In my entire life (thirty four years and counting) I’ve been to Disneyland maybe, six or seven times. Which, is a buttload to most, so I’m not gonna not mention that. However, since I was five or six years old, I would visit family in Tampa, Florida. The purpose was to do a weekend trip to Disneyworld. I did that every single year, once a year, from age five or six, up until I was twenty-three. I’ve been to Disneyworld a grip more often than I have Disneyland. One is in Florida, the other is in California.
When I went to Disneyland at age seven with my mom, step-dad, and sisters, I had a real shitty experience. It was the end of the day for us, and we were about ready to leave the park grounds to return to our car, and drive back home to Arizona. Before we did, for some reason (no judgement either way), I was able to wander off to the magic store near the entrance of the park. I was seven. I was unaccompanied by an adult. So I was a child, solo in a magic shop.
The old man working the shop was amusing another child, who watched the magician perform the trick he wanted to sell, with his father. Obviously the old man was catering to the father, in attempts to show genuine enthusiasm for the young one, and the wonderful splendors of magic.
I came in halfway through the trick. So, I wasn’t there when he began the trick. I felt, maybe I’d missed some crucial element that I’d want to see from the beginning.
So, after the father paid for the magic trick, and left with a happy son, the old man got quiet. I didn’t say anything, figuring he’d show the same enthusiasm with me, same as he had with the dad and his son. He said, in a very annoyed manner, “what can I help you with?” I should’ve walked the fuck out right then. Said, “fuck you” and left. But, I was seven. I hadn’t met a shitbird before.
I asked him to please show me the magic trick he’d just shown the kid and his dad. I guess this old man assumed what I’d observed was good enough for me to make a decision on purchasing the magic trick.
He begrudgingly said, “ya just saw it”. I told him no, I didn’t see the entire trick, and I’d appreciate seeing the whole thing. So, he fucking did it. As fast as he could, with a lackluster expression on his face. This man was clearly irritated by me. I’d be willing to bet, he didn’t enjoy children as much as he led people to believe.
To go from being an ass-kissing magician, to some bitter old fuck, was disturbing to me. I was also saddened, and embarrassed, because I only had enough for the cheapest magic trick in the store. I was embarrassed because at the time I thought, if I only had some more money, I could’ve asked this magician to see another magic trick, and he’d of been as happy with showing as he was with the father and son.
I believe that’s untrue as well. Something about the fact that it was just me in the shop, without a parent, had something to do with it, I’m sure. He probably knew I might not even have any money, and why would he be nice to a freeloader wanting to see magic for free? Good point, except I was a fucking seven year old child, at the time, for fucks sake.
I became the magician to show my few friends the trick. And it was cool to them, and I felt cool for knowing magic. It’s just that, that old fucker really left a lasting negative memory in my mind, and a fucked up feeling in my heart. Happiest place on Earth? Yeah, if you’re fucking delusional. It’s fun, and it’s even more fun to be such a hoot in the park you get asked to leave (maybe I’ll be brave enough to conquer that feat, some day- get really wasted and start beligerently screaming foul language at the pirates on, Pirates of the Caribbean. Or yelling at the people eating food, as the ride begins, calling them fat fucks and what not. Yeah, Philip, that’ll get your giant ass kicked out for sure). All in all, it was kinda fun the last couple times I went.
I went with my dad. I thought that was our thing, going to Disneyland to celebrate my birthday, together. It was our thing for two, three years. I won’t get into my estranged relationship with my father, but yeah- it wasn’t the same magical place Disneyworld was, when I was constantly accompanied by either my grandparents, aunt and uncle, or dad. I’ll be damned if being a child WITH a parent doesn’t make a positive difference in how the sellers within sell. It is what it is. That’ll probably never change much. Still, it was a no fun experience, with that bitter old man, who was just pretending to be a joyful magician.
ps. I NEVER have gone back to that magic shop, in Disneyland. I NEVER will.