ANAHEIM - Another week like the one just passed, and it won't just be the usual bunch of Disneyland faithful - wide-eyed out-of-towners wearing hats that'll never sit atop a warm head ever again; loyally committed Southern No-Cal folk who have turned coming to the magic kingdom into an almost cult-like multi-generational several times a year family affair; anyone else trying to wind down from too much Knotts and/or almost (but not quite) enough peppermint schnapps - who will be loading up all the trains, boats, and planes with their way too many carry-on bags of perpetually unbridled wishes and dreams, in hopes that next stop, Neverland, really is going to be the perfect place to escape to now that it seems situations at play in the real world have gone all the way south to collectively team up to not-so-subtly rip someone a nice brand new one.
In other words, move over Mr. and Mrs. Joe Public, and all your over-saturated with fats, cola, and cotton candy youngin's, too, and make way for the, at present, totally whipped and battered (to say nothing of baffled and all the way caught off guard) Disneyland officials suddenly faced with having to shovel themselves out of an ever-escalating series of collateral damage-like fall-out piles, that, as a rule, aren't the usual type of day-to-day headaches typically dealt with by those holding the keys to the (as so often advertised Happiest Place on Earth kingdom.
(For the record, the most common, longstanding migraine currently alive and swell inside the clampdown walls of the at large Disney brain trust, would have to be the ongoing corporate mandated attempt to keep a certain unspecified area of the inner circle on ice, and in totally frigid, Arctic-like conditions, until further notice. So, you do the math, and just pray like hell that Hitler ain't in there with you know who. Although, when last heard from, both Elvis and Fess Parker are rumored to each have window seats. But, that's another story.)
Meanwhile, first there was the drunk guy waiting to go on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride who accidentally took an unannounced pre-ride 25-foot plunge while goofing around on a nearby walkway.
"From what I heard, he claimed to have left something in his car," said Disney Security Officer Jonneyon Daspotspangler. "Hopefully, based on what has so far has been collected at the scene of his fall, that's probably what little there ever was of this dude's brain."
Then there was the slightly disturbing, yet decidedly full-tilt, situation unleashed by Ronaldo "Roscoe" Vasco da Gama, 38, a one-time semi-highly ranked Portuguese tri-athlete, who (through a quirk of obvious dimensions was prevented from ever performing, and/or having an opportunity to show off his somewhat can't miss "skill," in any of the more recent Olympiads), is now, and has been, one of the more noticeable and talked about members of the Disneyland Parking Lot Crew this summer. Or, ever since a local district court's ruling allowed him to began showing up to work in his anything but full (yet still, surprisingly, enough to be otherwise official) as-required resort appropriate regalia, since dictated and thereafter allowed for, by his recent conversion and subsequent 24/7 adoption of the total (except for company cap and discreetly positioned security clearance I.D. badge) nudist lifestyle.
"I suppose it wouldn't be so bad, or perhaps maybe I wouldn't feel so wrong, if, well, you know, Mr. da Gama didn't have what is essentially a helluva kickstand," said Gilligan Maynard Krebsikahnian, current Disney Hands-Off V.P. in Charge of Don't Point/Don't Laugh Corporate Procedures. "I mean, talk about a 3-wood getting you up and on the green in two. All I know is, he's definitely a better man than I am, or ever will be, Gunga Din or, no thanks, I can see what your point is from here, just fine, thank you, Gunga - Holy mother of mercy, look out for that kid's chin! - Din. If you know what I mean."
Meanwhile, except for the as expected numerous complaints from unsuspecting park guests startled by da Gama's sometime's unavoidable strong suit - particularly when either used as a temporary hat rack, a sometimes altogether necessary (due to sudden unannounced traffic flow complications) festive limbo prop, and, on those numerous occasions (too frequent, apparently for some people's provincial tastes) when da Gama seems to go out of his way during his rather obvious attempt to vigorously self-apply a little bit too much SPF 100+ sun screen, perhaps too often - there has, so far, been only a few complications (mostly involving power windows, abruptly slammed car doors, and, on one particular occasion, the poorly latched trunk to a late-model Toyota from Utah), mainly because most everyone involved is more or less in full agreement that da Gama's aim is, for the most part, essentially true, if not just slightly to the left.
In any case, those two developments - the drunk taking a dive and the Parking Attendant capable of ringing just about any type hard-to-reach doorbell - would seem to provide enough of a perfect storm to perhaps sink the good ship Disney even on a good day. Or, at least before it ever gets too far out on the always tricky and dangerous high seas. But wait, there's more.
Now there's this little bit of something involving Imane Boudlal, the restaurant hostess who just sued Disneyland for the right to wear her customary hijab while on the job at Storyteller's Café in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
After two years of apparently presenting herself without the common head scarf typically worn by most Muslim women, Boudlal finally suited up a week ago, and was promptly informed that regardless of her intentions - religious, cultural, and all the usual assorted otherwise's - the decorative head gear would have to go, or she would, specifically to a job that didn't require her to be in constant view and/or on public display.
Invariably, this hopefully would have/should have been easily compromissorial response from the Disney camp, either didn't impress and/or apparently p.o.'d Boudlal enough for her to keep on showing up for her afternoon shift at the resort restaurant, that is built around a Chip 'n' Dale theme, for the next several days, only to once again be quickly sent home without pay.
All of which led to a fourth-day showdown that found Boudlal, accompanied by an ever-attentive squad of supporters, reporters, and photographers, after having just filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in response to Disney's failure to allow her the freedom of her particular religious and cultural expression, when in the confines of their dining facility while under their employ.
"And no, she will not accept the re-positioning of herself into anything that even resembles a 'backstage role,'" said Mazi Razamatazz, staff attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which currently represents Boudlal, and, as a rule, never has any new or worthwhile magazines (except for ones on how to cook lamb on a budget) in their lobby waiting room.
"She is, after all, an already established and vitally important cog in the supposed to be diversified Disney machine," Razamatazz continued, while noticeably picking at a scab above one of his still partially shaved eyebrows, brought on apparently due to a recent near-fatal mishap involving a vacationing New York City Firefighter and a half-empty bottle of Heineken. "Or, is all that 'It's a Small World After All' stuff just a bunch of whozee?"
"Technically speaking, the proper word is 'hooey,'" said Lee Roy Montague, Chief Operations Officer at the Disneyland Department of In-House Wardrobe Mishaps & Classic Film References/Sampling. "But only if you're in black and white and otherwise already well into the process of chasing Jean Arthur, Claudette Colbert, and/or (if you're lucky) Irene Dunne around the parlor before drinks are served during whatever lull in the action occurs as a necessary set-up for the next madcap throw-down in who knows which film by Frank Capra, Leo McCarey, and/or Preston Sturges."
Either way, such comical cinematic sensibilities are not commonly observed and/or otherwise respected by either Mr. Razamatazz and, very likely, all those within his particular cultural circle, including Ms. Boudlal, and any among her numerous supporters and followers, as well.
The same could, most likely, also be said of both the aforementioned inebriated park guest, who failed to attend his scheduled thrill ride, along with most of the not yet ready to retreat Disneyland higher echelon, who, as always, remain steadfast in their collective desire to just rack in the dough before too much of an unbecoming fever begins to otherwise sap their full speed ahead push, and, as a result, bring even more bark to the bite that's already been busy chomping hard on the parent company rat tail, so to speak.
As for Ronaldo "Roscoe" Vasco da Gama, an, as of late, suddenly fast-rising successful practitioner of his own impressive brand of cinematic arts (especially whenever teamed up, and/or in close-quarter tandem with either Lisa Ann, Jade Marcella, and/or Tiffany Mynx - and, on several noted instances, all three at once) he remains now, as always, fully extended for the public's convenience, and totally committed to a more or less firm company stance that is, by and large, anything but "all ears."
In other words, despite the onset of an unwelcome series of events in and around downtown Disney, things appear to gradually be heading back to normal, if not exactly all the way down in front.
Okay, kids, who wants some high-priced, totally non-nutritious, unhealthy food and/or altogether useless snacks? Just remember, save enough room for any outside-the-park counseling, and, as required, any post-traumatic therapy, you'll no doubt need on the ride home after today's visit to a place where, yes, dreams do come alive, certain items of personal apparel may or may not have been worn by pre-chosen cast members, a designated human body part may have either alarmed you, or required you, for reasons of safety and crowd control, to re-route your immediate foot traffic, and, any individual who has obviously absorbed way too much alcohol might be in the mood to, at any time, demonstrate not only the basic law of gravity, but also a quick refresher course in would-be immature, intellectually irresponsible, consenting adult stupidity.
In still other words, who wants gum?