of hunting preserve or something. The fellar at the gate acted funny when I asked him about a temporary hunting license, so I assumed that looking for a bait shop once inside was futile. It wasn’t long until I came upon a big tree that folks had been carving on, so I took out my Case and started making my mark. I got “Chris Loves Del” notched in before some dude in khaki shorts came running over to me screaming that I couldn’t do that. He said that nobody was allowed to do that but I think it was because I had on my Alabama hat. I really didn’t want to leave it like it was, because that would be hard to explain on many levels, but he took my blade. If you know Del, tell him I didn’t mean it. I found a bunch of folks standing in a line so I got in it, figuring there must be something to see at the end of it. Finally they loaded us all up in the back of a ton truck with a bunch of seats in it. I felt like those seats were a waste because they could have hauled a lot of hay in that truck. They carried us around looking at all kinds of animals that I never knew lived in Florida. They even had cows with no hair but I don’t think they would make it long because they had some of the biggest cats I ever seen just over the hill from them. I told the driver they should probably shoot those cats before they ate their livestock. It wasn’t long after that they got me out of the back of the truck and put me on a bus somewhere else.
Apparently I dozed off on that bus trip because when I got off at the next stop we were in Hollywood. I was getting a little hungry, which seemed a shame, having left all that food at the preserve, so I found a hot dog stand. I ordered one hot dog and got out my wallet. The lady told me that would be ten dollars. I told her I think she misunderstood and said I just wanted one dog. She said she heard me the first time and it was still $10. Now I had noticed early on that many of the people here didn’t talk like me, I suspect many were from somewhere east of the Tallapoosa, so I insisted one more time that we were not understanding one another and that I needed a single frank. Apparently that angered her all the more because she jacked the price up to twelve dollars so I dropped the ten down on the cart and took my lunch. I suppose that the fact that these folks won’t eat any of the abundance of meat they had over at the preserve had caused a scarcity of food which in turn drove up lunch prices. I wandered around the place for a while and then I saw something I had only heard about in barber shops and gas stations in the mornings. There, walking right through the middle of Hollywood, was a Sasquatch. I knew this could be trouble because nobody anywhere around this place had a rifle and I had even had to relenquish my trusty pocketknife. I knew I didn’t want to get close to it, especially if it was hungry, so I picked out the slower looking people around me that I would need to outrun if he charged. But then I noticed something even more peculiar. People were taking their picture with this creature. Not only did they have a Sasquatch right here in California (I figure he came down from Yosemite), these folks had tamed the thing. It was at this point that I decided maybe I should get back to Florida because this was a little more than I could take. I found some buses lining up and began to try and find one back to the Sunshine State. The first driver assured me I was in Florida so I moved on to the next, assuming that I had run into the language barrier again. I eventually found one that said Magic Kingdom on the front and I thought, why not, I had already seen a cow with no hair and a Sasquatch so why not a little more magic.
On the way to the kingdom I spotted another oddity. I saw the biggest golf ball in the world. Now I could only laugh at whoever made this because even if you could build a club big enough to hit it, who in the world, besides maybe the California Yeti, could swing the thing. Common sense is lacking all over. The bus stopped later and they pointed me right up Main Street. In the distance I could see where everyone was headed. It was the Big House. I followed along for a while but I got sidetracked, which happens to me a lot, by an incredible sight. There, walking down that street, was the biggest rat I have ever seen. He was just a waving and laughing and carrying on and would you believe folks were getting their photos with him as well. I thought then that I had seen it all but directly there came up behind me a huge duck. To top that he seemed to be a bit of a smart aleck. I figured these animals had gotten that large because of the no-hunting thing going on around there. I walked on toward the Big House and I kept noticing frilly girls that people kept lining up to see. I am not sure why folks were so impressed because I could tell by looking at them that they couldn’t cook. It was then that I decided that maybe the Big House was gonna be a bit too fancy for me so I took the next trail I came to and walked that way for a while. I found another line and got in it because I had learned that all these lines had some odd things at the other end. I went inside the biggest barn I had ever seen. I kept walking up so I suspect I reached the loft. It was dark so I really wasn’t sure what was going on. I reached a platform and about that time some kind of cart came rolling up. A kid standing on the platform told me to get in the cart and to take off my hat. I thought on it a minute and decided that this must be some high-tech way to get the hay into the loft of that barn. I told the boy I wasn’t looking for work and that I just wanted to get out of that barn as fast as I could. He assured me that the hay hauler was the quickest way out. I got in and we started rolling and then some lights flashed. Friend, what happened next I cannot explain. I was launched into the darkness on that hay lift and screamed for my life to be spared. My next thought was how in the world are we gonna stop this thing. We juked and turned all the way down that barn until finally I saw light again. We came to a stop and another kid told me to get out of the cart and to have a nice day. I told him that I had not felt like that since I smoked too much rabbit tobacco in the fifth grade and that his momma should tear his tail up for scaring folks like that. I saw daylight, which I assumed was the barn door, and headed out into the street. I immediately found a bus to take me back to where I was staying and vowed to never return to this kingdom again.
This tale may be stretched just a tad. I have found that the more places I go the more I realize that people just see things different. Perspective is something to consider when you get away from home. I have found that some people love to do things I do not and that some people abhor the things I love and that’s all right. Customs and traditions vary and people are different past the hills of home. One thing I did notice though, no matter what the skin color or language, was the sparkle in the children’s eyes when they saw that big rat or those frilly girls. I even saw some teenage kids brighten up a little. The magic of youth and the dreams of children are universal and I love it when a little of that stirs up in me. I hope I never grow up.