The geography of the park, however, suggested we should go to the Country Bear Jamboree. I'd remembered it from my childhood as particularly cool. (Don't think I'd created any different way of spelling it back then. ) It was just as I'd remembered. The bears were just as wonderful as when I was a kid. The three "hecklers" on the wall, the taxidermied moose, buffalo, and deer, were just as "alive" as I'd remembered. It was great. [ A ] -- The animatronics of the bears seemed far superior to the anamatronics of The Great Movie Ride. I, of course, realize that's because humans are much more familiar with the nuances of other human faces than with the faces of talking bears, and in turn, are much more aware when something isn't exactly right, but The Country Bear Jamboree still gets my vote as the best attraction in the park.
March 21, 1997
Well, I returned from Kentucky and Florida almost a week ago, so here's just a little more to bring you up to date.
- Before leaving the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday
- We got my mom on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad "roller coaster." She hates roller coasters and as it wasn't a roller coaster, per se, we managed to coax/trick her into it... but she started crying from fear as the cars headed up the first hill, and boy did I feel bad. Yet, by the end of the ride, I'd managed to get her to open her eyes and she said it wasn't as bad as she'd thought.
- As we were standing in line for the Big Thunder Mountrain Railroad, one of the "cast members" touched my shirt (a parody t-shirt with (an officially licensed) Popeye appearing shirtless) and commented on it. He seemed straight and as we hadn't seen even many noticably gay employees, I thought nothing of it. But when we got into the car, he came back to make sure the lapbar was down and said "Have a fun ride, dude" as he grabbed me on the shoulder. During the ride, Larry even said, "If you want a date with Mike, I'm sure I can get you one." He'd apparently even noticed his name.
- After riding the Skyway to Tomorrowland, we decided to ride The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. Katie loved the other scary rides, but when we got inside and were strapped in the darkened room, she started crying from fear. I, however, thought the fluid movement of the robot in the opening of the ride was much scarier. Although it wasn't covered with skin to resemble a human, it moved with such grace that the first part of this sentence originally began "Although he wasn't..."
- After arriving at Epcot on Wednesday
- We checked out the Innoventions area and found some koool playthings, like an interactive video game where I was superimposed into the game and my movements controlled what happened, before heading to The Living Seas for dinner.
- The morning was spent with Mickey and his friends at a character breakfast on a docked boat. The most interesting part about that was the server's accent. I pegged it immediately as having come from rural Massachusetts. When I asked if I was right, he said that I was. Hey, I guess I did learn something at Boston U. after all.
- The evening was spent at King Henry's Feast, where we watched such entertainment as a sword swallower and juggler. The best part of the interactive dinner, though, was Larry being dubbed "Keeper of The Food." As such, he had to serve every course to everyone at the table (10 people).
- We began our trip home and stopped in Atlanta
- We finished driving home and had dinner. Larry and I then met my friend Scott and his wife, who we followed to their house. -- Sidenote, pretty much the farther away from the town in rural Kentucky, the lower class of the house. (i.e. Mansion in town: Shack 10 miles out.) -- As we drove quite a while to get to Scott's place, and as he's only 20, married, works two jobs and has two kids (yet all of his own choosing), I expected to find that he lived in a trailer/mobile home. I was more than a little surprised when we pulled into the drive of a nice house with a garage. Each of his kids had a separate bedroom and his own bedroom/den was as big as my entire apartment in Boston.
Anyway, after telling him how impressed I was with his house, we sat and talked for about two or three hours. It was really koool just catching up, even if Larry did get privy to a little more info than he should have. (Don't you hate it when your friends meet and realize they've made the same conclusions about you, even though those conclusions aren't how you see yourself. )
- We woke, drove to the airport to arrive at around 7:15AM, then began the flight home. On the second leg of the trip, from Chicago to LA, I figured I'd have a rum and coke, just because I could. When I ordered it from the blatantly gay steward, he gave me two bottles and said that the second was on the house. I wonder, did his gaydar go off, or does he flirt with all the young guys that come through.
- After getting home, I fell asleep at 6PM and didn't wake until the next morning. That, in turn, screwed up my internal clock for this entire week. I've been waking at around 7AM every morning because I've been going to sleep at 10.
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© 1997 Justin Clouse