Punch Drunk

Disney Quest at Downtown Disney

Disney Quest at Downtown Disney

The family and I have visited Disney World for years now so it always amazes me when we discover something truly new and unique. On the West End of Downtown Disney – the encapsulated title for the various shops, clubs, and restaurants open to the consuming public – Disney Quest hides like a shy behemoth. Alone the building, painted with bright kiddy-pool turquoise and standing nearly five stories tall, would attract attention anywhere, yet somehow nestled between the commercial monstrosity of the Virgin Mega-store and peaked dome of the Cirque du Soleil it appears almost demure in comparison, like a costumed juggler competing with the sensuality of the Vegas strip.

Dad took a few of the kids to Quest years ago during one stormy afternoon after spending most of the morning baking beneath the Florida sun.Like Floridian clockwork, thunder sounded at around two, and the kids convinced Dad to lead the expedition through the shops.An offer of modest recreation amid indoor air conditioning in the end, I believe, won him over. He returned quite exhausted, and when questioned he could only stutter, “It’s right up your alley, Murphey.”

Continue reading

Advertisements

Vacation Journal 1: Ewok Hunting

We had stood waiting for nearly two hours when the Chewbacca left with the Ewok. The family standing two places ahead had finished taking their pictures – Chewy headlocking the unkempt guy with the Family Guy T-shirt while Sis and Mom giggled at the cameraman – when a Disney attendant shouted across the warehouse that their time had ended. Tiff fumed.

“Nooooo,” she whined.“No, soo close.We almost had him.”

Pat simply sighed with fatigue and crumpled against the wall like a discarded straw wrapper.“Two and a half hours in line.”

Ryan and I sighed.The Sith Lords further down the line seemed ready to leave too.

Continue reading

Club Thumping

Night clubs are peculiar organisms, stimulating intense physical exercise at the cost of its patron’s health. For example, inside a club music pulsates like an electronic heart pumping remixed tunes through every shadowy corner, wet bathroom, and cluttered kitchen. Arriving from the cold, patrons placing their hands against the glass windows or doors can literally check the pulse of the party. Boom boom boom ba-boom. The music draws in dancers like a diver draws a breath before the plunge, opening doors occasionally to exhale swirling wisps of smoke, odors of beer, and evaporated sweat. Yet the health of the dance hall demands a high cost: the accumulation of large tab deposits, the death of alcohol-depressed brain cells, and great pain and disorientation the following morning.

For someone who feels hung-over after a thirty-second workout, night clubs would not contribute to my overall health, methinks.

In spite of – or perhaps because of – this aversion to movement, Pat, Tiff, and Katie invited me out to listen to a DJ friend at one of the local restaurants/bars two Saturdays ago. It was all very kind and wonderful; although, I do not believe that they realized the scope of how truly dull and boring I actually am. For my defense, I tried to warn them over the weekend that my personality did not lend much to drinking, dancing, or conversation outside the realm of movies, books or Middle Earth. Anime (greatly misrepresented as “Japanese porn” in my family) and black and white movies encompass a large (if sole) percentage of my TV viewing; recent color programs like American Idol, Lost, and the local news are mostly ignored, thus limiting most normal dinner conversations:

“So, did you see E.R. the other night?”

“Uh . . .no, sorry.”

“Oh, . . well you probably heard that Simon . . .”

“American Idol? *cough* . . . no, probably not.”

“Ah . . . um, did you know about the four-alarm fire downtown today?”

“A fire downtown, really? Wow, ‘fraid I missed that too. You see, I was reading an excellent Incredible Hulk graphic novel, when Super Napon Robo came on. The main character started shouting something, which they translated as ‘the answer to life, the universe and everything . . .’ so of course, I had to shout 42!”

“. . . Check please!”

So in the end they ignored my objections and insisted I come along anyway. Apparently my arguments only served to strengthen the general consensus that I required some training in social competency.

Frankly I just do not see the problem. My ideal evening typically involves a Lazyboy, some iced tea, and one or multiple combinations of the following:

a) a good game,

b) a good movie,

c) a good book.

Unless interrupted by an extended trip to some far off locale, a dangerous (though rare) sojourn to a lost continent, or opportune visit to Borders, I prefer a quiet night home with my stories. It is for these reasons that I have maintained a simple, happy life full of wonder, magic, second-hand adventure, tea-stains . . . but sadly no girlfriend. Katie suggests that this is an unconscious cry for help.

Thus the club. Our party was seated directly in front of the DJ, placing us near the large ear-shattering speakers and the large gyrating rear-ends of the dancers. “Hey!” Tiffany shouted as one tall gentleman whipped his leather-encased rear into her head. Patting her head, the dancer apologized and continued to twist, twirl, shimmy, and shuffle around his partner, who in contrast remained rooted to the floor, clapping her hands sporadically to an unknown rhythm. That was more my speed and said so. Patrick, no great dancer himself, laughed and agreed. Katie however only sighed with uniquely sisterly resignation that seemed to say “Worthless. Totally worthless. I’ll never get any nieces or nephews at this rate.”

Not all the evening was absurd, though. To my female readers this may sound chauvinistic but few scenes exceed the beauty of girls dancing. If my readers mistake my thoughts for misogyny or the sex-starved ravings of a closet pervert, you are free to believe such misconceptions. Yet the sight of girls on the dance floor from my perspective is at once sexy, energetic, lovely, gentle, strong, graceful, delicate, and above all beautiful. Through dance, women personify all that men – or at least this man – lack. Even to a song as ribald and asinine as the “Booty Call” – at which I should note all guys empty the dancing arena – women exude dignity, charm, grace, and above all a beauty that far exceeds any age, appearance, or even sense of rhythm.

Nevertheless, I did not stir to enter the dance floor. That was their temple, not mine, and accepted my exclusion with dignity. I ordered another iced tea and asked Pat for the score of the basketball game. He rattled off some numbers, which I failed to hear, long since deaf after the second verse of “Baby Got Back.” Nevertheless, as I sipped my fifth raspberry iced tea, pretending halfheartedly to watch sports while gazing at the electric goddesses gliding around the dance floor, my manhood felt well intact. If a young lady had caught my eye, I might have easily gathered the liquid courage, sauntered over, and with a devilish smile asked “Hey, baby, you up for a little one on one PVP action later tonight near the Ruins of Stonehoard Keep? We can trade mythic armor, if you know what I mean?”

Katie, I would not count on being a aunt anytime soon.