It is April Fool’s day, and I forgot to plan anything. I suspect I was distracted by the great spaghetti harvest this year.
Also, I think I appreciate more fully why television shows with a narrative thread have “previously on” segments. They are as much for the writers as for the viewers. Geesh. Where were we again? That’s right. Disneyland.
Glumly the travelers turn north. Disneyland was NOT the happiest place on Earth. They spoke little, and in these worlds of concrete, food was much harder to come by, so they were losing weight and becoming less and less pleasant to be around, it was fortunate that only one of the two spoke any English.
They moved along, but they really no longer knew why they were doing it. They had lost any spizzerinctum they had at the gates of a strange kingdom where people lined up on lighted ships and waved at crowds. Even knowing that they were very near the end of their task didn’t help much. There were weeks of travel to come afterwards to return to their yellow cushion and the river. And then what? They’d still be laughed at by people who had never strayed so far as the Jimnic Mountains, much less seen one of those metallic monsters.
At last they saw signs of a place called “Six Flags Magic Mountain.” Marshall wondered if flags were some sort of currency, or offering needed for the Mountain, but didn’t say much, since Hector was especially touchy lately, more angry at himself for their mistake than Marshall had been.
Dutifully, they followed the signs. As they approached, they didn’t really see anything that looked like a mountain. They saw what looked like a graveyard of enormous creatures, the spines of which were twisted and exposed. There were several of these skeletons littering a large field between a couple of towers. There was a resting place where a large number of the metallic monsters lay dormant.
They saw no metallic trees of any kind. Both were becoming anxious that this wasn’t the place, and that they were no closer to completing their quest than they were to growing wheels and becoming one of the vile creatures that roamed the black stone ribbons.
With heavy hearts, the approached the gates at the edge of the graveyard. A human person sat in a small house. She said “Welcome to Six Flags Magic Mountain.”
Marshall stepped forward. From a hiding place he draw out the bundle of sticks, and placed them on the counter. He said, “We have come very far because of these things. Is this where they belong?”
The lady reached out to the keys. she turned them over and saw the tag. She looked quizzically at the odd companions who had brought them. “Yes, she said. “These are from here. Thanks.” She slid the keys into a drawer.
The two just stood there, waiting expectantly. Surely there would be more to this transaction. Did she know how far they had traveled?
Marshall broke the awkward silence at long last. “Is there really a mountain of magic? One that grants wishes or favors or something?”
The girl looked really confused. “This is Magic Mountain. It’s an amusement park. There’s no actual mountain. You’d like a reward? Is that it? Well, I can offer you a 10% discount to ride the rides, which includes Hurricane Harbor. Did you bring bathing suits? Of course, I have no idea how you’d ride them, they’re not really built to accommodate… people of your sizes and shapes.”
The two of them just stood there. Not since the Griswolds had arrived at Wally World were there two more disappointed creatures standing on the treashold of a theme park.
“Would you like to buy your tickets now?”
Marshall looked at Hector. He felt utterly defeated. There was no Magic Mountain that would shower them with appreciation. The whole thing had been an utter waste. He simply walked away from the lady in the small house. Hector, very confused, but, not saying a thing, followed.
Now what? well, as Joseph Campbell would tell you, there is still the Return…
spizzerinctum / spiz – er – INK – tum/ The will to succeed. Determination, zeal.