Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

I'm going to continue giving you little stories on Thursdays until you tell me to stop. I'm trying to think of a clever little name for my story Thursdays, but I'm drawing a blank. If anyone thinks of anything, they would have my sincere appreciation! Here's another one my mom isn't aware of! I think 30 odd years later she can handle it, though. I think the statue of limitations is up. She can't ground me anymore, anyway...

I first visited Disney World in the spring of 1978, just a few years after it opened, with my marching band. This trip marked both my first flight in an airplane and my first stay in a hotel. We were camping folk, there had never been a need. I dutifully made my bed every morning, to the great amusement of my more worldly roommates.

I'm quite certain that it goes without saying that I was extremely excited. It probably also goes without saying that 'extremely excited' is understating it a bit.

Young? Check. Cute? Check. Uncharacteristically free from parental supervision? Check. This was a recipe for bliss. Just add The Mouse and enjoy liberally.

All the candy bars, magazines and light bulbs (yes, light bulbs) I'd sold to finance this trip were finally paying off. I was in Florida. In April. With my best friends. In the almost brand spankin' new self-proclaimed happiest place on earth.

There was no downside.

We explored Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland thoroughly, as a pack of squeaky squealy teenaged girls. We expected wonder at every turn and we were usually not disappointed. We laughed until our sides ached, developing and nurturing inside jokes that continued to insure a giggle months after we'd returned home.

We marched in the afternoon parade and, as a part of this endeavor, were treated to a peak at backstage Disney. *shudder* We never spoke much of that. We saw characters without their heads on. They were, for the most part, excessively pimpled teenagers. It was like watching Jim Henson speak for Kermit. You know he's there, but you don't want to think about it. Very disillusioning. I shall speak of it no more.

Later that year, over the summer months, our family took another trip to Disney World with family friends. Now, having been there myself only months before, I considered myself sort of an expert on all things Disney. I didn't mind sharing my expertise. I'm a giver like that. I spent a lot of time assuring my travel companions that they needn't worry, I'd show them around. I had, if I haven't made it quite clear, a sort of inflated sense of self-importance about the whole affair.

The night before we were to head to Disney we were staying at a beach not far away. I snuck out of the camper once everyone was asleep to go to a bar. I was nearly sixteen and the drinking age in Florida at the time was eighteen. It was no problem at all to pass. It was a great bar on a pier right over the ocean. I don't remember the name of it, but I do remember that their claim to fame was their Bahama Mama. Drink three of 'em and you could write whatever you wanted on the wall. They made a damn fine Bahama Mama, I must say. At least by the standards set forth by my almost sixteen year old palate. I think I wrote something to that effect on the wall when I earned my turn with the Sharpie.

I returned to camp and no-one was the wiser.

That's not entirely true.

Dave knew.

Dave was the eldest of our friends' kids - which still put him at two years younger than me. Dave was not adverse to a little blackmail among friends.

Now anyone who's downed a couple few delicious fruity rum drinks in the course of an evening knows that the evening spent drinking them is WAY more fun than the morning spent recovering from them.

The families' plan was to be on the road early early so that we'd be at Disney when the gates opened. Not a huge problem for anyone but the drivers, since we were traveling in campers. Since the drivers had NOT snuck out to drink rum with boys the night before, it was not a problem at all.

MY problems began, as you can imagine, when I woke up. Looking good, feeling good. Dave whispered in my ear at the next rest stop, "Don't worry. I'm not going to tell anyone."

"And in return?"

"You wound me! I don't want anything in return! I just want you to spend the day with me at Disney. Show me the sights..."

"That's it?"

"Ride the rides with me..."

"I don't feel much like..."

"I sure would be sad if you didn't ride the rides with me. I can only hope I wouldn't let any information slip in my saddened state."

He had me by the short ones, kids. What choice did I have but to say yes?

We got to the park and developed a buddy system of sorts. My sister and Dave's sister would be buddies. Me, Dave, and his younger sister, Cass, would be buddies. Safety rules were discussed, tickets were distributed, meet up times were scheduled.

Being the senior member of my little group, as well as a self-proclaimed Disney expert, I assumed I'd be leading our little expedition. "I thought we'd start with..."

"Teacups" interrupted Dave.

"TEAcups?" I said, my eyes narrowing behind my dark shades and attempting to burn holes straight through him.

Cass started chanting, "Tea Cups! Tea Cups!" Dave joined in. Now this was just flat out playing dirty and he knew it. Cass was seven years my junior and I adored her. I could deny her nothing. Dave was not unaware of this fact. Teacups it would be.

Guess who took control of the wheel that controls the spinning in the teacups?

That was just the beginning of the price of Dave's silence.

He did what he could to torture the poor, stupid, know-it-all, hungover teen he held firmly under his thumb. But as a clear testament to the well-earned "Happiest Place on Earth" moniker, it was still a pretty darn good day.

Suck it, Dave.

Teacups indeed.


Housewife Savant said...

I love travelin' with you, in my mind's eye.
You're the President and CEO of Good Times in The Day, Inc., my dear.
Thanks for that.

Sandy said...

Are you saying that you kept it all down on the teacups?! My stomach's queasy and my head aches just reading. You are my hero.

Crazee Juls said...

Oh my! Bahama mama...hangovers...and teacups. Let me just say, when my family visited Disney world a few years ago, I thought I'd toss my cookies...because of those darned teacups...and I wasn't suffering from a hangover...I can only imagine! :)
Great story...hmm I can't think of any catchy names, but keep writing your Thursday stories, please!

SparkleFarkel said...

Loved taking a "spin" down Memory Lane with you-- your dizzy Disneytale was a riot to read! Thanks for the share. I am headed to the cupboard, right now, to exchange my coffee mug in for a teacup and drink a morning toast to you! Salute, Tammy!

P.S. I'll pass on the rum-spike. LOL!

P.P.S. I'll pull the strap on my thinking cap a smitch tighter and see if I can help you out with a Thursdays' stories title.

Macey said...

Another great one, Tammie!
How 'bout Travels with Tammie Thursday? Lame?? : )

Carma Sez said...

Not the dreaded teacups!!!!! He got ya good ;-)

Melissa B. said...

3 things: Marching Band, Bahama Mama, Teacups. a high school teacher, my imagination knows no boundaries. Thanks for sharing the story.

Alex the Girl said...

Crap a Diem. I don't think I'd need the bahama mama's to feel the effect of a spinning tea cup.

The thing I like best about your Thursday blasts from the past is the spark of memory it invokes in me.

Sex on the beach. Ordering the drink followed by everyone yelling "And Sand in Your Ass" I had so much sand in my ass by the end of that day I could have housed an entire beach on my own. We also got down on the floor and sang along to Garth Brooks on the juke box singing "low places."

Gibby said...

I love your Thursday Roadtrips! Having been cursed by rumrunners just this past 4th weekend, I can feel your pain. I would have hurled on the teacups without the rum. Bad Dave.

Linda said...

I can picture it all as clear as day and the whole thing is even making me nauseaus now...hangover and teacups, OMG!!

Anonymous said...

I wanna get completely smashed and ride the tea cups. I think that would be awesome.

Swine said...

Nice, T. Wish we could have hooked up in that bar back in '78. I'd loved to have shared a drink with you and written something obscene on the wall. That's how I roll.

Oh, and as for a name, how about "Suck It Thursdays"? You can thank me later.

Chandy said...

Hello, SITStah! Thanks for celebrating with me yesterday. I love all the comments! Visit anytime!

What an adventure you had!

Grand Pooba said...

Dear Tammie,

I'm going to puke just looking at that picture.


the girl with the pink teacup said...

Sorry Tammy... SO slow to comment. Just catching up on all the Mommakin goodness I've missed in the last few days.

You, my dear, are an absolute legend for keeping it all together while hungover and riding the teacups! Now, I like me some tea, and I like me some teacups (naturally), but if I'd been in your place that day, Dave would've been wearing those Bahama Mamas down the front of his shirt.

I love these Thursday trips down memory lane :) Even if I do only get to them on a Saturday (sorry).

scrappysue said...

i HATE the morning recovery - it's so unfair!

awesome teacups shot btw - you take it?

Claudya Martinez said...

You should never drink and teacup. friends don't let friends drink and teacup.

What about, "Thursday Throwbacks"?

Soma said...

By the general courtsey of the Blog world, I would have really appreciated if you had asked my permission before you used the picture of the Bahama Mama from my blog. Even a mention of where the photo is from in your post would have counted. It takes me a lot of effort to take pictures & post as you as a blogger would know, & I do not like it when others use my things without permission.