Monday, September 12, 2005

But Don't Wear Fanny Packs, Please

I always try to carry a book with me. This is primarily because I'm almost always early or right on time, and if I'm ever late, it's not my fault. Maliavale has tried many a time to beat me somewhere, and attempted to claim (a totally false) victory when Trish, Brian and Aubrie were in town. Here's the thing with babies: it seems they make you late for everything. It's a big, giant production in which not only two fully grown adults are attempting to leave the house with matching shoes, but they're also trying to dress a baby and equip said baby with all the tools necessary to address any and all conceivable needs that may arise during the excursion. And Aubrie is a good baby. Very easy to please. She loves my singing voice, which proves my point if you've ever heard me sing. I shudder to think about Cranky Baby.

So, anyway. We had plans to meet the crew for lunch at noon, but noon came and went, and I was still sitting on the couch ready to go, trying to remain calm and patient. Trish and Brian were still gathering baby paraphernalia and getting ready themselves. At 12:20, we piled in the car and I called some cell phones and alerted everyone that we were on our way, taking special care to blame this on Trish and Brian. I have a reputation to uphold here, so I have to find the scapegoats where I can get them. When we finally arrived at the restaurant, I walked in and maliavale declared, "Finally! I beat you somewhere!"
"What!? That doesn't count! I had no control over this!"
"I'm taking it."
"It doesn't count. It's not my fault. Not my fault!"
She needs to beat me fair and square, and this was neither. Try again, maliavale, when there aren't unpredictable babies involved! But I will say that had I been in charge of what to bring for the baby, it would be: a bottle, one serving of formula (OK, maybe two), two diapers and a pacifier to quiet the complaining. That's what you're going to get, kid, and you're gonna like it. This is why I don't have babies.

The "bring along a book" thing stems from an ill-fated trip to Disneyland in 1990. My stepbrother Glenn and I didn't want to see the Electrical Parade, so we split off from the rest of the family to go ride "It's A Small World." It started off well enough. We hummed along with the little dancing dolls, made fun of some of their expressions, and then it happened. We caught up with the boat in front and came to a stop. The boat behind us smacked into ours, hurling us forward.

And then we sat there and waited. And waited.
"It's a smallll world after all!"
Waiting.
"It's a world of laughter a world of tears..."
Still waiting.
"It's a world of hope and a world of fears..."
Oh my God.
"There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware..."
Help.
"IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALLLL!"
Meep.

Twenty minutes later, we hadn't moved an inch. We were still there, listening to this horrible, wicked song on loop with these insane dancing dolls who began to take on a menacing appearance. Any minute, they were going to hop off their little pedestals, do-si-do into our boats and eat each and every one of us alive while singing about diversity, then afterward, they'd do a little pas de bouree and a kick-ball change and can-can on over to the next victim until we were all devoured. They were little dancing, singing, multilingual Chuckie dolls.

I looked over at Glenn to see if he was as close to losing his mind as I was. He was hunched over in his seat, engrossed in the Indiana Jones book he had taken out of his day-glo green fanny pack (I warned you this was 1990, didn't I?).
"You brought a book?"
"Well, yeah," he shrugged.
"What made you think to bring a book to Disneyland?"
"You never know."
To self: "Dammit! That's brilliant!"

Forty-five minutes after we had stopped, we were still sitting there when we saw people up ahead starting to climb out of their boats and walk out.
"Glenn, people are leaving."
"We can't get out of these boats! We'll get busted."
"We can't stay here and listen to this. It's insane. I never want to hear this song again."
"Me, either. OK. Let's hurry. Hurry! Run!"
We hopped out and made our way to the exit via the walkways behind the set, which was almost as fascinating as the time we were in Space Mountain and the lights kicked on. Man, that is one very wussy roller coaster when you can actually see it. I could see it in everyone's eyes: "This is what we've been screaming over?" Behind "It's a Small World" it's more like "It's A Plywood and Finishing Nails World."

We found the exit and took off running to find our parents at the parade. On the way, we swore up and down we'd never go on "It's A Small World" again. To this day, I haven't.

When we located our parents, my stepmom was visibly annoyed. "Where have you guys been?"
"Oh, God. You don't even want to know."