Thursday, December 20, 2007
A Flock of (actual) Seagulls
This one time (no, not at band camp), in the eighties, a dozen of us Disney employees, from California, went on an employee-discount-vacation to Walt Disney World and Epcot Center. Yes, people who work in theme parks go to other theme parks on their days off. It's part of the slight mental sickness that helps us to have job longevity when working for The Mouse.
The Orlando theme parks had much-over-much that the Anaheim park did not, even twenty years ago. Besides acres and acres of extra space and a five-star Cinderella Castle (which makes Sleeping Beauty's Castle on the west coast look like a cottage), the three-story buildings in the Floridian Town Square and Main Street, U.S.A. both impressed us and overwhelmed us a little, at first.
Something else that the Orlando parks have, in overabundance compared to Anaheim, are a myriad of seagulls. We had gotten the attention of an entire flock, it seemed, while snacking on some in-park french fries. I felt like the Pied Piper as I held a single fry aloft, while a smaller brood of gulls hovered behind in my wake.
On a dare, Robert lay down on the pavement with a fry sticking out of his mouth, as if it were a crispy, yellow cigarette. He waited to see if any of the seagulls would actually come and snatch it out of his mouth.
Once he was in place, all it took was a shared look among the rest of us. Without a single spoken word, four of us grabbed handfuls of fries and threw them directly at Robert's face. The reaction was immediate: at the motion of so many fries being thrown, practically the entire flock of gulls swooped in at Robert's head.
I had never seen anyone go from horizontal to vertical so quickly! Not even Tippi Hedren!