Pursue Your Happyness

I have to interrupt my lil bout of villainy for an important public service, feel-good type of post. Yeah yeah, I know, it runs counter to my usual bad self but, sometimes, it has to be done. So here goes:

I learned a couple of things from Will Smith: that a poor kid from the ghetto with a winning smile and a bubblegum song about how his “Parents Don’t Understand” can leave his homeboy behind, move to Beverly Hills, and forge a lucrative movie career; that those G-Men is the nondescript black suits, white shirts, and boring ass cars are really the alien police; and that “if you want something, go get it. Period.”

Pursue your happyness.

In the based-on-a-true-story movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a single dad whose just trying to do the damn thing and take care of his son. His wife left him, unpaid parking tickets got his car towed and him arrested, and his only source of income is selling these unsellable bone scanning machines. Oh yeah, and the IRS takes all his money. FROM HIS ACCOUNT. Chris gets a spot in an unpaid internship (clad in a wife beater tank top and paint-covered pants) and does everything he can—from taking the bus to jacking taxis for their fares to sleeping in train stations and shelters—so he can complete the internship and POTENTIALLY win a full-time gig with Dean Witter (remember them? They’re Morgan Stanley now). Short of Seven Pounds, Will Smith only does feel-good movies; you can figure out how this ends.

My wife has always been a go-getter. Seriously. When we moved out to Colorado (leaving sunny Cleveland, Ohio (the land of dreams) in a Saturn Vue and a 5×10 U-Haul trailer with two kids and a dog), my wife found a job and was AT WORK in 2 DAYS. Interview, hire, start. 48 hours. Never seen anything like it. When she got fed with working for The Man, she started her own event planning company. And got good at it.

And this week, she became an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.

Now you might be thinking: dude, it’s just Disney vacations. Whoop-de-doo! I get that. But my wife LOVES Disney. I told you that. She LOVES Disney. Read no less than 12 Disney guides before we went to Disneyland for the first time. She searches for the hidden Mickeys in the parks and the resorts on the property. Wants to be Belle when she grows up. My wife is literally a Certified Mousejunkie.

And this is what makes her happy.

We have a million reasons why we don’t pursue that which makes us happy. Which feeds our souls. Which completes us. We find the practical, the realistic, the superficial, the ancillary, the financial—we are exceptionally creative when it comes to the rationale for why we shouldn’t do what we love and be the people we wish to be. And we shortchange ourselves in the process.

Our country is founded on the pursuit of that which makes us happy. It is your God-given right. You deserve it. I deserve it. And I am terribly proud of my wife: she figured it out.

And she is happy.

If you wanna book a Disney vacation (you know you do), you can check the Wife out at amanda@dreamfindertravel.net or on her Facebook page.

Gotta run, guys. The Honey Badger turns 10 today and is bringing all the attitude and ass that Tweendom inspires. I’ll be back to the badness tomorrow.

See ya!

How We Broke Disneyworld Part VI

In the midst of the craziness, all the villainy goodness, the pages upon pages of script and poorly written novel, I bet you thought I forgot all about that Disney thing I was telling you about, huh? Bet you thought I’d never circle back—just leave ya hanging. NOPE!

And if you’re wondering, here’s where we left off:

RECAP: Once upon a time, there was a man, his Wife, and their children, The Boy and the Honey Badger. They had a magical dream—to see a little boy fly. So they traveled to the most magical place on earth, found a little boy, took him to the top of Cinderella’s castle, wished upon a star and let him go. Things did not go well. In fact, charges were filed yesterday for an alleged “assault” of Peter Pan. Pete can’t fly (pixie dust, my ass). He also can’t walk or run or jump. Now he makes Christopher Reeve look like Bruce Jenner. Whatever. We countersued with Fraud. Anyway, after our alleged “actions” caused the fairy’s injuries, we (and I’m reading from the police report now) “attempted to flee the scene, committed grand theft auto by confiscating a parking tram, committed 82 counts of kidnapping (the tram had passengers), assaulted 2 Space Rangers with ‘imitation’ lasers, committed 4 counts of gross indifference by laughing (hey, Tanner should have worn his seatbelt), 1 count criminal negligence(Indiana Jones was drunk when he swing unto the Big Blue Hat), and 1 count of flying an unauthorized aircraft in a no-fly without a pilot’s license.” There are also unspecified damages—I don’t have solid figures yet but it has 8 digits.

And now for the thrilling conclusion of How We Broke Disneyworld.

Problem is, at this point, we hadn’t even left the park.

The Nazi Flying Wing from the Raiders of the Lost Ark cannot actually fly. It’s not even a real aircraft (which is part of our defense). So instead of flying the hell out of Orlando, my 9-year-old is rumbling this behemoth down the street. There’s a small mob behind us, waving neon Michael Jackson hands and strobing lightsabers, yelling Don Knotts-style obscenities in the darkness.

I just want to go home, The Boy has crayon all over his face from the kindergarten savages, The Honey Badger is enjoying the trip entirely too much (and wants to know if the guns on the plane work), and my Wife is laden with bags bursting from the swag she’s confiscated along the way. This nonsense has to stop and there’s really only one place left to go: I can see the top of the Spaceship Earth ball looming ahead. Epcot.

As we rumble into the parking lot, we are met by a semi-circle of black SUVs complete with mouse-eared, muscled security officers waving their red and blue flashlights. They’ve apparently had it as well: they’re cursing at us in the Mickey voices: “That’s it, jackasses!” and “Ha ha! We’ve got you now!” and “Gawrsh, you’ve really caused a disturbance.”

Shit.

I should mention here that during our Disney trip, we made an excursion over the border and went to Universal Studios. Disney bought Marvel Comics last year but hasn’t been able to convince the characters they actually own to migrate to a single Disney park. It’s like the Civil War: cuddly, friendly princesses, fairies and animated animals against a kid who can shoot webs, an ornery man with metal bones, and an overwhelmingly patriotic man with a shield. Oh yeah, they have a Hulk. He’s not so friendly. And they have the other nexus of magical power: the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

This shit is like the Middlearth: on one end of Orlando is the happiest place ever–whose magic could not make the boy fly, I might add—and on the other is like the dark side of the force (except Disney is trying to buy the Force). While at Universal, the children got wands: The Boy got Sirius Black’s; the Honey Badger got her own. She’s been carrying her wand around for days—to dinner, to the bathroom, and to Epcot. And she knows only one spell.

Our plane is still moving, the Mickeys have us surrounded and they are genuinely tired of our shenanigans, and the Honey Badger pops the cockpit, pulls out her wands and says, “Avada Kedavra!” I look at The Boy, he covers his mouth and goes, “Ooooo,” like the cat from Puss N Boots. I look quizzically at my Wife, she whispers, “It’s the Killing Curse!” I’m not a Harry Potter fan; I don’t know what that means. But the Mickeys do.

An SUV flips in the air and I hear a Mickey scream, “Ahhh, she got me!” (still in the Mickey voice). What kind of shit? The Honey Badger’s loving it. She whirls, aims, “Avada Kedavra!” Another SUV upended. I look at my kid, who is ECSTATIC, and I say, “What are you doing? Are you killing them?” She shrugs. “Ioan’tknow.” And then, “Avada—” I snatch her wand. “Stop!”

I first saw a picture of Epcot Center when I was 12 or 13. I remember that one of the kids in my neighborhood had just gotten back from Walt Disney World and was showing us pictures (back when pictures where on paper, not on your phone). He kept showing up pics of this big ass golf ball-looking thing and I kept saying, “What is that?” And he would only answer, “Epcot.” So for 25 years, I thought the entire park was in that ball. And all I wanted to know was, what’s in it?

Now I know. The plane crashes into the ball, weakening the supports. I hear an eerie quiet, the sudden inhaling of breath and then CREEEAAAKKK!!!! The ball shudders then, slowly, begins to roll. Away from us. It thunders to the ground, shattering the flickering sidewalk, leaking those triangle pieces as it rolls over immaculately clipped hedge statues of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. They’re flat now. The ball—Spaceship Earth—rolls out to the World Showcase lagoon right in the middle of Illuminations. It was like that scene in 48 Hours when Eddie Murphy shows up in the country bar and the music stops. What’s in that ball at Epcot? Now, about 68,000 thousand gallons of water.

A hush falls over the park. Our plane sits smoldering in the three-legged wreckage of Spaceship Earth. In the parking lot behind us, two SUVs swivel slowly on their hoods, tendrils of smoke pooling in the air, crooked bodies strewn about. The only fireworks in the lagoon are the rampant sparks from inside the great big ball. Epcot is broken, Indy is broken, Peter Pan is broken.

“Oops,” I say aloud. “Sorry. So, uh, we’re gonna, um, we’re gonna go ahead and call it.”

A man staggers up to me, the same tram driver I kicked out earlier in our escapades. He leans in close to me, raggedy orange vest still clinging to his slender frame, and says, sounding just like Scar, “Run away, Simba, and NEVER RETURN.”

We did. And here we sit, awaiting our arraignment.

And that, my friends, is how we broke Disneyworld.