Falling out of Swiss Family Robinson Tree House:
Many of you remember this attraction, it stood tall separating the raw, untamed reaches of Adventureland from the handsome, Victorian splendor that is New Orleans Square. It was not exact, but familiar to the tree house in the film, spreading cheer and great area music to all who passed beneath it's canopy.
I loved this tree house, as it was the tree house I never had. I never had a tree house because I was always afraid I would fall out. I am not the best carpenter, although I do like the jeans with that little loop for the hammer. That is where I keep my stuffed Lowly Worm toy. Enough on that.
One day I was up in the SFRTH (too long of a title to be turned into an acronym?)with my little brother, let's call him The Cos. We were reenacting a scene from the cult-classic A Day at Disneyland, if you have seen it, you know the one: Mr. Smee is searching high and low
for Captain Hook and climbs the tree house for a better look (it's a bloomin' crows nest!). Well as we tore across the bridges looking for the high point, I must have been distracted
by the coconut bombs because looked back at couldn't find the Cos. He was gone, and also, the tree was empty. A normally end-less southern California sunny sky was anything but on this dark Wednesday. Clouds seemed to be swirling a little fast for our distance from the coast
and it looked as though it would rain. Either rain, or do that thing the sky did in Ghost Busters during the coming of Gozer.
I panicked. With all my might I tried to break into the little hut playing the piano. I finally found a weak plank, but it was beyond the allowed walking path. I took this biggest risk of my life and climbed over the railing, my white-knuckled grip was the only thing between me
and a bunch of broken bones. I am sure you read the title, I slipped. As soon as I began my unplanned decent for the ground I knew it. I could feel the lightness of air and heaviness of my body, not a good feeling when the ground below is solid. I don't remember much of the fall after about half way, but do remember crumpling up like a pile of shirts at the bottom.
The Cos was trying to ring me via cell phone, but since cell phones were not very popular at the time of this incident, I missed the call. It was nearly pitch black out, and there was nobody in sight. No body. Although I still don't look right when I walk, the fall was worth what happened next. I saw them come out in two's, spirits emerged from the exit of the Haunted Mansion. Pirates belayed down from the balcony of Club 33. And as a finale, Walt him self was leaning on the large piece of petrified wood along the banks of Rivers of America. This is the extent of what I remember.
I was able to see all this from my pathetic position on the ground. It was like something out of the movies, or my imagination. Imagination. It is a funny thing. At Disneyland, they play it up big, like it actually means something or is important to the progress and morale
of man. But at the hospital, imagination is a "concerning" thing.
As it turns out, I never fell from the tree house. I actually ended up passing out on one of the bridges due to lack of properly hydrating my self that day. The doctors said, "too many chocolate covered bananas, not enough agua." He actually said agua. The only thing they couldn't explain was the missing piece of fabric from my brand new t-shirt. All of the above, according to the M.D.'s, evolved from the small concussion I received when my head hit the ground. And I believed them, until the next time I visited the park.
2 years later, when I finally felt like there was no way the whole falling from the tree, ghosts, pirates, Walt thing could have happened thanks to some very convincing therapists, I was brought to my knees. There, just below the area where I had supposedly passed out, hanging from a rogue tree branch was the shred of screen-printed fabric from my GAP brand Speed Dragon t-shirt.
I have since made attempts to seek help, but with no avail. I hope that when I get to the park for the Half Marathon weekend some of the questions causing night terrors and hysterics can be answered.
As for the Cos, he is now working his way towards a position in Imagineering.