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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Grandma at Disney World

November 1st, 2012

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

I have a friend who helped scatter grandma’s ashes at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. She didn’t exactly tell the kids that that was the specific reason they were all packed and heading down south in the Kia Sedona, but what would they have cared, anyhoo? It is the happiest place on Earth — for the living and in this case, the post-living.

They prided themselves on taking care of business and doing it on the cheap. Grandma, who arbitrarily was known by the extravagant name of Sayonara, would have approved. Disney World was offering active duty and retired soldiers a free five-day pass for themselves and the ability to purchase five more five-day passes for $99 each. Booyah! That was striking pay dirt for a family who pulled the wool over Desert War Uncle Rickey’s eyes by promising him he’d have the chance to ride front row on all the “big rides.”

They stayed at one of the Disney-owned hotels to take advantage of the early admission days they offer. The plan was to close down the park: stay late and enjoy smaller crowds, shorter lines, and fewer kids.

The rope dropped and they were off like banshees, but not to use a hailed FAST PASS for more rides, more often. They were out to hit the featured attractions on the purple-penned list of Millie’s Miracle Minnie and Mickey Mile. (The ash dispersion bucket list!)

The family hauled booty toward Fantasyland. They did not stop for a PhotoPass opportunity; they did not stop at the Main Street Bakery. But they did wave back at the nice cast members with the big white Mickey hands as they headed straight down Main Street, staying slightly to the left-hand side for best progress.

They marched through the Cinderella Castle, admired the lovely mosaics as they went through, and strode with purpose towards The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. This was stop number one. A whirl through the honey and the Huffalump. A small pinch of grandma made its way out of the backpack at the Winnie the Pooh Birthday Bash scene.

In Fantasyland, they stood in line near the Peter Pan ride, scanned across the esplanade toward Snow White’s Scary Adventures, and looked up to find the window where the Wicked Queen opens the curtains to peer out every few seconds. A nip of grandma’s remains found its way
into the bush below.

In the queue for Snow White’s Scary Adventures there is a golden apple that, when touched, emits the voice of the witch, cackling with laughter. My friend touched that golden apple with a little something in her hand.

Cinderella’s Golden Carousel was next up. Yep. All over the pink horse. In Indiana Jones, there is a pole that says Do Not Touch. Touching it will cause spikes to come down through the ceiling. My friend and grandma again.

In the Haunted Mansion, it took them a while but her little cousin finally spotted the Hidden Mickey plates in the Ballroom, and the Hidden Donald in a chair by the Endless Hallway. Cremains are now concealed.

The tour of ash wrapped up In the finale of “It’s a Small World.” A clown in a hot air balloon holds a glittery sign that reads “Help Me.” The clown is the only character in the whole ride who is not smiling — he has a little frown. The sign is just to keep him in character. And it now holds spitballs of grandma’s bits.

Tragedy struck while they were still on that ride. Grandma fell in. All of grandma. Accidentally. A white fluff and puff sort of lingered and then sank. The people in the boat behind noticed and weren’t being quiet about their issues with it. My friend tried to use her hoodie as a makeshift mop but it wasn’t able to amass any slag. A few of them used their hands as scoopers. And a message suddenly came over the loudspeakers. They quickly were mortified to learn that the Small World is definitely not emergency potable water. They learned later that cast members are required to wade in that water weekly to scrub the boats with soap, and if you fall in that water during the ride, you are required to have a tetanus shot.

But all was not lost. As they sat with wet sleeves in their wooden water wagon, they looked at all the signs with the word Goodbye in different languages from all over the world. However, the sign that supposedly represents Japan is the Japanese word arigato, meaning thank you. Broad smiles came over their faces, for sayonara would have been more appropriate. •

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Fournier | Link to this Entry

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