Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Battle for my Wallet VII: Lost and Found

Chapter Five: Am I Even Here?

The interesting thing about Disney World is how you can be gone for a year, or in our case two, come back and feel like you never left. Things change, you get older, construction walls go up, you get new running shoes, a ride gets a new old name, your kids get older and still, it’s all so very familiar.

Right down to the idiots who are standing in line behind you.

I’m looking right at you, Sandy Solo-toes.

I’ve got nothing against people who choose to vacation in Disney World by themselves. To each her own, right? It’s not illegal or immoral or even un-Biblical, so I say, “have a time.”

Just don’t try to cut in front of me.

It occurs to me that Dumbo is the scene of a LOT of this kind of nincompoopery. I don’t know why. This wasn’t the first time we encountered the demonstrably idiotic. NOWisconsinpublicemployees. Sadly, I don’t reckon it’ll be the last either.

I moved our stroller over to the Dumbo area while Mrs. Z and ZZUBY got in line. Lil Z and I walked up to join them. I spotted her as we walked up. Sandy Solo-toes. You couldn’t miss her. The wide-bodied pasty white legs. The tucked in white t-shirt. The pin lanyard. The superfluous cuffs in her denim shorts. The cocky way she had her foot turned sideways like she was 13. When it was clear to everyone that she was decades away from 13. The sour puss which screamed out, “I’m alone and I’m mad about it!”

Seriously, you could hear her face.

She was, after all, a woman alone. In line. For Dumbo.

I swear I’ve written this all before. Can someone be so kind to read back through the previous Battles for my Wallet and tell me how many times we’ve had this happen?

Sandy Solo-toes saw me coming with Lil Z to join the other Zs and I swear she moved her corpulent back side to block us. And then looked away as if she was suddenly so interested in what? The bird poop on the ground. I suppose that would pass for interesting if I was the kind of person who stood in line. Alone. For Dumbo.

No matter. It was early in the day and early in our trip and ZZUB was still filled with mirth and good cheer. I offered her a cherry Pop Tart to move her Ruebenesque body aside so we could join the rest of our family.

I’m just kidding of course.

I’d never give up a cherry Pop Tart.

Not even if Rush Limbaugh was standing in line in front of me.

Speaking of porcine. That brother could use a week or three eating only celery, couldn't he?

I said, “excuse me,” to Sandy Solo-toes as we squeezed past her to join Mrs. Z. I don’t recall whether she responded. She acquiesced. Kind of. But she hovered on us like Jessie Jackson on a TV camera. Lil Z and I were now standing in front of Mrs. Z, so Sandy Solo-toes was right behind Mrs. Z. And by right behind, I mean clinging to her like a dryer sheet.

If Mrs. Z was the kind of person who stored up gas in the chamber and if Mrs. Z was the kind of person who unleashed the power, she could have knocked Sandy back with one good hot dog fart.

As we moved along, there’s a bit of a turn in the queue and as we got to it, Sandy Solo-toes tried to squeeze past us!

What on earth?!!

It’s Dumbo!!!!!


Although it was early in the day and early in our trip and even though I was still filled with mirth, I said in a big voice to Mrs. Z, “HONEY, STAY CLOSE TO US. THAT WOMAN IS TRYING TO SHARK YOU.”

Oh yes I did. Mrs. Z is southern so she’s more polite. She said, “ZZUB! She could hear you.” To which I said, “I said that so she could hear me.”

Sandy Solo-toes stayed back after that.

Which was the smartest thing she'd done since she poured herself into those sassy denim shorts.  With the cuffs.

After Dumbo, Lil Z asked if we could ride the carousel. I have no beef with the carousel per se, only that during a morning EMH, it seems foolish to waste time on it. And in trying to keep moving, I committed a MAJOR gaffe. What is now known as the Carousel Mistake. I told her, “we’ll ride it later.”  As we soon discovered, was that she and I had different understandings of the word, "later." I meant LATER, like that day, or even that week. She thought later meant, "right now?" 

First she started to cry.

But we headed to Pooh. The ride, not the bathroom experience. That’ll come later. I assure you.

They were doing some work on the Pooh queue but the ride was the same. I don’t hate Pooh. It’s actually grown on me. I used to hate it. But now I find it strangely endearing. I think it’s the scene with the cake.

From Pooh, we headed over to Tomorrowland and Buzz Lightyear. Since the year it opened, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin has been one of my favorite rides. However, it’s one of the few rides duplicated in Disneyland where I think they got the better version. When we were in DL last summer, we rode Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters almost as many times as Small World. But no matter, I still love me some Buzz Lightyear SRS. But as it turns out, I was off my game this first go round. I ended up just a cadetsomethingornuther.

After BL, we grabbed some water from the Launching Pad where absolutely nothing funny happened. Actually, while Mrs. Z was grabbing water, I walked over to Space Mt to grab some fastpasses for later usage. And then we rode the PeopleMover. I’m glad they finally changed the name, but honestly, they have sucked almost all of the funny out of this ride. I know it’s never been about the narration. But the narration used to be funny. Now it’s stupid. Not killing 130 year old oak trees stupid. Or holding a rally because 130 year old oak trees are dying stupid. And not even throwing toilet paper in 130 year old oak trees stupid.

It was more like accusing the press secretary of being out of the loop because she was undergoing another one of her wardrobe changes stupid.

As is usually the case, the ZZUBs made their own fun. When the PM gets to Space Mt. It’s dark. Insanely dark. So dark you can’t see no nothing dark. So of course we were screaming.

“Oh my gosh!!! It’s soooooo dark!!!!!!”

“I can’t see anything!!!”

“Mommy, are you still there? I can’t see you!!!”

“Am I still here? I can’t see myself!!!!”

After Peeps, we went to ride Pups. As in the Puppies of Progress. And once again, we’ve convinced one of our children that the dog is looking at her. That joke will never get old. 

Neither will Barack Obama's capacity to distort the truth.  Apparently.

I love the Puppies of Progress. Really enjoy the ride. But there’s something about that place that puts me to sleep. No lie. It’s some kind of weird Pavlovian thing. Or it just happens that it’s cool in there and I’m tired every time we ride it.

So after the Pups, we strollered up and headed towards the front of the park. We had a date with some Tonga Toast. We were headed from Tomorrowland towards the hub.

And then the Carousel Mistake was realized. You see, Lil ZZUB thought it had been long enough. It was later in her little mind and Lil ZZUB wasn’t waiting any longer. I looked at my watch and listened to her cry and looked at my watch and listened to her tears and decided there was a decent chance Kona wouldn’t give our table away if we were 10 minutes late. Once at the hub, instead of jogging left, we hung a right to head back to Fantasyland. There’s a walkway behind the castle and we headed that direction when I realized we never go that way and here was a view of the castle we don’t normally see. I passed off the stroller to Mrs. Z and I grabbed my camera for this picture:

Where you can clearly see a woman picking her nose.

I love me some Disney World.

We made it to the carousel and Lil Z got her ride on.

And then we strollered back up for the Disney pace to the Monorail station. We made it to Kona about 5 minutes after our reservation and no one seemed to mind.

But now I was full on hungry. Like Sarah Palin for attention.

I opened the menu and scanned the breakfast offerings. But I didn’t see what I was looking for. NOU2.

I looked again. And again. I could feel anger rising up inside me. “Danged Disney! Danged food police!!! Now they’ve taken Tonga Toast away, too?!” I closed my menu and wondered why we were even there. The waitress came to get our drink order and with full dejection I asked, “what happened to the Tonga Toast?”

“Nothing,” she said, looking at me as if I was dumb enough to pay rack rate.

“I can’t find it on the menu anywhere,” I replied.

She opened my menu and pointed at the top. Where if it was any more obvious it would be Michelle Obama’s butt.

I quite literally heaved a sigh of relief.

The Tonga Toast was every bit as fantastic as it always is. And for the most part breakfast was enjoyable.

But there was a dark cloud looming over the ZZUB’s otherwise cheery breakfast. Something wicked was headed our way.  Something which would alter our plans for the rest of the day.


  1. Great update Z!

    I’m glad you took a moment to let your little princess have her ride on the carousel. Though I have to say I was not surprised by it in the least.

    You’re good peeps.

    DED over missing the Tonga Toast!

    As to your previous Dumbo mentions – by the power of advanced site search tools, I give you the following breakdown.

    Battle 1 - No mention.

    Battle 2 – (Disneyland) Chapter 1 – Mentioned the ride, but no mention of line jumpers.

    Battle 3 - Ride mentioned in passing in chapter 3 - line jumpers left out of the discussion.

    Battle 4 - Chapter 11. - Female solo rider pushes past Zzub and Zzuby and steals the "Peter Pan" (aka green) Dumbo.

    Battle 5 - Chapter 5 - Mentioned in a list of possible things Zzuby might have chosen as a her first ride. / Mrs. Z rode with Zzuby while Z had went round in pointless circles with a clueless CM. No line jumpers in the mix.

    Battle 6 - No mention.

    Battle 7 - Chapter 5 - you just read it.

    Up there.

    At the top of this page.

    If you forgot, press the Home button on your keyboard to get back up there and read it again.

    Right up there.

    Lala, there isn't anyting else here.

    It's up there.

    You already read it.

    Nothing to see here.

    Move on already.

    Why are you still reading this?

  2. And I forgot to add - DED over the nose picker and good show over on bringing the foreboding cliffhanger.

    I was also surprised to see you didn't have a tatoo on the underside of your forearm. I figured a guy like you would have a past.

  3. I can't believe you went and ran the search! DED!!! I also can't believe how similar our experience was in 2006. I knew as I was writing this out last night that our experience was similar to a prior trip. Can someone explain to me the allure of Dumbo for solo riders? If we didn't have kids, I'd avoid that dumb ride like a vegetable.


  4. Ever wonder what it would be like to work in a call center that supports government accounts on a federal holiday? Well let’s see. There’s Nerf ball, paper airplanes, random bouts of signing, an office chair derby, running multiple-variable web queries, and last but not least, blog reading.

  5. GB sad: "I was also surprised to see you didn't have a tattoo on the underside of your forearm. I figured a guy like you would have a past."

    DED!!! I thought so, too, GB.

    Wow, ZZUB. This was a great installment. Thanks to you, I'm now starving for some Tonga Toast and bacon, (can't forget the bacon - it looks pretty freakin' good, too) I want to squeeze Lil Z to pieces, and I am looking in my cabinets for a bottle of Nair. No reason.

    Loved this and was laughing out loud at the idiot in the line at Dumbo. I could never be as bold as you, and I applaud your comments that kept Pale White Skin in her place.

    (Speaking of pale, white skin, have I mentioned that it got to EIGHTY DEGREES this weekend and I got a lil sun on my ankle while sitting at the ballfield? It was the only place I didn't have sunscreen. Stung like the dickens when I took a shower.)

    Michelle Obama's butt. DED!!!

    This really was a great installment for so many reasons. I enjoyed reading it, and it made me seriously pine for some WDW.

    Keep bringin' it, Z.

    FHOAM -


    P.S. I'm not going there on the 130 year old trees. The guy was an idiot, no doubt. But I will say on record, that it was a stupid tradition.

  6. NM's missing the meat!!!

    Pork, at that.

    It's the other white meat.

    Or is it?

    Quit trying to protect the Missus, ZZUB. We all know that's her digging in her nose in the castle shot.

    Love the non pictures of Little Z. Although, I think you should've shown a LITTLE more. Of her hair. So we don't come to envision her as Frodo.

    TOO LATE!!!

    I'm kidding, Z. Totally kidding. I could eat those little legs up. And I'm DED over yall making up your own comedy on the Peoplemover. That's good times right there.

    Loved this installment. Good for stickin' it to the white pasty woman. The one who has probably been so distraught for years about her lot in life that the only piece of happiness she allows herself to cling to is a ride on Dumbo once a year. By herself. The ride most likely conjures up memories of a time when she rode it with someone. Someone special. Someone who loved her dearly. Someone who was there for her. Before she was left all alone to wander through life an angry, broken down and calloused woman. With rotund pasty legs. And a fanny pack. She steps onto the ride a lonely, hardened old woman. She steps off as a mere child. Once again enveloped in the warmth of a loving companion.

    Or is it....the warmth of ZZUB's cherry Pop tarts as they're released from the chamber?

    I'm gonna go with the latter.



    In fact, if I ever ran into you at Disneyworld, I'd cut your butt off too. In a heartbeat. Rudely. Ain't no WAY I'm gettin' ahold of the business end of that fart factory of yours.

    I may be stupid, but I ain't obtuse.

  7. Well looky here! We're having our own little hootenanny right here on the web. I'm going to go register a new screen name and give us some company.

  8. Greetings long lost and sooo not easily forgotten (I know...I've tried) friends. You really should look into beefing the security up around this place. I wasn't even carded at the door. I had even made up a phony GAD Fastpass card that I was itching to flash and sweep right in. Makes me sad that I wasted 2 1/2 minutes of my life making it.

    Speaking of sad, gotta warn me before you mention Stafford in a post. Give me an alert and tell me about how many sentences I should skip down. Every time you mention him, I have to wonder what it will be like around Gracie Manor when our Zedd (not to be confused with Zzub) leaves us. It's not a pretty picture. I am a Grade A, first class, dog lover...and if you keep it up, I'm going to run out of excuses of things that have "gotten in my eyes". The last one was pretty lame as it was...I spent 2 days trying to convince Jen that, "a little piece of that textured ceiling stuff did too fall and happen to lodge in my eye." I love dogs.

    So, you may be asking yourself what has coaxed me out of my reclusishness to, again, grace you with my presence. The answer is, I'm having me some MAJOR Disney withdrawal. We're still waiting on a referral on our adoption, so we are saving all our disposable income for that trip. It's been two years since we've been, and it's killing me. I tried, at first, to make it better by avoiding places like this, in the misguided belief that out of sight would equal out of mind. How did that work for me? Well, I'm back here, aren't I?

    So, I decided the best thing to do was to come back to the welcoming embrace of my friends...those who know what real Disney craving is all about. The people that actually KNOW as much about Disney as Jen and I do. Those with whom I can revel in the camaraderie that shared experiences can bring....

    But Pete was the same as always, so I came back here instead.

    Just kidding...I didn't go there first.

    Or did I?

    No...I didn't.

    Oh, and what's wrong with you people? It takes you forever to post installments of your reports. I could understand if you were taking that long to put out a well formed, polished product. But what you guys (LaYla and Zzub...not NM and GB, as their prose is both witty and entertaining) are churning out shouldn't take more than 10 minutes or so per post. You really need to pick it up. There...I said it.


    It's good to be back.

  9. MASTER GRACEY!!!!!!(All caps with fifteen exclamation points is the written equivalent of me screaming your name and running to give you a big ole hug. Does that sound scary?)

    Welcome back!!!!! We are so glad to see you and hope you will jump right back in like you were never gone. NOZZUB. You're right - we get the addiction and we're here to help you feed it. :)

    I hope things move along quickly on the adoption. I don't know what it means to be waiting on a referral, but I hope it means you'll be holding a Lil' Gracey soon. And taking said Lil' Gracey to the World as soon as you feel like it's time. In the meantime, please pass the time around here. We can always use a good dose of some MG funny.

    It really is GREAT to hear from you Master G. Please don't leave us again!!!


  10. MG wrote, "But Pete was the same as always, so I came back here instead."

    That's exactly the kind of funny we've missed. Glad to see you again, MG! Do y'all have any idea, a ballpark, when you'll be getting the baby?

    Sorry any mention of Staff sends you into a puddle. But I think we're gonna need an explanation for the name Zedd.

    Does anyone else think LaLa is drunk again?


  11. Z wrote, "Does anyone else think LaLa is drunk again?"

    Well...wouldn't that imply that there is a time when she's off the bender? I doubt that is a rational possibility. Like the mythic well thought out and beneficial to all Obama governmental plan.

    Zedd is the short form of the name of a character from a series of books Jen and I read once upon a time. He's the best dog we've ever had. Won't bother our food (but begs for it mercilessly), doesn't shed, is laid back to a fault. We are a bit fond of him.

    As to the timeline of the adoption...we wait...always wait. The Rwandan government is not issuing new numbers monthly, as they're focusing their efforts on the actual review of the dossiers. So, we really don't know anything official, but rumors run rampant. We've heard that they're going to try to have all the dossiers reviewed and approved by June. We've heard that they're going to try to have all the dossiers reviewed and approved by the end of February. We've heard that they are going to try to approve the dossiers as soon as possible, but not to expect a referral til the end of the year. None of these are official statements, though, so you have to take each with a grain of salt. We're just trying to be ok with the fact that God has the best view of the timeline and whenever He wants us to get her, we will. Sometimes easier to say that than rest in it, though.


  12. You couldn't have cropped out the lady picking her nose? Geesh.

    GB, I am so DED that you took (or even had) the time to search for all the Dumbo references. DED.

    Hey MG!! Great to see you around these parts! We are happy to indulge all of your pining for Disney and can't wait to hear that you and Jen have your daughter at home with you!!!

    Z, I started reading this and nodding my head re: the thoughts about WDW and the feelings of never having left, but then you moved on to your snarky comments and you lost me. Any idiot would know why the Press Secretary had to change out of her ballgown. You're stupid but you're not that stupid. And the chemical formula for table salt is NaCl.

    I do agree with several of you, though, even Mr. Snarky, on wondering why in the world ANYONE would want to ride Dumbo solo. Or without a small child in tow. That's almost as ridiculous as thinking that Kona Cafe would stop selling their most popular breakfast item.

    Some people.

  13. Ashclan wrote,"Any idiot would know why the Press Secretary had to change out of her ballgown. You're stupid but you're not that stupid. And the chemical formula for table salt is NaCl."

    You get bonus points if you cocked your head to the side when spit that out.

    That happens to be one of Mrs. Z's favorite WW moments. It's her go-to line when she wants to emphasize how dumb someone is being.

    As for thinking Tonga Toast had gone away, I remind you that LTT did away with Butter Grilled Pound Cake and Ohana did away with the potatoes people seemed to love. So Disney doing away with a favorite food item is not, you know, without precedent.

    But as a Liberal, I don't expect you to have a grasp of history or the facts.

    Carry on.


  14. oooh good times around here I see!

    Loved the croptures. You look more lean in this one than in the first one you posted. Lil Z has the cutest arms! (I agree La was hammered.... she said she could eat lil Z's legs up and I don't see them anywhere)

    Lala, I'll have what you're having. With a blinky cube.

    So the Zzub's had a great first morning! Wait, is it still the first morning? If it is, so glad you had a great first morning!

    You know I just got back from the Maelstrom convention at Disney a couple of weeks ago. Boy did we ever have a blast! We spent one night at the WL and we thought about you and your alcove. I thought about La & her noodles when we went through the fancy YC lobby. I thought about NM when I did a replay of the cowgirl photo shoot on the monorail at 11:30 the last night. heh heh.

  15. Z said. "As for thinking Tonga Toast had gone away, I remind you that LTT did away with Butter Grilled Pound Cake and Ohana did away with the potatoes people seemed to love. So Disney doing away with a favorite food item is not, you know, without precedent."

    A few years ago The Brown Derby had the most wonderful Mustard-Crusted Lamb Chops with Cheesy Mashed Potatos. The last time I went there, I had my mouth set for that dish but, alas, it was no more. That was a sad, sad day. I wept unashamedly.


  16. Hey Ash! It only took a few min to run a search.

    I still hate that I never got to taste Butter Grilled Pound Cake.

  17. Thankfully the Tonga Toas is (for the moment) safe, but its never out of the possibility to hear a (due to guest demand, Disney has replaced Tonga Toast with a store bought bowl of muesli, you know, because guests demanded it.)
    Apparantly Z isnt all that intimidating in real life or you wouldnt keep getting messed with in line. Thinking a mix of Doug and Stuart from LA Law, Short AND Bald.

  18. Chapter 5 and it's still the first day??????

    There was some full on funny reading tonight. I'm not sure which was better Chapter 5 or the comments.

    Hey MG - nice to see you again! Say "hi" to Jen from us!
    Zedd - I thought for a minute you had a Canadian thing going on.

    Ummmm....Tonga toast. You had me scared there for a minute Zzub. I miss all the great desserts that many restaurants used to have. Since FD they really dumbed down all the desserts. Creme Brule, some celebration thing, sobets and a gross flourless chocolate cake. Thats about it.

    Thanks for laughs!

    And the gas.

    I would have saved my pop tarts and thrown Sandy a delicious bass. Instead.

  19. Astonishly, yes. This is still the first day! If my guess is correct, it'll be months before we get to day two. But as ZZUB TRs go, there tends to be a lot more words lavished on the arrival and first day then subsequent days.

    AngelMav, I'm reasonably certain Sandy Solo-toes would have attempted to press by Lou Ferigno. When you're desperate enough to be riding Dumbo alone, you're not the kind of person who respects others, no matter what their size.

    And to the extent it's relevant, I'm neither short nor bald.

    Yak, you've given me a good idea! I think I'll include a nice bass in our park pack. 10 minutes in the Florida hot should make it sufficiently aromatic. And that should keep people at bay.