I saw a headline about some people were doing angry social media things because they were at Disneyland and they were cordoned into the lame areas of the park because Kim Kardashian was there and they were closing down the park for her as she wandered around.
I feel that I must once again share my harrowing story.
The year was 1988. Someone was president. A song was number one on the radio. A movie was tops at the box office. Mostly what I remember is that people were falling into wells constantly and we children had to be vigilant to the ever looming threats of Satanists, Dobermans, and quicksand. Dungeons and Dragons was teaching a whole generation of kids to commit ritual abuse and set their houses on fire.
Also my family took a trip to Disney World. I used to think my family was poor when I was a kid, but as an adult I’ve been disabused of that notion. We had a home and two cars and we went to Disney World once. We weren’t poor. It only seemed like we were poor to me because we were always the poorest family in the nice neighborhoods we moved to every few years.
I was not terribly excited about this trip because even as a kid I wasn’t into trips and since I didn’t really like rides or Disney stuff what was there to get excited about? If there wasn’t GI Joe or Transformers involved I wasn’t that interested. Or wrestling. I was very excited about my GI Joe wrestling federation. Stormshadow was a long reigning world champion but I realize as an adult that a guy that doesn’t talk isn’t a great choice for your #1 heel. I should have given him a manager. I know that now.
As I recall the trip to Florida took approximately 8 million hours. In the backseat of a blazing hot car. Next to my sister who was blasting Poison at maximum decibels and who would stab me with a nail file if I made and noise or moved or just because she felt like it.
I remember that outside the window of our hotel room there was a billboard with a naked lady on it. And I mean naked naked not “you can’t actually see anything” naked. What was it advertising? I don’t know. I never looked directly at it because I didn’t want to be caught looking. Also it was a few years before I would be super interested in naked lady billboards. Was having a naked lady billboard legal in Orlando in the 1980s? I don’t know that either, but it was there. I remember my mom calling the front desk to complain but what was the hotel supposed to do about it? I also remember sleeping on a cot.
We went to a beach covered with dead jellyfish and then it was time for Disney World. At this point I did get excited because we had traveled millions of miles for this so surely it had to be great. And maybe it is great, but I wouldn’t know because all I got to see was Main Street USA (no parade) and some gift shops.
Because Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley were there. I kept saying different things I wanted to check out and my parents kept saying that we couldn’t go there because it was closed. Just a bunch of gift shops. Gift shops that had no Transformers or GI Joes to buy. I couldn’t understand what was happening at first because I was kind of a dumb kid (and adult) but eventually I figured it out. Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel were important, whereas we were scum, ergo it was critical that they get access to the park while we stood there like fucking idiots.
One image that’s really stuck with me is standing there in on GD Main Street USA watching the tram go by that was empty except for Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley, some kids, and various hangers-on and bodyguards and functionaries. The kids couldn’t have given two shits about what was going on. Christie Brinkley looked like a stepmom trying her hardest and getting nothing back but shitty comments. Billy Joel was staring at nothing like a zombie.
I often say that that’s the day I learned that there is no justice in this world. I’m only partially kidding. It was a kind of important learning experience. Some people are just better than you, societally speaking. A few years later, in the naked lady billboard interest years, I swore to myself that if I ever saw Billy Joel I’d punch him in the face. I’ve told any woman I felt might do it that they should do the same to Christie Brinkley on my behalf. I was mostly kidding.
Later on I found out that Billy Joel has had issues with depression his whole life and tried to kill himself at least once. At which point I felt robbed again because now even if I did punch him in the face it wouldn’t be “okay”.
I’ve told this tale a few times, and blogged about it before – possibly even on this blog – and on one blog 7 blogs ago I threw out this emo-gem about how I was giving up my quest for revenge on Billy Joel –
“Now here’s the funny thing about revenge. There’s no such thing. The scale never balances. Why? Because there is no scale. If my life is worthless (which it is) and I kill a guy whose life was valuable, how you gonna make the scales balance? Forget it. There’s no scale. So don’t trick yourself into thinking that there is.”
That’s some prime childish nihilism right there. That would have been a good quip to throw into one of the more revenge focused Ela stories. Well, there’s always the next Ela story right?
Mildly related final note. We used to go to a local carnival every year also and I was never much into that either. Even before a carny whipped out his dick at my cousin and me. I remember one year asking if I could use my carnival money to buy a Transformer instead of for the dumb carnival. The answer was no for reasons that I didn’t understand at all then but kinda do now.