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Mike Redmond Column

Please refer to the Mike Redmond Column main page for columns published in other issues.
Mike can be contacted via e-mail at mike@mikeredmondonline.com.

 

 

 

 Kidhood Disappointments Die Hard

I am about to head out of town on vacation, unless something or someone stops me.

Please, something or someone, stop me.

Oh, it isn’t that I don’t need or want a vacation. In fact, I’m overdue. The last time I took any significant time off was back in the ‘90s. No, not the 1890s. Har-de-har-har. I’m pretty sure it was August 1997, but I could be off by a couple of months. Or years. Or decades.

Am I a workaholic? Far from it. I’ve always been one of those people for whom vacation was never all that important, I guess. Beaches all look pretty much the same to me, and as for travel being broadening, one look at my hind end indicates I’ve gotten pretty broad already while staying fairly close to my own Area Code.

But these days I realize the importance of (a.) getting away, (b.) taking a break, (c.) hitting the road, (d.) seeing the sights, and (f.) other tourist-type junk. And so, when the opportunity arose for me to do (g.) all of the above, I took it.

This is why I need an intervention.

You see, the opportunity was for a trip to Dizzily World.

Now, before you sit down to write a scathing letter about how everyone loves Dizzily World because it’s the Happiest Place in the Solar System, let me concede that I know I am outside the norm here. If you like the place, great. Have fun. I’m happy for you.

I’m just the kind of person who gets a little creeped out by places where everything is five-eighths life size and unnaturally clean, where trees and mountains are made of rebar and concrete, and where all the employees look like Osmonds. I think this attitude is a leftover from kidhood.

We were dedicated Walt Watchers at our house. One of my earlier TV memories is watching “Disneyland” on ABC-TV. When the show moved to NBC and transmogrified into “The Wonderful World of Color” we went right along. Every Sunday night found the Redmond family camped in front of the family Zenith, watching the Walt’s wonderful, colorful world in glorious black-and-white.

Back in those days, Walt would use about every fourth program as a 60-minute commercial (with commercials) for Disneyland out in California. You’d have Annette Funicello “discovering” new attractions, or get a peek at what goes on after the sun goes down, or get a behind-the-scenes peek at how they make those fake birds in the Tiki Room so annoying.

The result was just what Walt was hoping for: We kids would immediately begin clamoring to go. And we would point out, for the umpteenth time, that Mom’s brother, Uncle Van, lived about 15 minutes from the park and all our cousins had already been there.

And then vacation time would roll around. We’d pack our suitcases, load them into the Pontiac, and make tracks for … Grandma’s house, just like we did every year.

No Annette. No behind the scenes. Real birds.

Phooey.

So you can see how a fellow might get an attitude about the Number One Vacation Destination in the Universe. Kidhood disappointments die hard.

So why, then, did I make this bad decision from which, it appears, I will not be rescued?

Simple.

It was free.

Wish me luck. I’ll send a postcard.

 

 

 

© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.