lying in the cherry tree.
Savage bed foot-warmer of purest feline ancestry.
Look out, little furry folk!
He’s the all-night working cat.
Eats but one in every ten
leaves the others on the mat.
…And the mouse police never sleeps
Jethro Tull, ‘…And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps‘
I was going to tell this story as part of an entry or a series of entries about my Disneyland trip this week, but I don’t feel like writing about all that and sorting pictures today. I should be outside doing something with my last vacation day bit I’m more in the angry, sit and brood sort of mood, sort of like when you feed a kid too much sugar and red food coloring; bouncing-off-the-wall wired and then a steep slope down to crash-and-burn.
So we’ll start with my last day (lastday I wanted to say, which is the sorta geeky sci-fi reference spcknght will get).
Let’s start with what I looked like, but imagine it angry. Big and angry. I’m not that tall, but I tend to look a lot bigger when I’m pissed off. Black kilt, black combat boots. And yeah, that’s a mohawk.
Now a little background. Post 9/11, Disney started security checkpoints. Used to be inside the park after you pass the gates, and it included a pat down and a wanding, I think. Which was fine, we were all a little spooked just after 9/11.
Later, they moved it outside the gates; you’d get a check-over if you had a bag. But no wanding and no pat down, and no check at all of pockets. Even cargo pockets like on my kilt, which could easily hide a hand grenade or a .45 on each side. And certainly not on the pockets on my army BDU’s which could hold a human head on each side. Yet bum bags and purses get a check. So – fine. You pass by if you have nothing to check.
Now though, they’ve moved the checkpoint to a bottleneck point between d-land and the new California Adventure park, so there’s a queue you get into – along with everyone else, strollers, backpacks, and everything. So you wait with nothing to check behind people with hummer-wide strollers and packs big enough to tour Europe with.
To put it simply, it’s a terrible system. And for a company that’s so goddamn good at queue management, it’s a fucking disgrace. It’s a mass, a mob, not a line.
Now let’s state the obvious; the check is pointless. I could walk in with a jacket made of c5 and they’d never stop me as long as I’m not wearing a bum bag. They’re not looking for anything. They’re making a show. It costs the visitor time, and the people doing the checks are not security people, they’re just standard park employees (‘cast members’), the same people who run the monorail and work the gift shops by the gate.
So I’m stuck in line behind a big Suburban of a stroller, and in front of a big Suburban of a stroller. With only a water bottle in my hands. I know what happens when I get up to the head of the line, I walk by the geezer doing the checks and he doesn’t even look at me when I don’t present a bag. So I slide around the stroller in front, lift my heavily tattooed arms to show I’m not carrying anything, and off I go.
At which point, the checkpoint guy starts yelling at me. Yelling, not the usual Disney politeness. Yelling at me to get back in line. So I stop, and turn around. And we have this conversation:
Gate-geezer: : Sir, get back in line!
Me: I’ve got nothing to be checked.
Gate-geezer: : Everyone waits. Get back in line. Now.
Me: Why? (Starting to get a little irritated. This is rude, for Disney)
Gate-geezer: Sir, you must get back in line, and you much get back in line NOW!
Me: Why? What for? (Now getting really irritated)
Gate-geezer: : Now. Right now! EVERYONE WAITS IN LINE!
Me: WHY? I’ve got nothing to be check for. I’m stepping out of the way. (Losing my temper and starting to show it)
Gate-geezer: : EVERYONE waits in line!
Me: WHY AM I WAITING IN LINE WHEN I DON’T NEED TO BE CHECKED? (my hands are now in fists. I’m starting to feel the man’s teeth breaking when my fist connects with his face)
Gate-geezer: Security! Security! Someone get security!
At this point, in my head, I’m taking him down, putting a combat-booted foot on his chest and explaining exactly how stupid this pretend security is, real as the gunfire on the Jungle Cruise. I’m ready for security to show up, and I’m ready to tell the motherfuckers, yeah, bring it. I’m ready to point out that this asshole pretending to inspect bags is doing nothing other than irritate guests.
I’m ready to get hauled the fuck off to mouse jail. No problem. This fucker is NOT going to tell me what to do, and if I have to take down two or three d-land guards, I’m ok with that.
It was a near thing. I was ready to go. And then I had one of those grown-up moments. I pictured the actual cops showing up, and my last vacation day spent in the Anaheim city jail. I pictured getting barred from Disneyland. And I was ok with that, until I pictured my kids having to bail Daddy outta jail instead of riding Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones.
And I’m tellin’ you, it was fucking close. I could taste blood and had a moment of tunnel vision.
Good sense won out. God dammit, sometimes it sucks being a grownup.
Later, it occurred to me that the man may have reacted to my appearance. Mohawk, tattoos, skull rings, skull t-shirt, black and silver kilt that has a leather/biker look to it, combat boots. Everything about me says ‘Fuck The World‘, and I forget that. Still, it was the single rudest person I’ve ever encountered in all the years I’ve been at Disneyland. My one regret is that I didn’t manage to store the asshole’s name in memory for a later report to management. It took me a good hour to stop wanting to do someone bad harm, and pretty much the rest of the day before I stopped needing to do someone good harm. Though I managed to not get any actual fights the whole rest of the day.
…Actually come to think of it, I still pretty much need to do someone good harm.