Sunday, February 01, 2009


I’m in this tunnel last night, OK? And all I can tell you is that it’s long and dark and damp. And I am moving through it with great difficulty. For some reason, my feet won’t obey my brain. I can see the end of the tunnel and what appear to be street lights and tree branches. So it must be nighttime outside.

I know it is a simple matter of crawling to the light and stepping out into the open. But inexplicably, I can’t move forward. I am stupidly preoccupied with my pockets. I am searching every pocket….for what? I can’t tell you.
I never do make it out of the tunnel. I wake up first. It is 4 o’clock in the morning. I tell myself to remember this dream. And to make sure I do, I replay it in my mind before dozing off again.

We took the grandboys to Walt Disney World recently. It was crowded the day after Thanksgiving. There was an hour wait for Dumbo. So while Drake, the older one, went with Aunt Katie and Uncle Ryan to ride the flying pachyderm, I took little Xander, put him on my shoulders to plug the cry valve (little kid didn’t know he was having fun), and got in the shorter line for the “Hall of Disney Heroines”. This is where Cinderella, Snow White, Tinker Bell and the others stand in perfect character, greeting children and smiling for photographs. But Xander wanted no part of it. Not even the professional Disney Handlers could coax him into it. He took one look at pasty-faced Cinderella and his wail increased by at least 20 decibels. So, we left the building and found the Dumbo riders.

Disney, from a cynic’s point of view, is a velvet money trap starring Mickey Mouse as the high priest of pickpockets. But that aside, it does have a unique atmosphere that can cheer the disconsolate adult and mesmerize the kids.

When I knew the picture session with Snow White and Xander wasn’t going to happen, I asked Snow White if the rumors were true about her and Sneezy. She winked and said in her best cartoon voice, “Oh my! I love ALL of them just the same!” I’ll bet you do, you ol’ frog kisser. No, wait, that’s another fairy tale, isn’t it? And if “When you wish upon a star your dreams come true” like the song says… does that mean that I will find myself crawling through some tunnel sludge for real? Just asking.

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