My Week with the He-Men
Well, I never did find those Yankees tickets, though in future I’ll post my personal problems a day or two in advance because those were some swell suggestions I got for retrieving lost things. I particularly liked the prayer-to-St. Anthony comment, as I always forget to beseech a higher power in times of STUPENDOUS FUCKING STUPIDITY.
Anyway, to make a long, embarrassing story short, Jack used his considerable manliness to rustle up some new tickets, because his heart was set on taking Jackson see the team of his forefathers despite my subconscious efforts to thwart him. Unfortunately, at four years of age, I think the highlight of the game for Jackson wasn’t seeing squinty little Derek Jeter in person, or hearing the crowd moan when A-Rod hit a dinger, or marveling at Randy Johnson’s utter lack of ass meat:
No, for Jackson it was all about the snacks! Witness what may actually have been his first ever stick of cotton candy:
He doesn’t even have it open yet and he’s looking around to see what someone’s going to chuck at him next. A bag of peanuts? An ice cream sandwich? Yes, and yes, and don’t forget the . . .
. . . nasty-ass ballpark hot dog. Am I the only parent in the world who lets her kid eat things that she, herself, wouldn’t touch for a hundred bucks? Seriously, that barely qualifies as food, and yet not only am I not stopping him from putting it in his mouth, I’m photographing the event for posterity. Or what’s the line flea uses? I’m providing the evidence he’ll need when he wants to sue me for emancipation.
The one thing I didn’t get a picture of is the twentysomething girl with the long dyed-black hair and stupendous ass crack sitting in front of us, who Jackson spent three innings begging me to talk to. Why? So he could meet her. Seriously, the boy is always trying to use me to score chicks. I kept telling him, just tap her on the shoulder and say hi! So he kept grabbing my hand and trying to whack the poor girl with it. I think she knew what was going on but chose to benignly ignore us. Finally, in the fourth inning, Jackson tapped her on the shoulder with his own hand, and when she turned around in mock surprise he said Hi! and pulled his hat down over his face. She smiled, but she was an Angels fan and wasn’t about to start encouraging an uppity little Yankees fan’s affections, which only served to inflame him further. “Tell her I want to marry her,” he whispered to me. “Tell Daddy I want to buy a house with her.” And Jack was all, “What, you want me to come up with the downpayment? Get a job.” I guess it all seemed pretty hopeless after that, because at the end of the fifth inning he asked me to take him back to the hotel so we could watch cartoons.
The next day was Disneyland.
As you may recall, Jackson’s first trip to the happiest place on earth was chock-a-block with princesses, but this time he took the he-man approach:
Buzz Lightyear has a strangely aggressive facial expression, and he’s always walking around with his fists on his hips like Rik Mayall in Blackadder, so I’m going to assume Buzz’s hobbies, like Lord Flashheart’s, include “fighting, snogging, shagging, punching Baldrick in the face, flying, sailing and, for some reason, wearing dresses.”
The weather was hot, but not excruciatingly so, and coming from a foggy little town 200 miles to the north, it was nice to not have to wear a sweater in the middle of July. Due to the weather, and the state of our culture in general, the park was positively brimming with tattooed flesh:
The woman in green, with what could be an Art Nouveau spinal column tattooed down her back, was with a man who not only sported some elaborate sleeves but was carrying a baby under his arm as though it were a tiny, behatted sack of potatoes. I saw an amazing variety of body shapes, and everyone seemed to be doing a good job of exposing themselves to their best advantage. I don’t know if I’m projecting my own growing acceptance of my body on other people, but I was mighty impressed at the way so many people seemed so at ease with bodies our culture deems unworthy of exposure. If you’ve got it, flaunt it, baby! That was my motto this weekend. Jack’s motto, on the other hand, was a less kind but more amusing, “Disneyland 2005: Butts and Guts.”
My second favorite tattooed group of people were the teen Goth types, tagging along with their white Midwestern famiies, who didn’t care how hot the sun was blazing, they were going to wear black from head to toe, so fuck you, Mom. And not only with the black t-shirts and the black jeans and Chucks and the drugstore-dye asymmetrical haircuts, but one girl went so far as to eschew shade altogether, she just plopped herself down to suffer on the blazing hot concrete and dared everyone to take a good hard look at her neck tattoos.
My third favorite group was the grim, ropy guys with neck beards and black shades who were pushing bright pink strollers covered with Barbie logos. Honestly, it was very nearly heartwarming to see men who probably spent their whole lives developing a fine edge to their threatening machismo only to end up at the whim of a little girl demanding he take her to Toontown for a slushy. God love every last one of them.
Finally, I got to see my very favorite tattoo at the pool of the Disneyland Hotel. It was a four-headed hydra with each of the heads being a different member of the band Kiss. The guy wearing it also had on these Jack-Nicholson-in-Terms-of-Endearment sunglasses (which I can’t find an online picture of), and a black Jack Daniels baseball hat, and was keeping, as per the norm, a small girl in a pink bathing suit happily afloat while Jack was flinging Jackson up in the air repeatedly, comme ca:
I took Jackson back to the park that night for more rides, and he claimed his favorite was the teacups, although here he is showing his displeasure at being made to get on a spinny ride before (i.e., not after) cotton candy:
They have these fake paper lanterns hanging over the teacup ride which make it look pretty at night. (In case you’re curious, fake paper lanterns are made out of plastic.)
On our last morning there we came out of our room to find the hallway filled with firefighters and police and crying teenagers. Apparently the kids were in one room and the adult(s) was/were in the room next door, and the adult/parent/guardian died. As in, why isn’t grandpa opening the door or answering the phone? It was doubly strange because on our first day there I’d come down the elevator with a bunch of crying twelve-year-olds who kept sobbing to each other, “I think she had a heart attack!” And of course Jack and I immediately started with the bleak asides so Jackson wouldn’t hear.
“Death stalks the halls of Disneyland,” I whispered.
“It’s the happiest place on earth!” said Jack.
And then we came home and ate one of our souvenirs: