Kenny Bodanis contemplates an apocalypse spent with the Mouse.
I saw Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” last night. It’s (nutshell version) about a wedding on the eve of global destruction.
Naturally, between mouthfuls of nachos and salsa, I wondered how I would spend my final days if I were given, say, a month to live.
How each of us would spend our time is largely derived from our station in life; a taxi driver with a seventy-two hour work-week would probably have ideas which differ greatly from Queen Elizabeth’s.
I’m a working father of two young kids. In most of life’s categories I’m boringly perched in the middle of the bell curve: white, middle class, married, two kids, suburban house, bla bla bla.
On a recent camping trip – as much as I was hundreds of miles (and thousands of computers) away from the office – I realized what makes for happy parents is happy kids. What makes for happy kids on vacation is being kept busy doing things they love – which is not necessarily camping.
If, as in the movie, a new planet were to smash ours into smithereens, I’d want to emphasize family harmony as much as possible pre-collision.
Given a full month to fill as I wished (my line of credit no longer being a factor – good luck collecting from me after I’ve been obliterated), I’d wonder: what would give the kids immense pleasure, while allowing me to sleep somewhere (without bears) that didn’t leave me with a backache. Where could I go without a kitchen to cook in, a laundry room in which to grind away on stains, and nothing to remind me we still have several doors in our home which require moldings to be installed my a rank amateur? It would have to be somewhere where we could warm up if it were cool, cool down if it gets too hot, and the kids would never hang off our shoulders out of boredom.
I have a feeling this comes across as shallow. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it’s not very original.
But, certain things are successful in life because they successfully fill a need for a lot of people across a broad spectrum. There is no broader spectrum than the big, fat middle of this massive bell I’m perched upon.
“Disney!? DISNEY!? THAT’S the best you could come up with when facing the end of humanity?!?! What about some quality family time? A walk in the woods?? A board game? Storytime? Visit long-lost relatives?? Travel somewhere exotic??? DISNEY!?! You shallow hole of a human being.”
There, I said it for you. My answer: that’s why (in this rather depressing scenario) I’m giving us all a month rather than a couple of days.
Enough time for Disney and other stuff. Not to mention, I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable flying somewhere exotic aboard a 777 with everyone facing the end of existence. I just don’t trust people.
I certainly don’t think I would be alone turning my family into the Griswolds. Given my track record as a parent, anything I consider to be a brilliantly unique and entertaining family experience ends at the tail of a long line up – thousands of others are apparently just as brilliant. Nearly all parents think alike; happy kids mean happy parents.
There would, however, be downsides to a Disney trip on the doorstep of Armageddon:
* Discounts would be scarce: where’s the incentive for Disney? Not many return customers on this trip.
* No “Dinner with Characters.” I doubt anyone would choose to spend their last month overheated, stuffed into a Yogi Bear suit.
* Line ups. With a month to live? Try getting a seat a Space Mountain. Mind you, I have a feeling Tower of Terror might move quickly…way too prophetic for most people.
* Idiots. As it is, the public rarely plays well with others. Facing total annihilation, I imagine some pushing at the canteen.
After a week in an air-conditioned, 5-star hotel; riding the monorail from poolside to the amusement park; eating anything my heart desires, and watching the kids exhaust themselves through the joy of a billion-dollar theme park, I’d drive my family home.
Tired, happy, and well-fed, we’d then decide how to spend our last three weeks together.
Of course, if at that point the oncoming planet veers off course and misses Target Earth, I’ll end up paying dearly for our Disney vacation. Although instead of paying with my life, it’ll be in monthly installments to that darn line of credit.
Photo—Sign in Orlando, FL from Shutterstock