things I learned in california

1 :: From the dude in the shuttle bringing his daughters to Disneyland: Canadian military IDs are not a valid form of international identification. If they were, he would have been on a different plane, in say, September.

2 :: From the jerk on the Pirates Ride: when they say no flash photgraphy, it’s usually because the scenery loses its mystery when you can actually see it, you know, repeatedly illuminated by the light from your camera. Besides, who needs forty pictures of animatronic buccaneers?

3 :: From the family of noisy tourists who checked into our hotel at 5AM: hotel walls are good conductors of sound and slamming doors, shutting cupboards, calling reception, and stealing your neighbor’s paper is no way to make friends.

4 :: From the trucker in the hot-tub: roller-coasters are not for fat people, and the number of consecutive times they let you ride is directly proportional to how long it takes the attendants to get you strapped in and buckled up.

5 :: From the overtly-rude Yank on the roadside at the Electrical Parade telling his kids why it was okay to steal some other kid’s spot: “This is a free country. This AIN’T Poland!”

6 :: From the shuttle-bus driver while navigating the streets of Los Angeles: “Gas? GAS! Won’t nobody show up at your bAH-beque if you cookin’ with gas! Charcoal is the only way to BAH-beque.”

7 :: From the trigger-happy attendant running the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios: The rides may be cheezy, but even that fragile little illusion is burst if you shut the simulator ride down four seconds too soon just to get the next group of tourists on board.

8 :: From some random local standing in line to the Haunted Mansion on Friday night: One’s perception of a “busy night at Disneyland” is in some way inversely dependent on the number of times you’ve visited in the past. I’d been there once, and it was a crazy zoo. He’d been countless times, and he couldn’t believe how quiet it was.

9 :: From numerous vendors on numerous streets selling numerous useless souvenirs: People will pretty much buy anything provided you intoxicate them to saturation with sugar-coated memories of family-fun. That doesn’t mean I was immune, myself, but I can still afford that house…

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Same Day, Different Year