by Richard Bernato
Editor’s Note: Last week, we “heard” the opening statements from each side of this case, which is questioning whether someone can be guilty of OVER planning a Disney vacation. And our reader poll was a “hung jury” when it comes to whose opening was more persuasive! So stay tuned, and remember–YOU will be asked to serve as the jury when the case is over!
Judge Julia enters the courtroom. Bailiff bids everyone to rise. She sits.
JUDGE JULIA: You may be seated.
JUDGE JULIA: You should both know that there is no way I will dismiss this case. I am not sure if a “crime” has been committed, but I am sure that the issue that is before this court is a legitimate one. Millions of people come to Walt Disney World each year and I have no doubt that a good percentage of them either benefit from or suffer because of the Fred Farkles of the world, of Walt Disney World. So yes, this case will go forward.
(She pounds her gavel). Miss Francis, call your first witness.
PHILOMENA FRANCIS: Your honor the plaintiff calls Ms. Fanny Farkle.
Fanny Farkle, Mrs. Fred Farkle, rises from the plaintiff’s desk, casts a sidewise glance at her husband and walks to the witness stand where she is duly sworn in.
PHILOMENA FRANCIS: Mrs. Farkle,
FANNY: That’s Dr. Farkle.
PHILOMENA: Yes I knew that and was about to ask you what your occupation was besides housewife.
FANNY: One thing I am not is a housewife, not that there’s anything wrong with being one if that is what you choose to be. Yes, I am a wife, Fred’s wife, and he is MY husband, for now anyway. I have a Ph.D. in modern European history with a specialty in World War II.
PHILOMENA: World War II? As an expert in World War II would you say there are any metaphors that apply to this case?
Defense lawyer rises.
PHILPOT: Your honor, objection. This is a serious civil suit, not a literature lesson. Metaphors certainly need not be used in these proceedings!
JUDGE JULIA: I will overrule that objection counsel. Metaphors are meant to help us make sense of the world. If Mrs. Farkle, excuse me, Dr. Farkle, can offer an apt metaphor we can use it as a baseline for conversation. It will be up to your skills Mr. Philpot, to refute these. Please proceed Ms. Francis.
PHILOMENA: Dr. Farkle, World War II?
FANNY: Well several could apply. But I can give you two. One would be D-Day.
PHILOMENA: And the other?
FANNY: General George Patton.
PHILOMENA: Please explain!
FANNY: Even the most casual viewer of the History Channel or a high school American history student is familiar with the events leading up to the D-Day invasion of France. The detail invested in landing our forces on the most heavily armed and defended beach front in the war was minute and painstaking. General Eisenhower and his planners had every issue accounted for; weather, speed of landing craft; the English Channel tides; positions of enemy men and artillery. Any combination of missteps would have spelled doom for the invasion forces and our defeat there might have changed the course of all history.
My husband Fred treats every vacation to Walt Disney World like a D-Day invasion: We are up at 0700, Francine may use the lavatory from 0701 to 0707, Fabio may use the lavatory from 0708 to 0711, since after all my husband reasons, a teenage girl MIGHT need the bathroom a minute more than a younger son.
We of course have prepaid our meals and of course each meal, each snack, each break has been inputted into the mother of all EXCEL spreadsheets so that no time at all is ever wasted! Oh I could go on and on …
PHILOMENA: Perhaps later, Dr. Farkle…. and General Patton?
FANNY: Again, I am hoping that Your Honor has read about or has at least seen “Patton” with George Scott. Assuming you have, Patton is this bigger than life, straight-as-an-arrow zealot whose single-minded commitment to achieve his military targets is never compromised no matter the human toll.
Well my husband, when he is a “civilian,” that is — not planning, actually in, or debriefing from our most recent trip to Disney World, is a very nice man. He is a loving husband, a devoted and supportive father, and a popular friend and co-worker.
But when he is on his mission it’s as if as Patton has occupied HIM! The only thing he doesn’t have is a swagger stick or a cattle prod to move us all this way and that. He becomes all – consumed with wringing every last drop of what is supposed to be a wonderful magical experience and changing it into a military campaign.
PHILOMENA: And this behavior, Dr. Farkle, I take it has soured you and your children not only on your husband but also on Walt Disney World.
FANNY (Smiles, then frowns, hesitates): Oh it has only soured us on Walt Disney World in the sense of what it has spawned: This man, my husband needs to be exorcized of the demons he has created for himself and what it has done to our family vacation time together.
PHILOMENA: Your Honor I’d like the opportunity to recall the witness at a later time.
JUDGE JULIA: Very well. I will rule on that when and if you ask. Mr. Philpot would you like to cross examine?
What metaphor would YOU use to describe your Disney vacation planning? Post your thoughts, and one lucky person will be selected to receive a WDW Radio Mystery Ticket! Winner will be chosen Wednesday March 20.
Rich may be the only blogger who; had an ORIGINAL Davy Crockett coonskin cap (and wishes he still had it); watched Disney’s Wonderful World of Color in black and white; watched the Disneyland opening ceremonies on that same black and white; AND rode the original It’s a Small World in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. In addition, he is a college professor, and a grandfather of six whom he is thoroughly dis-doctrinating as often as possible.