16 May 2006

DisneyWeird 3: Freakout on the Teacups, with After-Effects

DisneyWorld in its original form (The Magic Kingdom) opened to the public on a bright Florida morning in 1971. I was three years old at the time, and completely unaware of the event. Honestly, I wasn't aware of much in those days. Sesame Street was in its second season, and I was content. Oscar the Grouch was my hero. Perhaps he still is.

In the case of DisneyWorld, it seems odd that this theme park that would come to represent all the dreamy excess of the American Empire is only 35 years old. Wasn't it.....always there? It contains some of the great legends of our civilization: Cinderella's Castle, Space Mountain, and that bloody Teacup ride. These are the Great Artifacts of our culture, our fingerprint upon the earth. DisneyWorld has become a vast cathedral to Dreams, as only Americans are permitted to dream.

It's a sobering reminder of how fresh and new this Empire is. America doesn't have the strength of Real History. It doesn't have roots. Its flesh is only as deep as the glittery surface of Disney's fantasy props. We could vanish tomorrow, and the surviving nations of Earth would be left to clean up our star-spangled wreckage. The United States of America would enter the history books as a fragile experiment in mass gluttony gone horribly wrong.

But that's tomorrow...or the day after tomorrow! We live for NOW, baby, and with reckless abandon! To prove it, we will get on that teacup ride and turn ourselves inside out with spinning sickness!

The legendary Teacup ride is a great lesson in the physics of motion. The floor is split into an interweaving pattern of circular templates which turn at roughly the same rate. One teacup per circle. The whole business is mounted on a giant carousel turntable, so each teacup is spinning AND rotating at the same time. Additionally, each teacup is mobile by being freely mounted on a spindle and can be spun at will, if the rider grips the wheel and heaves in one direction.

So our mission was simple: We would claim our teacup and haul that bastard as fast as possible, for as long as possible. And we did. When the music started, we took control and rode that Fat Dragon into the heart of madness.

The world was a smear of warping space, a glittering, mercury-tinted photograph streaked with razors across a sphere of glass, roaring into the eyes and down the spinal cord like a Mother's Milk of pure, desperate motion: a primal, tumbling circus which packed all bodily fluids against the outer walls of flesh... This was the last great Spin Cycle of the Cosmos and it was happening NOW, NOW, NOW, laughing up the very dream-soaked Towels of God from our throats...

And it was over. We had been hauling at the wheel like speedfreak truckers, and it was now time to WALK amongst normal people.

Recovery was easy, but the brain still churned with delirium. We were hungry, and stumbled like zombies towards what looked like an ordinary food court.

We entered, smelled cheap pizza, and I saw THE BEAST.

It was a hideous lizard creature. Man-sized with the cruel beak of a carrion-bird and the calculating eyes of an alien genius...and it was seated at a keyboard, making some kind of lounge music. Amongst us weary travelers, the analysis went something like this:

CHESTER: "holy [bleep], does anybody else see that....or is it just me?"

JAY: "no...... i mean, yes. That appears to be really there."

TERRY: "this IS the holy [bleep] of restaurants."

JAY: "um, is anybody else vaguely disturbed by its legs?"

CHESTER: "dear sweet jesus, it has Fat Banker's Legs!"

go to Part 4.

No comments: