We were waiting in a long line waiting to get on the lurching, fire-breathing Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom, soaked to the skin from the previous Kali River Rapids ride where we had been dashed down a raging river in a circular raft, flung backward over a waterfall, and finally sprayed by grinning tourists crowded onto a bridge that spanned the rapids as we flew under it. Two little old ladies (by which I mean littler and older than I am), who had also just gone through the rapids, were cheerfully hanging their clothes on the railing to dry. “Those are my pants,” said one, pointing to a soggy mess of trousers on the rail. “I had to take mine off, but look, I made a pair of pants out of my jacket!”She did a full turn so we could see how cleverly she had tied her yellow jacket with its arms around her waist, fashioning what looked like a pair of shorts or a mini skirt. I said something about the lengths we go to in the name of fun, and she laughed and said, “You’re never too old to be stupid.”••••In a Japanese restaurant at Epcot, the chef slashed and whirled his knives and percussed two pepper mills. Whack, whack, whack, he sliced a large white onion, flipped the slices into the shape of a perfect cone, poured oil and water to the grill, and when smoke emerged from the top of the cone, announced, “Volcano!”He added two circles of onion – the ears – and the volcano turned into Mickey Mouse. “Mickey Mouse is SMOKING,” he said slyly.••••There were parts of the park that attracted seagulls, which swooped down like parliaments of Harry Potter owls, all screaming “mine, mine, mine, mine” as they did (to mix movies) in “Finding Nemo.”Crowds screamed and ran for cover, while those with slower reflexes looked puzzled as french fries were snatched from their fingers and new Disney World caps were pooped upon.At one rest stop by the water, Bruce tossed duck food to a Yogi Berra seagull sitting 10 feet away on a piling. An enterprising black bird made a perfect midair interception. Riley threw a morsel out of range and got a dirty bird look from Yogi.••••Waiting for the fireworks to start at Epcot, we were entertained by a flock of ducks. They bullied and hipped one another out of the way. Riley and I were feeding them small pieces of a disappointing loaf of bread from the bakery in the French section.”Just let them take it out of your hand,” I said, but at the last minute she’d scream and jerk her arm back. “You can do it – look – hold your hand flat.” Scream, jerk. “They’re going to bite me!””No, they won’t, see how gently they take the bread.” Scream, jerk. “They’re going to peck me! I can’t do it!””Yes, you can. Hold your hand down on the ground; you’ve got it 2 feet over the duck’s head! Hold your hand Down and Flat – you can DO it.” Finally, Riley screamed but did not jerk and the duck plucked the bread from her fingers. “I DID it!” “You DID it!” And she continued to do it until the sky exploded. The ducks knew the feed was over and settled down, unfazed by the earth-shattering, choreographed explosions and their lake being transformed into a sea of fire.Moments after the grand finale the crowd dispersed, the ducks waddled back into the water and I, for one, was relieved that no blood had been spilled.Su Lum is a longtime local whose camera is in her head. This column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.
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