Haunted Fairy Castle ~ Installment 15
I finally found a solution to the Cinderella Problem. The Caterpillar from “Alice in Wonderland” retired today. He was promoted to a job flipping burgers in Mickey’s Toon Town. It was my job to fold up his costume and deliver it to the drycleaner. As I was dusting off his hookah, a brilliant idea flashed into my mind. Why are we firing Cinderella? Because she smokes. What does the Caterpillar do all day? Sit on a mushroom and smoke. (Which has upsetting implications, if you think about it.) I nearly flew down the hallway, I was so excited! When I told my boss my idea, all she said was that that would be acceptable. But secretly, I think she was proud of me.
Cinderella was delighted. The Caterpillar earns much better wages than any of the fairy princesses. This is because there are a lot of would-be starlets out there who are willing to be fairy princesses on the cheap, whereas very few actresses have caterpillar aspirations. I told Cinderella that I still hope she’ll stop smoking someday, but I know she has to go about it in her own way. She thanked me for understanding, and showed me the nicotine patch under her puffed, lacy sleeve.
Now I feel just like a fairy godmother who transformed a servant girl into a magical princess, except that in my case, I guess I transformed a magical princess into a caterpillar. Still, it’s a heady feeling.
I kissed Peter Pan in Tarzan’s Treehouse today. It was magical.
Today, I saw the ghost in the Fairy Castle. He was floating around among the glittering chandeliers on the ceiling, admiring the view through the fairy windows. Far below, my boss and a team of ghost experts were arguing with him, telling him it wasn’t anybody’s fault he fell off his ladder, worker’s comp doesn’t prevent clumsiness, Disney can’t be held accountable, and therefore should not have to put up with ghosts on the premises. My boss was at her argumentative best. She even offered the ghost a special deal, whereby if he relocates to the Haunted Mansion, Disney will tolerate his presence, and even put him on severance pay.
The ghost ignored them all.
He swirled around through crystal fountains of light, and beams of rainbow-colored sunshine falling from airy windows, and suddenly, I saw things from the ghost’s point of view. If I were a ghost, I would never want to live in the Haunted Mansion. Who wants to reside in a dark, dreary place infested by mechanical rats, where no one pays the slightest attention to you because, even if you’re a ghost, you’re only one of a million?
The Fairy Castle, on the other hand, is clean, it’s sanitary, the puppets are uncommonly friendly, and any time you want attention, all you have to do is materialize in front of an obliging tourist to cause a deeply satisfying panic attack. I looked out at the sea of glittering silver fish; at the clouds of white butterflies shimmering in the air, and I realized that if you have to spend eternity somewhere, the Fairy Castle is not a bad option.
When I got home, Peter Pan was cooking in the kitchen, and the savory smell of spaghetti drifted throughout the apartment. I picked up my survey, which is due tomorrow, and on the line about what I’ve learned in my first month at Disney, wrote, “I’ve learned to see the magic.”