I won’t bury the lead and make you work for it: I was actually mistaken for a retarded person TWICE in less than a half hour. Breathe that in for a second and chew on it. Now that it’s out of the way, here goes. It was Spring Break so I headed to Disney World with my aunt and two cousins and of course, chaos ensued. I will bypass the long drive from New York to Florida and that whole crazy situation entirely because no one wants to hear about a Passover Seder gone wrong, a diet saboteur, dog vomit in the car or a highway flashing anyway; let’s head right to the good stuff.
After we checked into our hotel, we decided to hit the water to lounge around and relax. I should clarify this and say that they wanted to hit the water and I wanted to hit the bar to lounge around and relax. I hate the outdoors and I HATE the heat so I was not in my element. After a few drinks in the shade, they convinced me to go in the water. I hadn’t unpacked so my cousin went into the gift shop to get sunscreen for me since I was absolutely not going anywhere near the water without it. Of course, me sending a boy to do a man’s work bit me in the ass because he got the wrong sunscreen.
I’m OCD and I cannot touch anything with my fingertips, so I can’t put on my own sunscreen. I usually get a spray bottle, but he got a regular bottle that you have to rub on. I had to have my aunt put the sunscreen on me and then I went into the water with them. Needless to say, I should have gone to my room and got my own sunscreen because the one he got wasn’t a high SPF nor was it waterproof. As a stupid ass is prone to do, I proceeded to send the rest of the afternoon getting sun poisoning on parts of my face, back, neck, stomach, arms and legs. I say parts of my body, but it was more like sporadic streaks of sun poisoning where the sunscreen has washed off. I looked like an albino ET with patches of psoriasis. It looked like my normally lily-white pasty complexion had been assaulted by a bus full of preschoolers holding red crayons.
The next day, we hit the parks like a tornado – rushing through to make sure we could go on everything multiple times. Maybe it was the youthful energy of me in my twenties, or maybe it was the delirious nature of sun poisoning, but we were literally running from one ride to the next. Because of my sun poisoned state, I had to wear a big T-Shirt, mesh champion shorts because they were loose on me, and flip flops because my poor battered skin couldn’t bear anything too constricting.
Everything at the park had such long lines to get on and it was getting very frustrating until it hit me. (Keep in mind that you can’t do this nowadays, and I am probably the reason, but in the mid 90’s this trick worked.) I got a wheelchair, put my aunt in it, she pretended that she was handicapped and we sped right up to the front of every line we got on. People were literally forcing us to the front of the line because they felt bad for us and didn’t think someone in a wheelchair should have to wait on line and I must say that I agreed with them. My two cousins are goody goody’s and felt very hesitant about the wheelchair and the faking until we left them at the back of the line and went on Pirates of the Caribbean ride without them. They met up with us an hour later (we had been on two rides and got a churro while they were still on the line for Pirates) and they didn’t leave our sides after that.
My aunt and I took turns in the wheelchair and, in all honesty, I must say that she was really much better at it than me. She was a little over the top sometimes with her facial expressions, grunts, and hand tremors, but it played well. We spent the afternoon shooting through each and every line like we were royalty and it truly was like the park was there just for us. Need a table to eat lunch at? People cleared out of our way for us. Want a good spot to watch the parade? The crowd parted like the Red Sea for us. It was great – until, as it is want to do, karma came and bit me in the ass.
It was getting late and the park was closing. Everyone was heading out and I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in Disney World when it’s closing, but it’s like a madhouse getting out of there. For some reason I didn’t fully flesh out in my mind at the time, I thought that we could make it to Space Mountain one more time before they closed. My aunt was in the wheelchair, my cousins were walking on each side of it and I was pushing her and I just knew we could make it. I knew that we had to get there fast if we wanted to make it, so I started to run like Forrest Gump. My aunt held on in the wheelchair and my cousins started running along-side as we made our way. The ground started to slope down a little, but it wasn’t a huge incline and it happened so fast that I didn’t really think about it.
My aunt leaned back in the chair to say something over her shoulder to me and what I heard was “Go faster – speed up” when, in actuality, she said “You Bastard, there’s a curb!” What happened next went by so fast and happened in such a quick instant, yet what I saw was in slow motion and was absolutely the funniest thing that I have ever bore witness to in my life. As I was running full steam ahead not seeing anything ahead of us, the wheelchair ran right into a curb and there was a thud of impact just as my aunt was thrown forward from the chair and into the heaving crowd all the while screaming at the top of her lungs. With that scream – the world stood still. My cousins scattered like mice to get away from us and the scene we were causing. Right on that curb was a vendor holding a huge jug of glow in the dark light sticks that bend and interlock into necklaces that he was selling and he was in my aunt’s trajectory.
As her body was thrust forward and she started screaming, his face froze with fear and he threw the bucket of light sticks into the air and reached out to try and catch her – shocked that a poor paralyzed woman was being thrown from her wheelchair right into his arms. Imagine his shocked look when she landed on her feet and ran off into the crowd because she was embarrassed as I was screaming “It’s a miracle, she can walk.” I then fell to the ground in a heap next to the wheelchair, hysterically laughing with absolutely no control of my body and peed my pants right there on the ground. Yes, as a twenty- three year old man, I am not embarrassed to tell you that I peed my pants at Disney World!
As I lie there on the ground, tears of laughter running down my face, unable to fully process what just happened because I couldn’t regain control of myself, there were a ton of people in the crowd staring down at me – not quite knowing what to make of me or what to do and then I heard it. That one voice in the crowd that rose above the others somehow: “Oh my God – that retarded boy just fell out of his wheelchair and he’s crying!” and with that I peed my pants for the second time! Yes, as a twenty three year old man, I am not embarrassed to tell you that I peed my pants at Disney World TWICE! I was laughing and crying at the same time while rolling around on the pavement I just peed on – twice – and saying “She thinks I’m retarded…She thinks I’m retarded” and just could not regain control of myself.
Imagine if you will the memory that I am telling to you – now picture the memory those people who witnessed this must have went home and recalled. I couldn’t stop heaving and laughing and for the life of me just could not get off the ground. When I finally did, there were still a ton of people around trying to help me and not one of them was my aunt or my cousins. I tried to compose myself and stop laughing, but I just couldn’t. I was pushing through the crowd trying to find them all the while still laughing with tears coming down my face. I couldn’t even look back at the carnage I had just left behind because the guy who threw the light sticks when he tried to catch my aunt was now on all fours cursing us and trying to sift through the trampling crowd around him to pick up all those scattered light sticks. If I were able to speak coherently at that moment in time, I might have offered him an apology, but I thought it better to find a men’s room.
I thought that since I was wearing khaki shorts and you could tell that I had just peed my pants, it might be better to take off my shirt and tuck it into my shorts to hide the wet spot and head for the monorail. We were staying in the Contemporary hotel and you had to take the monorail to get back to the hotel. I was trying to control the laughter and the tears, but people were literally parting the aisles to let me pass and not get close to me. I guess if I saw a guy passing by that smelled like piss and was crying as he walked by – I wouldn’t get too close either. I could see them standing on line as the monorail was pulling up and when they got a look at me – one look said it all: I was a mess.
They proceeded to board and get on the monorail hoping I would miss the one they were on and be forced to take the next one. I was the last person on and tried to shimmy over to where they were when I just gave up and sat down alone still laughing to myself. That’s when I saw myself in the mirror and almost died. When I took my shirt off and tucked it into my shorts to hide the wet spot from peeing my pants, I wasn’t even thinking of the sun poisoning. Here I was with my pasty white/sun poisoning streaked over my body like a zebra with blood red enflamed racing stripes and I was laughing hysterically (by myself mind you) when I heard that voice. An elderly lady gasped at the sight of me and said to her husband for the whole car to hear “Is that retarded boy on the monorail all alone? Do you think he’s alright?” and that was it for me. Thankfully, I didn’t pee my pants for a third time, but I did collapse into a heap of laughter and if there were any fluids left in my body – I surely would have peed them out right there. My aunt later told me that it felt like the longest monorail ride in the history of Disney and there was not a sound except for my hysterical laughter and the people that were whispering to each other and pointing at me. They were afraid to laugh because they didn’t want anyone to know they were with me.
There are times when we laugh at other people and there are times when they laugh at us, but that day was absolutely one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed in my life so I don’t care how many people laughed at me. Granted, I was humiliated and publicly peed my pants twice so they did have a good reason for laughing. Also, I made a scene in Disney of all places and an enemy for life of that poor light stick guy, but until the day that I die it will be one of the funniest memories I have.
For some odd reason, my wife refuses to ever go to Disney World with me. Come on, it’s been years, what are the odds I’d pee my pants again? She also says that you shouldn’t say the word retarded – you should say M.R. but no one in that crowd or on that monorail was confusing me with a Mr. – They actually thought I was retarded. I’m not sure how that should make me feel being mistaken for a retarded person twice, but I guess that if I was walking by and saw an adult man on the ground lying next to a wheelchair while rolling around in the fetal position with tears streaming down his face and he was having fits of hysterical laughter and then literally peeing his pants, I might assume that something was wrong too.