Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Have Seen the Gates of Hell

And they look a lot like Disney on Ice.

Last week we took the kids to opening night of Disney on Ice.  It was quite an experience, if that is what one calls the physical embodiment of their own personal nightmare.

Just kidding, in theory the idea is quite genius.  Take stories from all the Disney movies, play the famous music, and dress people riding sharpened pieces of metal on their shoes like the characters in said movies, sometimes even building costumes to personify the rounder characters in all their squatty glory.  As a fan of figure skating dating all the way back to the Nancy/Tanya days I like to see the jumps and the spins and the... jumps.  And more spins.  The problem wasn't what was going on on the ice.  It was all the shenanigans ensuing off of it.

I must first say, Elora has grown and aged into quite a little girl.  She is so tall, and so long in all of her limbs, but she is helpful and (to some degree) well behaved.  Her brother, on the other hand, is neither helpful or well behaved.  He is, for lack of a better word, an asshole.  You may consider the language rather harsh for a 2 year old, but I don't tell him he's an asshole.  I just use it as the most descriptive disambiguation of how a 2 year old can behave  (please click HERE for a wonderfully poignant summary of 2 to 3 year old behavior, which I found when I googled "my 2 year old is an asshole").  He will probably grow out of being 2, and then 3 after that, and will likely start to normalize a bit.  But for now he's belligerent and unreasonable.

As the story unfolds we get to the show and get seated, and we wait patiently for the show to begin.  This is Colter's first time in the Metra, and we got pretty nosebleed seats so I wasn't worried of the danger that one of my kids would be playing too close to one of the rails and fall over.  The PA system is playing canned messages that must come with the whole Disney on Ice tour, stating that you could take pictures, but only for your own purposes and no video, only to later send ushers through the upper reaches of the bleachers to tell people to not take any pictures regardless of the what the message said.  Two words: Nazi.  Regime.  And I wasn't even taking pictures, I just heard some poor guy behind us get told what-for.  Fascists.

The audience is rampant with the various toys/drinks/junk food that accompanies an event of this nature.  The show gets started and the kids are mesmerized.  Colter is singing along with the music, Elora is yelling "I love this song" at the beginning of every song, things start off strong.  It was my bright idea to go get the "stuff", the crap that the event shills, early on so we could keep kids distracted when necessary.  I ask Thad to switch places with me so he is beside Colter and I can go get the stuff.  He says "I can go get it", so I hand him all $40 of crap buying cash I had with me.  I should have given exact instructions.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

Thad returns soon thereafter with a spinning, light-up Tinkerbell themed toy, and a plastic Stitch.  That's it.  Stitch doesn't have lights, he doesn't have anything that spins, and frankly Colter hasn't even seen Lilo & Stitch so he has no idea what the hell it is.  And the total of the two toys left no money left over for even a drink to keep a kid distracted from his sister's toy.  So Colter wants Elora's toy.  And he proceeds to flip out repeatedly, even when the toy was put away, in an attempt to get at the toy wherever it was at.  Thad and I both got up and walked him around the stands, and each time he settled for roughly 2 minutes before turning into a psycho hose beast attempting to get to the bag with the toys.

Thad decided to take Colter home, which is one of the many reasons I love living so close to the Metra, because when this shit goes down we can drive home and back in less than 15 minutes.  So Elora and I finished watching the show with some friends of mine who happened to be there with their daughter.  This couple I've known since before they were a couple, which is hilarious because we all met when we started training together at Bresnan, and they weren't together at the time and didn't get together for a very long time.  She had to go through a ridiculous marriage and a beautiful daughter before they got together, but the sexual tension had been palpable for a very long time.  She laughs at me in a way that just brings out my entertainer, and we bantered and cackled during the show while our kids ignored us. 

At one point I mentioned that I just was so curious about what goes on backstage for the cast of Disney on Ice.  I want to know all the sordid details, who is sleeping with whom, whose drinking is causing problems, who called who a whore.  We laughed over this remark and I followed up with the best quote of my 30s thus far... "Disney on Ice skaters are like the carnies of the figure skating world".  Sheer comedic gold.  I think I'll constantly be trying to top that one, and likely failing miserably my entire life.

So that is it, my experience with Disney on Ice summarized for your reading enjoyment.  The Shrine Circus looks like it could be another experiment in pain, but I will be better prepared by enlisting the services of grandparents to wrangle the young one.  And a leash.