as featured in Desert Exposure Magazine
My wife and kids refuse to travel with me any more.
"Why?" you ask.
Because I'm a man who likes to enjoy life at a discount. My wife calls me cheap, but I'm not cheap... I'm frugal.
This month I'm planning on going to Dizzyland for my vacation. The last time I went there, the LGBT were there for Rainbow Weekend. Or it was some law-enforcement convention. I've noticed that they have the same look.
Sadly, I'm going alone.
Still, I'll have fun.
"How?" you ask.
Because, as everybody knows, Dizzyland is the slap-dap-happiest place on Earth. Dizzyland started as the lifelong dream of Walt White, a high-school chemistry teacher who, when he discovered he had cancer, decided to break bad and secure his family's future by cooking and selling crystal meth, and the fortune he made allowed him build Dizzyland, an amusement park of epic proportions.
Unfortunately, Dizzyland is incredibly expensive, from the entrance fee to the price of their food, but there's a way around it. In fact, there's a way to enjoy everything Dizzyland has to offer without having to once open your wallet.
The way I do it is, when I'm in one of the incredibly long lines to pay for my entrance, I pretend to twist my ankle at the ticket booth. when they take me to their First Aid Station that's located inside of the park, you can tell the nurse that you're feeling better. She doesn't know that you haven't paid for admission, so you can walk out into the park and onto the first ride you see. Your newly-wrapped ankle will take you to the head of the line.
If, for whatever reason, the nurse is suspicious, do what I do: RUN! If one's available, put on a Goofy Doofy costume to make good your escape. Nobody ever suspects Goofy Doofy. Not only does the costume get me out, but it also gets me to the head of the line at all the rides.
A two-hour wait for a two-minute ride?
That's for the rubes.
And, let me tell you, Goofy Doofy sure is catnip to the ladies. He must remind them of an old boyfriend. Every girl has a Goofy Doofy in her past.
But if you can't make your escape in a Goofy Doofy costume, don't worry, a trick I learned from flim-flam men from my years in the carnival will help. Show up in a red hat and a red shirt. When you make good your escape, take off your hat and throw it away. Take off you shirt and do the same, revealing the blue shirt you were secretly wearing underneath. That way, while security is busy searching for a man in a red hat and shirt, you're busy hitting all the good rides. The problem with all the good rides, however, is the amount of time you have to wait in line.
Waiting in line is for the 99%.
In a pinch, I don't mine "borrowing" an unattended handicap go-cart. If the user is on a ride, then how much does he or she really need it? The handicapped (or, as I like to call them: the handicapped) shouldn't mind.
Now, I know you're wondering if I'd be low enough to steal someone's wheelchair. Of course not. Wheelchairs involve too much work. Handicapped go-carts are the best.
Dizzyland has a great team of maintenance workers constantly and efficiently cleaning up. You know what's good about maintenance people? I can drop or leave my trash wherever and whenever I want, and I can rest assured that it will immediately be picked up. Your trash is easy to get rid of. I've noticed if you hand someone something, they'll take it. Empty strollers also make a convenient place to throw your trash, but be careful not to throw your drink cup. You might want something to drink later. Be careful, however, angry parents may not care about the environment as much as you.
Finding something to drink is no problem. There's always a forgetful tike who will leave his reusable glass with unlimited refills that his parents bought at a premium price.
Same with food. If you walk behind a neglectful parent holding his toddler over his shoulder facing you, if that child is holding a churro, you only need to get close and take a bite. If you look pleadingly at them and hold out your hand beggar-esque, the innocent child will usually hand over what's left of their burger. If the toddler cries or the parent senses something, you only need to quickly run around them on the side opposite their heads turning to see who's behind them.
If you think I'm taking advantage of our innocent youth, I beg to differ. I'm giving them the attention their parents aren't. You try making faces on the off-chance the little darlings will toss a chicken nugget your way.
But a few cast-off morsels does not a meal make. Perfectly good fries are left behind on tables by people too lazy to throw away their left-over food themselves. The best time to eat from the street carts is when they're moving down the Dizzyland streets on their way back to restock. Walk behind them and it's like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Speaking of buffets...
Personally, I prefer the buffets. There are so many people stuffing their faces there, that it's easy to get lost in the crowd. At Breakfast With Winnie the Pee-Yoo, the bathrooms are outside of the restaurant, so I just wait until it's very busy, and then pretend to be returning from "doing my business."
I get in 100% of the time.
At Ariella's Mermaid's Grotto, the bathroom is downstairs from the dining area, so I just ask the cashier if I can use their facilities. She'll say yes, because, at Dizzyland, they can't say no. It's against the law. From the bathroom, it's a quick trip up the stairs to all that delectable food.
"But how can you eat?" I hear you ask. "You don't have a receipt?" To which, I reply, "It's questions like that, that would have kept the Untied States from pretending we went to the moon. The answer is this: You just eat as you go. Take a plate, grab a fork, and make your rounds around the various food stations. Whatever you serve yourself, eat it as you make your way to the next station. And, if you want to take something for later, help yourself. Finger foods are best, those fit in you pockets, but, in a pinch, I've been able to stuff a whole enchilada in my shoe.
Once, a manager at Goofy Doofy's Diner caught me doing this, but, as he came up to me giving me the stink eye, before he could say anything, I asked him if he had seen my daughter.
"The last time I saw her she was with Goofy Doofy," I said, tossing the ball into his court. "You do do a background criminal check on all your costumed employees, don't you?"
When he quickly left to find Goofy Doofy, I quickly exited in the opposite direction. But, if all else fails, pull the old Slip & Fall. That way you can exit the amusement park the way you came in.
Carried, like a king.
This narrow escape gave me reason for pause and reflection. What I came up with is this: The maintenance workers at Dizzyland all wear white uniforms. I feel it would be much better if they all wore Goofy Doofy uniforms instead. In the first place, it would be entertaining to see Goofy Doofy cleaning up cigarette butts and empty water bottles. In the second place, it would remind the kids at the amusement park to go to college and get an education. You can't tell me Goofy Doofy ever made it out of any kind of a school. Well, maybe Berkeley. And, in the third place... well, there is no third place, but I felt like I needed to make the effort.
I like ending my visit to Dizzyland at one of their deluxe resort hotels. While there, whatever I ask for, as long as I give them a room number, they slap-dap-happily give it to me. They never ask, "Are you staying here?" They ask, "And what room shall I charge this to?"
"1408," I'll suggest.
If you think I'm being dishonest, you're wrong. What I'm doing is thoughtfully giving a departing family a final Dizzyland adventure when they try to check out. So, you see, I am generous.
Generous of spirit.