Did you hear the one about the quadriplegic who was trapped in a boat on the It’s a Small World ride at Disney World?
Imagine a small world. Now imagine it getting even smaller as you’re trapped in a tiny boat, surrounded by a chorus of happy maniacal pint sized international figurines who slowly begin to torture you like some straight laced version of Chuckie until you finally crack under the pressure.
And that’s not the only pressure you’re feeling. Sitting amidst a wall to wall body of water, the pressure on your bladder grows ever mightier, the need to relieve your mind, your urinary tract, indeed, your sanity mounts with each passing moment as you search in vain for a sharp object to gouge your eardrums with, because if you have to hear one. more. chorus…
It’s a world of torture a world of fears
And it feels as though I’ve been here for years
I need help – light a flare
I just soiled my underwear
It’s a small…small…getting smaller…Oh, please help me Jesus…world
That’s what actually happened to a quadriplegic (minus the soiled underwear). He was stranded on the ride for 40 minutes as emergency workers tried to free him. They couldn’t because of the location of his wheelchair. So, after everyone else was moved to safety, he was left to endure the Disney nightmare. Ride operators reportedly scrambled to turn off the blaring music and moving characters to no avail, leaving the poor man, who suffered from dysreflexia, a condition common to those with spinal cord injuries that is brought on by overstimulation and stress, possibly leading to stroke and even death, to wait it out. And that’s not all.
He had to pee.
During what must have been the longest 40 minutes ever, his hopes must have grown ever dimmer, his world, his bladder, ever smaller.
In fact, he probably started to hallucinate. I’m willing to bet he saw things in there that would make Tim Burton bristle. The French probably mocked him while the cute sombrero clad Mexican children hurled insults in their native tongue. It was not a world of wonder that day, my friend.
Row, row, row, your boat…in a Disney Small World of torture…not so gently…upstream….wait…without a paddle!
At last, he was freed.
So Sir, you’ve finally made it off the “It’s a Small World” ride – what are you gonna do now?
And sue, he did. To the tune of the not-so-small sum of $8,000. And the court ruled in his favor. Good on him, I say! Because from here on out, he will forever be left with the indelible images of that dark cavernous waterway, that song…that godforsaken song echoing in his brain…that drunk hippo.
I hope he used the money on something that calmed his nerves. Like a vacation. But where? So many options.
It’s a small world, after all.