Friday, July 29, 2011

Personality Test
Although it is hard for a Southern Californian to believe there are people who have never visited Disneyland, there may indeed be some.  For those who have not been to Disney's money factory or do not remember one of the most famous rides, here is a picture of the Tea Cups at Fantasyland.  I am sitting with my niece Jackie in the pink cup because she got to pick. Pink is her favorite color and an indication of her personality.  You can learn a lot about a person by attending Disneyland together.  The Tea Cup ride may be the most personally revealing experience at the theme park or perhaps in the world.
Let me explain. Basically the Tea Cups is a spinning ride, based on the idea that centrifugal force is fun. The faster you spin around the more fun you have, fun of course being directly proportional to complete and utter disorientation.  Hopefully you will reach the point of dizzy ecstasy before you reach the point of throwing up.  Unfortunately the human body is not equipped with idiot lights to indicate when your swirling head has reached critical mass.  It becomes a matter of gastro-intestinal Russian roulette. One rotation too many turns fun into a messy embarrassment.  Not to mention a complete waste of money on expensive Disneyland food purchased just before the ride.
The Tea Cups are fixed to a rotating base that spins within a larger base which also spins.  The cups themselves spin independently of the other rotations and can be controlled by turning a steering wheel device in the center.  It all seems quite complicated when you try to explain it and the physics of multiple rotations acting on each other with a combined velocity could make Issac Newton hate math.  Not that any of the science needs to be explained to a child. It is a simple equation to a kid, "Turn wheel- go fast." 
The moment the ride begins the Tea Cup personality test reveals itself. You never know what demons will take control of your family or companion until this moment and by then it is too late.  A loving person with only roses in their heart can become a whirling devil with no redeeming qualities.  This devil causes a normal person to attack the spin wheel with the strength of an army.  There is no amount of pleading that can exorcise this demon who's only goal is to spin the cup as fast as possible.  This unsettling possession persists until the ride operator turns the switch off. Sometimes the devil has even overtaken me and I become Captain Vomit... king of double vision.
All of this comes back to me at this defining moment, when I realize I am alone with my teenage niece in the pink tea cup of truth. My life with her flashes before my eyes. I remember how I have teased and joked with her since she was a baby. I have always tried to be the fun uncle while realizing that my humor and my immaturity toward children is an acquired taste.  I remember clearly every joke that inadvertently caused her to momentarily panic or led her to a cry.  If I remember, certainly she does as well. We are only moments away from the opening spin, the time of her revenge.  My thoughts turn to the Mexican food we had in Frontierland.
To my surprise she is resistant to demon possession and we spin the wheel with only enough gusto to enjoy a staggering walk to the exit afterwards.  She is an angel and although I assumed as much she passed the Tea Cup Test personality test with a 4.0.  I will not be so lucky next time. Note to self: avoid Fantasyland with Brandon and Taylor.
As you were,

1 comment:

Bob Conrad said...

Disney seems to bring out the child in all of us.