Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dumbo: A Tragedy in Three Acts, part II

Act II: Despair

After I returned from the ill-fated trip, life went back to normal. That is to say, as normal as one's life can be after having one's dreams obliterated by an uncaring rodent juggernaut. My friends would ask me how my trip was, and I would respond that it was as good as could be expected. This, of course, was just a façade, put forward for appearances. In reality, the trip was anything but fine; yes, Disneyland was still fun and I had an enjoyable time, but deep on the inside, I was a broken man.

A GoogleImage search of "melodrama" brought up this picture.
As time went on, my wounds began the healing process. After a few years had passed, I had buried the incident deep down and had gone on with my life. Then, one day at school, we were discussing past American presidents and their various quirks. When we got to Harry S Truman, my first thoughts were that he was a champ; not only did he seal the deal on WWII for America, but he also was too cool for a middle name. These thoughts of adoration quickly ended, however, when I was told the following tidbit: when Truman visited Disneyland in 1957, he refused to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant because he didn't want to be seen with the main symbol of the Republican party.

What an f-hole.
Much like in the Manchurian Candidate, a few simple words had triggered a reaction in my head. Images and feelings of heartbreak and sorrow from the past filled my mind. These images were joined by a new-found disdain for the 33rd president. He had the chance—nay, the privilege—to ride Dumbo and he blew it off? Korea may have been forgivable, Mr. Truman, but not that.

For those confused about that last comment, this is an f-hole.
A few short weeks after Truman, with one single act, secured the "Worst President of All Time" position in my young mind, my mother surprised me with the best news I had heard in the past three years: that fall, we were going to Disneyland. While all my siblings were excited about the newly-built Splash Mountain—and, I'll admit, there was interest on my part as well—I knew there was only one ride that called my name. And to make matters all-the-better, we were going to visit the park for two days. Two whole days! This time, nothing could get in my way. There would be no one to stop me this time.

The cold, hard look of determination.
The air was crisp that cold, autumn morning. The cool sou'wester that frequents southern California caused the temperature to be almost perfect. And, due to Utah's habit of coinciding the fall school break with the opening weekend of the deer hunt, we were there on a Thursday, which meant the lines would be at a minimum. My parents suggested that our first stop be the aforementioned Splash Mountain. I didn't object; after all, there would be plenty of Adam/Dumbo time later.

As the day drew on, I grew more and more impatient. Finally, when the rest of the family was taking a breather after a particularly nausea-inducing spin on the Mad Tea Party, my mother agreed to escort me to Dumbo. As we walked, we saw Timothy Mouse—the ornament resting atop the center of the ride—emerge above the treeline. I started running at this point, for I was only a few feet from my destiny. Only a few feet from my white whale. Only a few feet from...

...a sign announcing that Dumbo the Flying Elephant was closed for repairs.

I was crushed. Had I really been snubbed twice by a ride that I had showed nothing but love, compassion, and ultimate devotion towards? My mom put her hand on my shoulder in an effort to console me. While I appreciated the effort, the damage had been done, and was far too deep. I sulked back to my family and back to Utah. It seemed that Dumbo would be forever out of my reach... until the fates would once again intertwine my life with my big-eared friend's, 2500 miles and 16 years later.

the sign, as I remember it
Coming up next time: a final chance at redemption...

2 comments:

Tiff said...

It does make a nice narrative....but you forgot our Canadian brother...Skip...get it!

lexi said...

adam... there is no treeline between the mad tea party and dumbo...theres only 2 trees... what disneyland are you going to man?

and nice pic of yourself :D its cute :D