Subourbon Mom

Disney’s Space Mountain–It’s Not the Tunnel of Love, People

Okay I meant to post this earlier in the year since it’s about New Year’s resolutions, but I couldn’t get organized. So,

Resolution #1: Get organized. Yeah, I’ll get on that–right after I fold those 12 loads of laundry still in a pile on the spare bed, figure out what’s stinking up the fridge from Christmas, and write those thank you notes that are hanging over my head like a guillotine axe (thanks Mom, for that good ol’ Southern guilt).

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I suck at them. By February, I’ve usually given up and gone back to eating Rice Krispie treats straight out of the pan. But while we were briefly at Disney World in Orlando this holiday, I realized you can get ideas for New Year’s resolutions just by waiting in the 80-minute line for Space Mountain (and yes, my super-helpful FB friends, we tried Fast-Track, but the earliest spaces available were at 11:00PM).

Here are the resolutions I came up with while waiting in line:

  1. Have patience. Disney does a fabulous job of keeping you entertained in line for the Space Mountain ride—while you are jammed into the cattle shute with hundreds of other folks, they are are worth observing because, let’s face it, people are just weird. Unlike cattle, though, the people in the shute are aware that they may soon be facing their deaths in that dark cavern of spiraling humanity called Space Mountain; in fact, they go willingly.
  2. image002PDA is cool—but not in a line with five hundred of your newest friends. It’s especially not okay of you’re over 20—the couple next to us was easily in their 30’s. That’s just nasty. I don’t need to see anyone’s tongue that close up. And the hands groping the muffin top? Nobody wants to see that, no matter what age you are.
  3. Keep your hands to yourself. Not in a PDA sense, but more for Ebola’s sake. Just looking at the handrails skeeved me out.
  4. Crop dust whenever possible. Always fun, but especially fun when you’re stuck in a dark room with nowhere to go. Be sure to wrinkle your nose, turn around and glare at innocent people—your children are the best target, especially if they’ve been bugging you for souvenirs all day—so are older make-out couples.
  5. Face your fears. I’ve been afraid to go on Space Mountain, since we first went to Disney probably 35 years ago. This year, Daughter #2 wanted to ride it—it was the only thing she wanted to do while we were there, so I reluctantly said ok. It was awesome. I also felt like a wuss afterwards for being so terrified for so many years.
  6. Don’t be afraid of the dark. Whether you’re riding a rollercoaster in a pitch black room or dealing with a personal darkness, the ride always comes to a stop. It’s up to you whether you choose to wave your arms in the air and shout “I survived it!,” grit your teeth and stoically step off the ride, or burst into tears. Also, in the dark, you can crop dust to your heart’s content—no one will see you blush.image003
  7. Take a second before the next freefall and look up. In Space Mountain there are tiny constellations lit up in the “sky,” just before you plummet into the blackness. It was oddly beautiful, even if it was fake. When you know things are going downhill, take a second and look up—you might see some pinpoints of light.images
  8. Always know where the bathrooms are. An 80-minute line—seriously, Disney? No bathrooms? Let the crop dusting begin….
  9. Savor the anticipation of doing something new—we had 80 minutes of anticipation, but sometimes you don’t get that much. Take one breath and enjoy your rapidly beating heart, the pump of adrenaline through your veins, the knowledge that you’re really living. You only get to do something for the first time once—hopefully that something new will be fun, not watching strangers making out in front of you and your kid in line. I totally should have blamed the crop dusting on them.

Flying Snakes and Other Animals That Freak Me Out

Every now and then God throws an animal into the mix just to mess with us. One of His favorite things to do must be to mix up combinations of animals that don’t make sense, and see what happens.  The platypus comes to mind first, and then maybe the mole, or even the jack-a-lope.

But I didn’t see the flying snake thing coming.  Apparently I haven’t been watching the right Animal Planet shows—no one ever went into some piece-of-crap hoarder’s house and found snakes soaring among the rafters in Animal Cops, Houston.

Scientists have been studying how certain snakes can fly—not just drop down onto people from trees like a drunk teenager toilet papering somebody’s house. These things deliberately jump from a tree and land on another branch, or their prey.

Now, I’ve heard of flying squirrels—shoot, our local baseball team has it as their mascot (How intimidating—“Yep, I’m a big fan of The Squirrels.  They’re pretty fierce this year.”)—and sure, I knew there were water moccasins that would drop out of trees onto their prey.  Definitely scary-movie enough to make me stay away from all overhanging trees when I’m fishing.

Sorry, if one of those things came winging at me through the air, the last thing I’d be thinking about is “Hey, I wonder how they do that?” I’d be freaking the f**ck out!

As I said, scientists have been studying the physics of how these snakes manage to fly without appendages. They used big science terms like “vortex,” and “lift forces,” but what I took away from that is, these reptiles look a lot less like dragons flying through the air than the snakes my preschoolers cut out of paper plates.



I’m sure Darwin would make some rational explanation about adapting and being an evolved species, but on this one I’m leaning toward creationism: I think God looked at the snake and said, “Not only are you going to make them eat the apple, little snake, but you’re going to make them soil their cute little fig leaves afterward by flying at them. That’ll teach my pesky children to disobey Me.”

So where are these snakes?  They are found in lowland areas of Southeast and Southern Asia.  That may be their natural habitat, but if Lionfish and those monster pythons can get to Florida via hurricane and pet stores, I’m not taking any chances.  I’m thinking of moving to Arizona. At least rattlers are courteous enough to warn you before they strike.

What The Duck?
January 13, 2014, 11:51 am
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , , ,

This year, one of my favorite presents was a bathroom book filled with trivia.  In addition to the myriad useless facts stored in the depths of my brain that prevent me from ever finding my keys, I now have even more ways to annoy my family and friends. One of the facts I came across was this:

Anatidaephobia is the fear that somewhere in the world, a duck is watching you.

            Just to be clear, I looked up the definition of a phobia.  A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger…is long-lasting, causes intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at work or in social settings.

So there are actually people who cannot get up and go to work because they are terrified that somewhere in the world a duck might be watching them?


I could see it, maybe, if someone during duck hunting season was suddenly attacked in an act of aviary revenge; or, if someone lived near a pond during duck mating season and was mistaken for a female mallard. Duck sex is violent (I live near a pond and have witnessed the attacks), and because of that I am glad I am human and have opposable thumbs. Mandy Mallard must fly faster and learn aerial acrobatics that rival super sonic jets in order to get away from her “partner.” I just have to be able to activate my taser with my thumb (and remember to bring it with me).

But there’s two things about this phobia I really don’t understand—first, Anatidaephobia isn’t just a fear of being watched by a duck. It’s the fear that ANY duck ANYWHERE in the world might be watching.  In my head, all I can picture is one massive duck eye floating in the sky, watching us, like Saron in Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, or for you non-fantasy geeks, picture the unblinking eye that floats over the pyramid on our dollar bills.

Second, people with Anatidaephobia can’t function normally in their work or social settings.  Picture this: You are at your office Christmas party trying to make small talk with Bill the accountant who is rarely out of his cube, and who pops some kind of pill with every Coke he swills all day long. He is sweating profusely, staining the bright green shirt he put on for the occasion, and constantly glancing out the windows.

“Is there something wrong?” you ask Bill.

Bill shakes his head, but can’t focus on you. He glances out the window again. You look behind you, but only see snow glistening off the bushes.

“Are you sure? Is there something out there?” you ask. Maybe Bill is afraid someone has reported his meager insider trading to the cops, and he’s waiting for them to show up.

“They’re watching,” Bill whispers urgently.

You decide Bill has definitely done something illegal, or else he’s smoked some bad weed and is having the worst trip of his life.

“Who?” you whisper back, playing along, hoping its just the weed.

The duck,” he answers, clutching his solo cup even tighter. A crack appears, but Bill doesn’t notice the white wine dripping down his hand.

You look out the window again but don’t see any ducks. There is only snow and other buildings. It’s an office block for God’s sake.

“What duck?” you ask, trying to wave Barbara from IT over. This one will go down in the annals of great office Christmas party stories.

Bill points a shaking finger out the window. “He’s out there. Watching me.”


More white wine sloshes onto the industrial-strength carpet.

“I don’t know,” Bill whimpers, “but he’s out there!” Bill scuttles off to the bathroom, hands shaking, his shirt soaked through. Ted from HR follows, cell phone in hand.

You can’t help but glance out the window one more time.   You aren’t afraid of ducks, but you definitely are now a candidate for having Christo-anthropophobia, the fear of office Christmas parties. (Don’t bother looking it up—anthropophobia, the fear of social situations, is true a phobia, but I added the prefix.

I think I’ll go put it up in Wikipedia and see how long it stays…after I get over my Cyberphobia.

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