Now, I'll grant you that, despite never even laying eyes on The Top Three exhibits/featured activities of the Museum, and despite the crowd so thick you had to take a number to blink your very eyelids, we managed a pleasant four-and-a-half hour and left full of memories, learnin' and Forty-leven dollars a slice cheese pizza. Didn't lose a knucklehead, didn't break anything (couldn't get close enough to anything to break it), AND, we
We got ourselves some traffic up here in Chicago. The 50-miles-each way rides to and from the museum amounted to some FOUR AND A HALF HOURS total time in the vehicle, with the blithely-gathered children crammed in the back seat, sugared-up good and ready for adventure. Long about the time we got the 4-Runner out onto the tollway, the low hum of youthful vitality behind us began its inevitable climb, passing straight through noisy fracas and cacaphonous din to climax at a thunderous roar punctuated with blood-curdling screeches. Have I mentioned I haven't been sleeping lately? And Mama has her cranky on. And her headache. And Daddy ain't feelin' too great either on accounta the plentitudenous ragweed around here has his sinuses so loaded up he breathes like Darth Vader wearing a snorkel. Which may explain why I don't sleep, come to think of it. Anyway, Al, being the master of mollification, proposed that the kids play (airquote) The Quiet Game for the rest of the drive. As you can imagine, this idea illicited a lackluster-at-best response from the kiddies. In the vein of, Yeah, right, but hopped up on a little extra sarcasm for good measure.
"Can we listen to Disney Radio, Dad?" chimes the 11 year old.
"Oh! Disney Radio!?" I think to myself, "They have DISNEY radio? Zowie where has THAT been all my life? I've been listening to the same WEE SING cassette with Bean for so long I can sing all five choruses of 'Who Did Who Did Who Did Who Did Who Did Swaaaallow Jo-Jo-Jonah?' more readily than I can remember my own name, and there's a RADIO STATION that plays Disney music I coulda been listening to all this time? Sign me up! When you wish upon a staaaaaaaaaaar!" And then my mind goes all ... Put 'em together and whaddaya got? Bippity boppity boo...Oh! and Zippity doo daaaaaaaaaah, zippity ay and Just a spoon full of sugAH helps the medicine go down..." And I'm all set to fire us up some Disney Radio and have ourselves a delightful, sweetly nostalgic family sing-along, just riding down the highway watching the prairie roll by as images of Mary Poppins and Cinderelly dance in our heads.
Only hey y'all? Mary Poppins wasn't invited to this Disney parade of hits. And Cinderally's not there either, unless she and the other Disney divas of yore have traded in their empire-waisted satin and velvet ballgowns for leopard print tube tops and studded leather belts. And they aren't singing sweet little ballads of wishes and dreams and such while little bluebirds fly around their heads, either. No, the ladies of Disney Radio have a decidely edgier vibe now. A vibe that will make you want to bang. your. forehead. on. the. dashboard. until. your. ears. fall. off. Have you heard this?
OH MY GRANNY. All I know is I sat in that car and I listened for 3 solid hours to an 11 year old girl - and occasionally a 9 year old boy - singing every single word of every single song that came on (and I will tell you I THANKED MY LUCKY STARS that Bean was asleep for nearly three hours of it and I was able to engage her in distracting conversation and/or her apple juice juicebox for the other hour.) In my haste to deliver what I'd imagined to be a pure, clean, happy little innocent family moment, I'd switched the dial to what would seem to have been a Hannah Montana-thon, thereby subjecting myself and other members of my immediate family to the sounds of a famous-fathered synthesized-within-an-inch-of-her-life teeny-bopper rappin' about "Pumpin' Up The Party" and "We Got the Party With Us" and "He Needs Me" and "You and Me Together" to a flippity, bumping hip hop beat that NEVER. LET. UP. Not even for a minute.
Round about the top of hour 3, I did hear one song that didn't revolve around the themes of partyin' and doin' what we wanna do or bein' everything he needs, and it was all about how he can stand under my umber-ella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh. Which, okay, innocent enough, just as long as everybody keeps on their Paddington Bear raincoats and ladybug boots, right? Still made me want to bang my head on the dashboard though.