Editor’s Note: This marks the conclusion of Richard Bernato’s hilarious series which examined whether it is, in fact, a “crime” to over-plan your Disney vacation. The verdict is the reflection of the votes cast by those who read Richard’s penultimate piece, which summarized both sides’ arguments. Please join me in thanking Rich for such an entertaining series, which helped us all rediscover that little piece of Fred Farkle in any Disney fan’s heart.
by Richard Bernato
Lawyers, Farkle’s family, Fred, Mickey Mouse, other witnesses, and curious onlookers are pacing in the hallway outside of Judge Julia’s courtroom. Suddenly a reporter from the Orlando Times yells, “The verdict is in!”
Everyone rushes towards the now opening courtroom doors. A TV reporter thrusts her microphone in front of Fred Farkle.
Reporter: Mr. Farkle, are you worried? What are you feeling right now?
Before Fred can answer, his lawyer grabs him and pulls him away. Everyone sits.
Bailiff: All rise for Judge Julia!
Everyone rises. Judge Julia strides in. She adjusts her glasses, looks at some papers and nods to the Bailiff.
Bailiff: You may all be seated.
Judge Julia: Bailiff, do you have the votes?
Bailiff: I do your Honor. (He hands the tally to her).
Judge Julia opens the tally sheet. She peers at Fred over the top of her glasses. A TV reporter begins to whisper comments into her microphone. Judge Julia spots this. She pounds her gavel.
Judge Julia: Silence in my court! Mr. Farkle please rise.
Farkle and his lawyer stand.
Judge Julia: Mr. Farkle, many people have followed this trial closely. They have parsed the testimony of all witnesses. And …. (She pauses for a little drama), by a vote of nearly three to one you have been found NOT Guilty!
Court erupts in cheers. Fred’s lawyer gives him a hug. Mickey Mouse runs around the court throwing pixie dust. Someone starts playing “It’s a Small World” on his iPhone. Even Fred’s family smiles and they gather round him for a group hug.
Judge Julia: (pounds her gavel) Settle down everyone! Mr. Farkle, the Court of Public Opinion has cleared you of the plaintiffs’ accusations. You are free to go but before you do I do advise you to perhaps temper your zeal according to the heat, humidity, crowds, and sensibilities of others. I would like to see you in my chamber in a few moments.
Everyone rises as Judge Julia does while she exits her courtroom. The Farkles, lawyers, and witnesses exit to the hallway. The TV reporter breathlessly rushes off to Fred.
TV Reporter: Mr. Farkle, any comments for our waiting audience?!
Fred: Yes! (He grabs the microphone and stares into the camera). I’m going to Disney World!
Everyone cheers. Fred’s wife raises her husband’s hand, then points to herself and to her family. She gestures that ALL of them are going to Disney World.
Fred Farkle taps on Judge Julia’s door.
Judge Julia: Come in Fred, sit down.
Fred Farkle: Yes your Honor?
Judge Julia: Congratulations Fred, plaintiff could not prove their case for sure. I wanted to ask you a question myself.
Fred Farkle: Yes?
Judge Julia: Well you see I am taking my grandchildren to Walt Disney World next year. What advice do you have for me?
Fred Farkle: (Smiles). Well of course Your Honor. Perhaps you’d like to be my first client in FRED’S FANTASMIC MAGICAL ADVENTURE Inc.? Here is my website. Here is the app I am developing and ….
(Judge Julia buries her face in her hands.)
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.