We spent our second day at Disney World, even ate a meal where characters came out to meet us. I met Cinderella's "ugly" stepsisters, but they weren't really ugly. They were both quite gorgeous--their twenty-year-old faces outshone everyone in the room! I kept thinking, if they're ugly . . . what will Cinderella look like?
"Holy cow," I said. "I've never seen stepsisters that are quite so beautiful."
One of them responded on a haughty voice. "We hear that a lot. But my aren't we beautiful! More beautiful than that brat Cinderella anyways."
"That's putting it nicely," her sister said. They both started snorting and laughing so loudly everyone around looked at them and us. When they flounced away, I couldn't stop thinking about how much they got into character. The crazy thing though is that the act came so naturally I wondered if they were even acting.
So, we walked around The Magic Kingdom Park and instead of it just buzzing with people, it buzzed with a massive amount of bugs. I had such a ball I didn't notice them until The Zombie Elf (my two-year-old boy) and The Hippie started screaming.
"You're okay. Just stop crying about it," my Viking father said.
Now, if you remember anything about my dad, it's that he is one tough fellow. I swear the guy was raised like Gaston. Remember how Gaston ate five dozen eggs to be roughly the size of a barge? Well, that's probably what my dad eats because he's one tough guy.
It's even been medically proven--that my dad's tough. He has this thing called dupuytren syndrome. It's where the tissue in your hand is so tough that it goes weird. My dad went to a doctor about it. He had a few surgeries (which he never cried about.) But you know what the doctor said? He told my dad that some Vikings had dupuytren syndrome and now if people get it, it practically proves they have Viking blood.
I gasped when I heard what the doctor said. It made perfect sense why my dad is so manly. Why he never gets seasick. Why he can eat raw eggs. Why he doesn't like it that his grandson is afraid of bugs.
So, the only children not afraid of the bugs, were The Scribe (who kept catching them), and Dr. Jones (my one-year-old who wanted to eat them.)
"Don't touch them," The Hippie screamed. "They might bite you."
"But they're cool," The Scribe said. "They have two heads." And it was true. Each bug looked like a Siamese twin.
I bent down to console The Zombie Elf. A bug landed on my arm. I stared at it, but The Zombie Elf screamed in terror.
"I said you're all right," The Viking said. "You're a boy. Be tough. You're all right!"
The bug on my arm was quite disgusting. It reminded me of what the ugly stepsisters should have looked like. The thing walked weirdly on my arm and that's when I noticed it. It wasn't one bug . . . it was two . . . and they had the nerve, the shear gall . . . to have SEX ON MY ARM! I screamed, looking around. Two headed bugs filled the air everywhere. It was like a horror movie where the people won't stop trying to evade death AND be seductive.
My dad looked at me and crossed his arms. "Why are you screaming?" he asked flatly. "I expected it from the little girls, but not from--"
"I screamed because it's mating season!"
"And that's your personal call?" Cade laughed, clearly not getting the point.
I pointed to the bugs on my arm. "Look at it. Just look at it!"
"Oh my word," my sweet and proper mother said. "Look . . . she's right." My mom put her hand to her heart and gasped. "Look what it's doing . . . on our daughter's arm!"
Things went in slow motion after that. I didn't move, so appalled with what happened around me. I felt like Jasmine and Aladdin, suddenly aware of a whole new world. At that moment, I noticed the look on The Zombie Elf's face. It went from fear, to concern, then resolve.
He stepped from my arms. He stepped so hard, I should call it a double stomp. He faced me like a superhero and stood no longer bawling. He glared at the sexy bugs on my arm. They would have turned to dust if he'd had Jack Jack's laser vision. I wondered what he thought as he glared at those bugs.
Then that child, the boy who'd been afraid of bugs, raised his hand. And right in front of the Peter Pan ride, my boy didn't become a Lost boy, instead he turned into a man.
I must admit, he knew I felt defiled, yuckier than sinning on a Sunday. My boy knew I was a damsel who needed saving and that's why those two bugs didn't have a chance. He smacked them so hard it hurt me too. The bugs died right on the upper portion of the back of my forearm. It was a quick death, yet something I'll always remember because I've seen death before and whenever it happens, it's something that changes you forever.
The bugs fell off my arm. They were still entwined in love as they spiraled to the magical Disney ground below them.
"Ewe," my mother said.
"On no." The Scribe's bottom lip pouted in worry.
"Gross," The Hippie said.
"Wow." Cade's eyes grew wide.
My viking father patted The Zombie Elf on the back. He looked every bit the viking I knew him to be. "Good on ya, boy," he said. "That's how real men deal with bugs."
"Here, Elisa," my mom said and started wiping my arm with a baby wipe.
I looked up at a sign hanging above us. "Where the memories begin," I said. Boy was that true. I wondered if boys always turn into men right before they go on the Peter Pan ride.
"Mama, don't you feel bad for that two headed bug?" The Scribe asked.
Her eyes glistened sadly. She's such a bug lover. I stared at the deformed bodies lying at my feet and shook my head. "No. No, not really."
"Why?" she asked, completely shocked by my callous response.
I nodded to their bodies. "Because, that would be quite the way to go."
We left the two bugs, crushed in love's final embrace and that was the last time The Zombie Elf screamed about the bugs around us (at least until we got to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids attraction.)
So, we went on Peter Pan's ride, but I knew we'd never have to worry about The Zombie Elf going to Neverland. He's too sophisticated for that, after all he is a bug slayer!