As the end of the school year, as well as the long drives to school, looms, I’m afraid I’ll lose opportunities to delight the girls in my non-fiction fiction stories (you know, stories with no basis in reality, but which are plausible enough that a five-year-old could buy into them. Like the time I lived with Santa Claus — See a couple posts below…)
As you probably know, I work a lot for the Walt Disney Studios (if you didn’t know, click the Bio button up at the top.) The girls (Julianna, 7, and Isabella, 5) love Mickey and Goofy and all of the gang. And, I admit, turns out to be a cool place to work.
Anyhoo… My tale begins:
Julianna: Daddy, tell us a non-fiction fiction story!
Me: Ok. What do you want to hear?
J: Tell us about the time you worked at Disneyland.
Iz: Yeah! Diz-Nee-Land!
I take the next several seconds to vamp while I develop a rough outline of my story. By the way, traffic on the 170 through North Hollywood is murder at 8:00am. But once you hit the 134, it’s usually smooth sailing through Burbank. If you’re heading south on the 5, though, I recommend getting off at Victory and driving past the zoo…
(Did you see what I did there? Vamping?)
Me: Oh, let me tell you about the time I worked at Disneyland. Everything I’m about to tell you…
J: Yeah, Yeah… Totally true. Whatever. Get on with the story.
Me: Tough crowd. Anyway… When I was a kid, I worked at Disneyland.
Iz: How old were you?
Me: I don’t know. Let’s say… 7.
Iz: Julianna! You’re 7! Maybe you can work there, too!
Me: Yeah, probably not. New Child Labor Laws.
Iz: Oh… What’s that?
Me (pushing ahead): So… When I was a kid, I worked at Disneyland and got to be… (pause for the drama)… Dopey!
The Girls: Yay!
J: Daddy, was that because you’re funny looking?
Me: Uh. No.
Iz: Was it because you’re dumb? Hahahahaha!
Me: Girls, please! I was Dopey because I was a kid. They wouldn’t let me be Grumpy or Doc. Though, because of my allergies, they thought about making me Sneezy.
J: I don’t get it.
Me: Sometimes, the jokes are just for me… Moving along… So, one time Cinderella and Snow White…
J: Wait a minute. Dadda, I thought you grew up in Virginia. They don’t have Disneyland in Virginia. It’s in California. Where WE live.
Iz: Yeah. California.
Uh oh. They’re on to me. The fiction part of non-fiction fiction stories is about to be revealed.
Me: Hold on, Honey. Uh… Look at all of this traffic! Dang! I knew I should have gotten off at Victory and gone by the zoo!
J: Oooo, Daddy! Can you tell us about the time you worked at the zoo?
Me: Yes! Did I tell you about the time I worked at the zoo? Everything I’m about to tell you is absolutely true. It all happened. For real…