One Saturday in February, Mr Koala went out shopping for mundane things, such as medicine and schoolbooks, and came home with a holiday to Disneyland.
I chastised him mightily with my mighty claws, but recognised a done deal when I saw one and settled down to paying very little attention to the details, merely muttering 'mortgage' every now and again when I passed him on the branches of the eucalypt. Soccer Boy inadvertently won additional mothering love with his comment of 'I'd rather go to New Zealand'. Princess was a lost cause from the start. 'Princesses! Princesses! Princesses!'
And so the time came, and we boarded the flying eucalypt and landed in an artificial land of multi-lane freeways and buses with windows you couldn't see out of thanks to the advertising plastered all over the glass. When we arrived in Anaheim my first thought was 'nature - smashed flat'. The artificiality of it all: the motels made to look like ancient castles, the fancy paving, the trees trimmed into unnatural forms. And that's before even going through the gates of Disneyland.
It was a grumpy koala that made her way to the theme park on the first day, mostly sticking her tongue out at Mr Koala's back. But then...but then...wait for it... More artificiality; a fake Main Street with every shop selling a souvenir or sugar overdose. Fake New Orleans, fake Frontierland, fake Tomorrowland - well, OK, that one has to be kind of fake. The artificiality shocked me - even the food was artificial, or made that way - even the bananas coated in chocolate and nuts. The excess, the consumption! Was this really the America our children should see?
'Rides! Rides! Rides!' Well, OK then, baby koalas, I suppose I'll have to go on a ride. I can't even remember what our first ride was. Whatever it was, I loved it. And the next, the next and the next. The whole place was totally dedicated to me having fun. Oh, yes, and the baby koalas too. And, once I got over myself, I did have fun. Heaps of fun. To the point where when I saw people walking around who weren't smiling, I had a little internal surge of anger: 'why aren't you smiling? Everything here is fun! I'm completely won over, why aren't you? WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?'
I proudly admit that I am a Born Again Disneyland Fan.
Question: the President's pardoned turkey ends up a Disneyland. In a small enclosure, not sure it's such a great pardon. But...there's only one...what happened to last year's? And the year's before? etc etc. Is the pardon only valid for one year?! Is there no handstamp for reentry to the Happiest Place On Earth for last year's turkey?