On Blogging, On Writing

Query Response #3: Mickey and More

The shelf above my desk. Good stuff.
The shelf above my desk. As you can see, it has a couple of Mickeys.

In a recent post I asked, “What do you want me to post about?

You responded — and your wish is my command. It might take me a while, but I will get to each and every one of your requests (even Sarah W’s).

***

This query comes from writer and waffle fan Laurel Leigh who writes: “I’d like to know if you play that banjo in the corner, whether you’ve ever tipped over backwards in your desk chair, if your office is truly always that tidy, and how come you have a Cat in the Hat but not Mickey Mouse?”

Jiminy! OK, let’s take your questions one at a time:

1. I do like to play my banjo, but I rarely play it in a corner. I prefer the center of the room.

2. I have not tipped over backwards in my desk chair. I have, however, repeatedly fallen up stairs. This degree of clumsiness never fails to astound my wife.

3. My office is always tidy. Would you like to know the secret to a truly tidy office space? OCD. You’re welcome.

4. You have jumped to conclusions, Laurel; believe me, my office is duly Mickified.

I even think of Mickey whenever I have to make a call.
I even think of Mickey whenever I have to make a call. Thanks, Aunt Elaine!

So, there you have it!

Sadly, I am going to have to temporarily postpone Query Responses for the next week or two. I have a Susanna Leonard Hill contest entry to post next week, which will be followed by the July installment of Waffles With Writers.

Don’t forget to check back soon for more fun!

Three Things...

Three Things I’ve Learned from The Magic Kingdom

Mickey

I went to Disney World! Woo!

And I’m home now! Double woo!

Yep. Disney will do that to you. A person can absorb only so much whimsy before he feels compelled to run screaming for the airport.

I’m kidding, of course. I didn’t run screaming for the airport. I was too tired to either run or scream; I crawled and groaned.

I also had fun. Lots of fun, really.

And I return to the blogging world bearing three pieces of wisdom! Take from these nuggets what you will:

Beware The Enchanted Tiki Room

Everyone knows that the way-too-catchy song “It’s a Small World” will adhere to your brain like a barnacle to a ship’s hull. Armed with this knowledge, each Disney vacationer is able to make an educated decision: If you want a song stuck in your head, go on the ride. If you don’t, then don’t.

The unassuming Enchanted Tiki Room, on the other hand, catches you off guard. Most people who sit down to watch this robotic bird show do so because it’s one of the few attractions where the lines don’t stretch back to Newark. Crowds aren’t expecting a way-too-catchy song, but, oh, baby, do they get one. They get one that even out-catchies “It’s a Small World.”

Don’t get me wrong, the Tiki Room is a fun little attraction. But if you don’t find yourself humming “it’s the tiki-tiki-tiki-tiki-tiki room” over and over again while showering, eating, driving, sleeping, and going potty for the next several weeks, then you, my friend, have dodged one lethal bullet.

Brawk! Polly wants to haunt your dreams. Brawk!
Brawk! Polly wants to haunt your dreams. Brawk!

There is No Such Thing as a Non-Awkward Conversation with a Disney Princess

The best meal I ate at Disney was in Cinderella’s Castle. Unfortunately, they serve up your meal with a side order of social awkwardness. During the lunch, I was interrupted by four – count ’em, four – different Disney princesses.

“Don’t worry,” our server told us at one point, “all four princesses will visit every table.”

“That’s why I’m worried,” I told Ellen.

I’ve discovered that talking to a stranger wearing a princess gown is weirder than talking to a stranger wearing a giant duck head. I’m not sure why this is, but if I was to guess, I think it’s because a duck head provides you with some psychological distance. When I don’t see a person’s face, it’s easier for me to play the game and act like I am in the presence of a cartoon celebrity. When I met the princesses (all four of them), however, I just saw 20-year-old girls playing pretend. It made me cringe a little.

Alex, on the other hand, was a fan.
Alex, on the other hand, loved every minute of it.

The Hall of Presidents May Prompt Emotional Outbursts

I have always loved the Hall of Presidents. Always. I saw it when I was 7, 11, and 17 and it got me every time. Seeing Robot Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address dazzled me. Seeing all the the Robot Presidents introduced at the show’s finale dazzled me even more.

I saw it again last week, and the show is still dazzling. In fact, I would argue that The Hall of Presidents is now better than it’s ever been.

Disney has made a few changes in recent years, and the attraction’s narrative arc is now pitch perfect. Lincoln gives his address and then, after the Presidential roll call, another Robot President faces the crowd and delivers a short, inspiring speech. I won’t say who this other Robot President is, but I will say that he is a fine representation of Lincoln’s dream of equality for all Americans.

I will also say that this particular Robot President tends to prompt certain people in this very partisan political climate to sigh with rigor and mutter with displeasure.

If you think you might be one of those folks who might be compelled to sigh and mutter at the sight of a Robot President, then, well, you gotta learn to cool it a little. Or, if I may put it another way, I didn’t hoof it all the way to Florida and spend all this money to listen to your mutterings. I did it to get whimsified. And the way I fill my whimsy tank is by oohing and aahing my Robots-In-Chief.

So, Mr. Disruptive Person, why don’t you run off to see something else out of my earshot, OK? Have you considered the Enchanted Tiki Room? It’s awesome. And look! The lines for it are really short! Go! Hurry!