Bob Sehlinger, founder of the Unofficial Guides Series, shares with us his sense of humor in every Unofficial Guide. Today, he delivers his latest installment of The Importance of Being Goofy, which has been a staple in The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World over the years.
You see, what really makes writing about Walt Disney World fun is that the Disney people take everything so seriously. Day to day, they debate momentous decisions with far-ranging consequences: Will Pluto look silly in a silver cape? Have we gone too far with The Little Mermaid’s cleavage? With the nation’s drug problem, a constant concern, should we have a dwarf named Dopey?
Unofficially, Bob thinks that having a sense of humor is important, and it’s probably necessary that you, too, pack a good dose of humor when visiting the parks, making sure you have the most fun possible at Walt Disney World. Today’s installment of The Importance of Being Goofy explains all about the time Wendy and the Lost Boys went missing for three days. Here we go!
Smedley Plotz, principal of the Disney Characters Junior Academy, is busy being bureaucratic when his secretary, Miss Nowitol, announces, “Wendy and the Lost Boys are here to see you, sir.”
Plotz straightens his tie and draws himself up in his chair. “Very well, send them in.”
A modest procession pads in and stands sheepishly, facing his desk. “You’ve been missing for three days!” Plotz exclaims. “We couldn’t reach anybody in Never Land and no one knew where you were! When you didn’t show up for class, we immediately issued an APB for Hook, Smee, and the crocodile, thinking they had something to do with your disappearance.”
“They all had verifiable alibis,” Miss Nowitol volunteers. “Hook and Smee were booked at Chippendales, where the captain was taking tips on his hook between bumps and grinds. The croc was at the dentist for laser whitening.”
“For three days?” the principal interjects.
“Lots of teeth, sir,” Miss Nowitol advises. “Crocodiles are distinguished from alligators by the fourth tooth of the lower jaw protruding over the upper lip,” she adds, apropos of nothing.
“Oh, Miss Nowitol, whatever would I do without you and your pointless factoids? Anyway. You there—start explaining.”
“It was my fault,” says Lost Boy Cubby. “Wendy wanted to go to Never Land by the usual route—you know, ‘left at the North Star and straight till morning.’ But I wanted to try out the GPS on my new iPhone, so we used that instead.”
“I told you to get an Android, but noooo!” interjects Lost Boy Nibs. Plotz gives Nibs a withering look before resuming his interrogation. “Cubby . . . you were saying?”
“I didn’t know it, but I only had North America, South America, Central America, and Europe loaded on the GPS, so we ended up in La Tierra Nunca, off the coast of Honduras, by way of London. Every time we tried to head for the North Star, the GPS said, ‘Please turn around as soon as possible. After the monument marking the death of Andrew Stanton’s directing career, please take Exit 3, La Tierra Nunca.’ ”
As if competing on a quiz show, Miss Nowitol blurts out, “La Tierra Nunca is Spanish for ‘Never Land!’ ”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah—then what?” grouses the principal, clearly exasperated.
“Well,” Cubby continues, “We stayed in London for a day and a half while I downloaded the entire known universe into my GPS software. Then I programmed Never Land as our destination, but the GPS said to go to Pluto.”
“Pluto? How did he get mixed up in this?”
“Not Pluto the dog, Pluto the planet.”
“Pluto is not a planet,” Miss Nowitol smugly states. “According to astronomers, it’s just a big ball of ice.”
“Miss Nowitol, please!” Plotz entreats, his patience fading fast. “But it has five moons,” Wendy retorts.
“I mooned Ursula the Sea Witch last week,” offers Lost Boy Slightly.
“Enough . . . about Pluto . . . and MOONS!!!”
“I asked the GPS for an alternate route,” Cubby resumes, “but when it was recalculating, it showed there were tolls involved somewhere between the Milky Way and Andromeda. We didn’t have much money, plus we weren’t sure whether we needed exact change.”
“And we didn’t know what currency they take,” Wendy adds.
“So we made it back to Earth and went to the bank around the corner from the school to sort it all out,” Cubby concludes. “Next Pete—the academy’s truancy officer—nabbed us once we got outside.”
“This is a most egregious breach of the code of conduct,” Plotz declares gravely. “Until I determine a suitable punishment, I’m taking away your phone.”
“We don’t have it,” Wendy replies. “We loaned it to Alice, who gave it to the White Rabbit. He said he was late. For a very important date. With Hannah Montana.”