So, I'm sitting at heathrow, waiting for that long flight back to Australia, and I thought I should tell you about the day that Walt Disney and I didn't see eye to eye on fun.
Sorry, just got sidetracked when the Polish waitress here at the airport yelled from the counter, "who ordered chicken crap?" Yes, I know she means crepe, but I snorted into my tea anyway.
Right, the Disney-fest started promisingly. 6 of us in line, including me in my wheelchair and Chris with his faux leg. We were just about at the front of the line when we were whipped out to join the 'special line' below a picture of a wheelchair. We got to the window and dutifully reported "2 people with disabilities and 4 others".
To which, she replied, "have you got your papers?"
Me: My what now please?
Her: your papers to prove you are in a wheelchair
Me: ummmm.... I keep that special paper under my ass, in metallic form (ok, I didn't actually say this)
Chris: here's my paper (as he puts his pretend leg up in the air)
She made a few phone calls, and after a while, was satisfied that we were not the world's greatest actors, and did in fact require the equipment we were using. However, we were sent to Disney "city hall" to get official Disney-disability papers.
Off we trotted/wheeled/hopped to city hall, where we went through the same questioning. This time, the lady appeared satisfied with me, but she wasn't too comfortable about Chris' reason of "I have a prosthetic leg". Let's hope it was lost in the translation because when she asked him if his leg would get better, we nearly wet our pants laughing. Then, when he put his leg up in the air, she almost wet herself laughing too!!
She then explained that we couldn't go on some of the rides due to lack of access. Once again, none of us could contain ourselves when she, indicated on the map, looked pointedly at me, and said, "you cannot do Peter Pan" I think they may be words to live by.
So, fresh with our Disney-endorsed disabilities, and a warning not to do Peter Pan, we headed off into walt's creation of plastic, tinsel and dreams (unless you dream of Peter pan).
I have to say that, like the rest of France, wheelchair access is very much an afterthought. As a consequence, there were only a few rides we could do, and we were supposed to book to go on them, so had to space our day out with routine. I didn't go on too many but Chris talked me into going on a roller coaster. He promised to sit beside me and help if I lost my balance. I should have known it was going to end differently when he sat beside me on the little train-thing, pulled down the guard, which didn't hold me in in any way, and then yelled out to the crowd, "look, I have my very own midget!"
The roller coaster climbed, then dipped, then climbed again, turned, spun, dipped, climbed. All the while, my hands were firmly planted on the rails like a male gymnast on the rings, and the rest of me was flipping out of control like a slinky! At the first big corner, Chris grabbed me like he was carting a sack of potatoes and we screamed our way around the ride. So, I have one question: Walt, why the hell did you think that would be fun?
By the way, I only went so I could go on the 'teacups'. They were closed due to an upgrade. I bet they will reopen as the 'cafe latte glasses'.
Speaking of cafe latte, I better go