Sunday, May 2, 2010

Don't Jump Off Any Rides

Don't forget to signal

Today, the youngest heads off to Disneyland with his lovely girlfriend, to celebrate their three month anniversary.  If that's not adorable, I don't know what is, do you?  It will be the first time he's driving to the happiest place on earth, and let's just say his sense of direction is still evolving.  The concept of east, west, north and south remains fuzzy.  It's more about "I turn left, then what?" than actual street names.  For example, I might say, "Turn on Magnolia," and get a blank stare.  "Magnolia?"  "The street you drive every day."  "Oh, that Magnolia."  You can probably understand why his excursion feels to us like a road trip to Russia, by way of the North Pole.  We're sure he'll get to Walt's place, we just hope it's not the one in Orlando. 

And so, as Mr. Going Off to College Soon departs for Anaheim, we hug and kiss him, and hubby hands him a map and a compass, a spare tire and a thick car repair manual, a sleeping bag and a keg of water.  After that, he imparts a few words of wisdom, the kind most fathers long to share with their sons: "Don't get crazy. There are cameras everywhere.  Don't jump off the rides." 

At this point, Scotty, not famous for jumping, let alone climbing -- unlike his brother, who used to hang from luggage carts in hotels -- scrunches up his face, thinking, "Does this man know me at all?"  On my end, there's unbridled laughter.  Hubby takes slight offense.  "Hey, I used to do some crazy @#%! at Disneyland.  I nearly got kicked out a number of times for jumping off the Monsanto ride.  I'd get out of my seat while the ride was moving and climb into the empty seats.  They didn't like that." 

Well.  This explains so much about the non-conformist I married long ago, I can't begin to tell you.  It's hard to top such sage advice, but I give it my best shot.  "Drive safely and call us when you get there."  A few hours later, he phones.  "Where's that Monsanto ride Dad was talking about?"  "It closed in 1985."  "That's disappointing."  "I know, but there are many other rides, none of which you should jump off," I say. "Thanks for the reminder, Mom."  "You're welcome.  Call us when you're leaving."

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