November 03, 2003

IWANTIT!IWANTIT!IWANTIT!IWANTIT! Kicking off siblings day here, the rarely referenced Donk Brother David sent me this here link to the swankiest damn eBay auction ever: Direct from Walt Disney World: a Genuine Car from (the now shamefully defunct) Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

Bidding currently stands at a mere three large for this wonderful conversation piece (though shipping will run about another grand), and while my brother sent me the link with the "Buy me this right now!!!" header, I had to explain to him that by all moral and ethical rights the Toad Car was mine.

You see, Mr. Toad and I have a history. For most of my childhood, my family used to spend two weeks in Florida every year, leaving Jersey on Thanksgiving (our traditional Thanksgiving feast was a chicken meal deal in a Roy Rogers in Virginia) for some quality grandparent time. Part of that trip always included a few days at Disney.

Now, this was always a great time to go, since it was the least busy time of the year, so that while the bigger rides (your Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise) would still have lines, the less popular ones would be veritable amusement ghost towns.

And Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was perhaps the ghostiest of the ghost towns. Based on a movie few had seen, with characters few could name, the now-defunct ride (replaced by some stupid hopefully-soon-to-be-sued-out-of-existence Winnie the Pooh crapfest) was still a hoot and a holler, fast=paced and funny, not the finely realized experience of the Peter Pan ride or the kitsch classic of Small World, but still worth the three minutes.

Which brings me to one of my fondest childhood memories: one year we made our customary trip on MTWR, though the line was a little shorter than usual...in fact, there was no line at all. We hopped into one of the cars (perhaps even the one on sale!) and rode, enjoying ourselves thoroughly. And when the ride finished up and we noticed that there was still no line...well, we asked if we could just go through again.

Folks, we rode that ride a dozen straight times, loving it a little more each time. And while it's looking more and more like I'll never be a billionaire, for that half-hour it was like we were the Rockefellers, rich enough to own our own amusement park and to ride the rides all day long, without a care in the world. And while a bit of my childhood died on my 27th birthday, when the last Wild Ride was rode, I believe that if my brother would only cough up a few bucks, that rare happy moment from my childhood could last forever. *sniff*
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