Friday, April 20, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 7

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on November 29th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 38 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 38

Reality's great

Twisting it is a lot more fun


When you are little, you are taught that lying is bad. Growing up, you realize that it’s sometimes necessary. Then there are times when it’s just plain fun, because sometimes a lie can get you to the happiest place on Earth.

Our first trip to Disneyland was thwarted some months ago when my youngest son woke up that day with a fever. Our rescheduled trip was nearly canceled when the weatherman called for a 30 percent chance of rain and we found ourselves in a downpour.

“He lied,” Ron said.

As we made our way through the rain on the freeway, Ron, who was driving, wanted to turn back and head home. He asked me to check the weather in Anaheim to see if the rain would clear up along the way. Let’s not call my response a lie, exactly, but the first in a series of Reality Distortions. The truth was that the weather called for the same 30 percent chance of rain we were getting here, which in actuality was a 100 percent chance.

Reality Distortion No. 1: “Looks like clear weather up ahead.”

Reality Distortion No. 2 shortly followed.

“Don’t they close down a lot of the attractions because of rain?” Ron asked.

“No, most everything is covered, and it says right here on the website that rain has no effect on the attractions.”

Of course their website didn’t say that. I actually had based that on some websites that suggested a visit in the rain means way shorter lines. Shorter wait times at Disneyland can never be a bad thing, even if it means getting a little wet.

Reality Distortion No. 3 came as we got through the worst of the rain and closer to Disneyland. Because of last-minute circumstances that sometimes cancel our best-laid plans, we rarely tell our kids where we are going so we don’t have to disappoint them if it doesn’t happen.

But as we neared Disneyland and we spied them staring longingly at the billboards that might as well have said, “You wish you were here,” as far as my kids were concerned, we couldn’t resist having fun.

Ron told them that we were actually going to the grand opening of a restaurant that belonged to Food Network chef Guy Fieri and that I was going to interview him for a story. They love his Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show like it’s food porn—all the artery-clogging food I don’t allow them to have—so they were pretty pleased. Not Disneyland pleased, but pleased nonetheless.

When we got to the hotel, which was right next to Disneyland, the kids lamented out loud that they wouldn’t be able to take it if our room had a view of the park. It did. But an even greater thing happened. Something so great that even my own twisted mind couldn’t believe it. Our hotel was host to a national beauty pageant, and so there were literally hundreds of little girls walking around with tiaras and carrying sashes.

I turned to my three boys and admitted I had a confession. Reality Distortion No. 4: “We’re not going to a restaurant opening. I’m actually here to cover this pageant for an assignment. But hey, Guy Fieri is hosting!”

Their faces fell. My son Chase put his head down and said quietly, “It’s OK, Mom. I’ll just read this book.”

My heart ached. We had to confess. So we told them we were going to Disneyland. Then Chase exclaimed, “My friends are never going to believe I met Guy Fieri at Disneyland!”

Oops. Slight clarification. Still, Disneyland on its own was enough.

We grabbed a First Time Visitor badge for 4-year-old Sebastian and got VIP treatment. Lots of cast members asked him about his visit, they sat us at the front of nearly every ride, and the rain threat kept enough people away that we never waited more than five minutes for any attraction.

Though I had been distorting reality all day, Disneyland is the biggest offender. I mean, that’s what it’s built on. Sebastian getting the VIP treatment was a distortion of reality, too. He couldn’t possibly know that the reason he was getting so much attention in a place of so much magic was because he was wearing a badge that advertised “It’s my first time, please make it special.” At least I thought.

When we were about to board the Star Tours ride, we were once again held back and placed in a particular row. And when a 3-D Darth Vader appeared in front of us, he reached straight out to Sebastian and told C-3PO that he was aware the Rebel Spy was on board. Then he flashed a picture of Sebastian on the screen. The rest of the ride was all about getting the rebel spy—Sebastian—safely to his destination.

On the way out Sebastian kicked the floor and said, “I wish I didn’t have this badge. I was almost killed.”

“No, no Sebastian, you couldn’t—” I tried to explain, but Sebastian just held up his little palm and said firmly, “No, Mom. You don’t know. Darth Vader is evil.”

I don’t know? Me, who would’ve majored in Star Wars in college if such a major existed? I don’t know?

It was 10:30 p.m. and becoming clear it was time to stop distorting reality and get grounded, but I knew one last distortion was in order. I bought him a light saber. You know, for protection. He built it himself and chose one like Darth Vader’s—because, I can only assume, what better way to fight your enemy than with his own weapon?

With that Sebastian announced, “The next ride is to the hotel.” And he curled up in his stroller and quickly fell asleep hugging his light saber, truly in a happy place.

Shelly Cone’s family makes sure she spends her fair share of time on the pranked side of things at home. Send comments to the executive editor at

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