Sunday, September 28, 2008

Accent-uate the Positive

Just back from Walt Disney World, a carnival of conspicuous consumption populated by kids in strollers and adults on scooters, suggesting that the idea for Wall-E was hatched right on the premises.

While there, it struck me that It’s a Small World isn’t just a popular ride, it’s a metaphor for the whole wonderful place. I heard fellow tourists speak Spanish, Portugese, Japanese, German and French, not to mention the many, many folks fluent in the unmistakable tongue of the magical kingdom of Lawn Guyland.

More than languages, I noticed accents that revealed that English has more varieties than Baskin-Robbins. I overheard a man from the deep South talking to his wife, two-syllable Kim. On the beach at the Polynesian resort, there was a fawtha from Bawston exhorting Lee-um to get ouhtta da watta. And there were many friendly folks from Minnesconsin havin’ a grand time, dontcha know?

But nothing hit quite as hard as that moment at Animal Kingdom when we encountered the cast of Oliver! and their mum, Shrewy Spice, whose lone parenting tactic was to speak loudly and threaten ‘er children. A note to Shrewy’s husband, Ian – excuse me, Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-an: the dagger tattoo on your pipe-cleaner arm cannot disguise that you are one seriously hen-pecked bloke.


Chris Johnson said...

1978 Intro brought me here...good writing kept me. Anyway, I watched it in a multiplex, and I took Wall-E as a west coast critique of middle america; the fat people, the scooters, the conversations, everything.

Anyway, good stuff.

Unknown said...

if "it's a small world" is a symbol of anything it's that life is a bad song you can't get out of your head.

Anonymous said...

Yet, it's still "The Happiest Place on Earth" even with insipid little songs that stick in your brain forever.

We are going back next summer for trip #4 with our girls. I'll keep my ears open for Shrewy Spice.

Anonymous said...

A college friend went to Disney World back in the 70s. She was caught when the It's A Small World ride broke down, and sat in the dark in that little car for over an hour, listening to "It's A Small World After All" over and over and over again . . . to this day, you only have to whistle a few bars and she breaks out in hives.