An amusement park phobiaBy Steve Estes
I have been having some serious nightmares in recent days.
It’s summer and school is out of session. That means my wife has this undying itch to get the kids to an amusement park before the summer is over.
My itch is to sleep later in the morning.
Guess which one gets scratched first?
Anyway, she did some online research (always a bad thing for me) and came to the conclusion that the new Legoland is where we should take the kids for their summer excursion.
All I could envision was huge piles of interlocked plastic building blocks in all shapes and sizes with one goal in mind, and that is to keep me from escaping from the park before I have spent every last dime in my wallet.
Oh wait. What’s that you say? That is the goal? Ah crap.
Anyway, the thought of traversing Legoland has been invading my dreams ever since my lovely wife decided that is where we were going.
As you read this, we will be on the road to Legoland. And my nightmares will begin to come true.
In my nightmares, there are little Lego-cops in little Lego-cars darting all over the road. They all have little Napoleon complexes because, well because, they’re all little people in little cars, and their goal is to get run over by my oversized (for them) Jeep SUV so they can call out their little Lego designers and build a nice, sturdy, little Lego jail to throw me into.
Should I manage to avoid running over these little people with square heads and big feet, driving box-like vehicles, I can then park my car at Legoland.
In my nightmares, I approach the park gate, made of interlocking plastic building blocks of course, and am accosted by little rodents, made of multi-colored, interlocking, plastic building blocks all with the intent of keeping me moving toward the park entrance.
At the entrance, we are greeted by thousands of little Lego creatures that I know I have seen in some video game or another played by one or another of the little human people we have running around our house on any given day, and all have the intention of either: cutting me with a little Lego blade; shooting me with a little Lego gun; running me through with a little Lego spear; or possibly just tossing me off some little Lego building so that I go satisfyingly splat on the Lego-covered sidewalk.
Hey, I told you these were nightmares.
When I finally make my way past these fearsome creatures, we are greeted by even more little Lego constructs, these with themes from my wildest sci-fi fantasies.
There are bipedal aliens with huge ray guns larger than me mounted on futuristic hover cars that pay no heed to whatever bump in the road I can fashion.
There are quadrupedal aliens with extra sets of extremities on their torso(s), with each extremity topped off by some weapon of individual destruction. And they all have but one thought on their minds and that is to cut me into little bitty pieces and feed me to their mineral extractor for the small amounts of precious metals and gasses that are contained in my, by then, totally mutilated and definitely dead corpse.
Yet in my nightmares I manage to get past even these horrific creatures.
And then insert from stage left (can’t tell if that’s my penchant to switch hands or just some subconscious glitch) creatures that might well have come from my own childhood.
You see, when I was young, Legos were not nearly as popular as they are today. Instead we had Lincoln Logs, dark woody sticks from which sturdy structures could be designed and built.
There were no Lincoln Logs from which you could fashion people, unless they had a definitive square-with-round-edges appearance, although in later youth they did add some plastic figurines to the kits so these fantastic panoramas of compounds could be populated and not sit on the table or floor like some forgotten ghost town.
But in my nightmares, these ubiquitous logs were able to mold themselves into nearly impossible shapes to kill creatures from a Hollywood screen writer’s bourbon-fueled imagination, and come at me with even larger logs swinging from their grossly distorted hands, and always right at my head.
So then, at least in my nightmares, I would finally get the hint and grab up some loose Legos, fashioning them into a little Lego chainsaw.
Now we were nearly even, although I was still significantly outnumbered (ever counted the number of Lincoln Logs in a typical container?).
So we undergo monumental battles, I crazily swinging my little Lego chainsaw trying to hold monstrous, shape-shifting log-based creatures at bay while rodent-inspired little Lego animals kept trying to herd me deeper into the forever-lost maze that was a world created by a mad, yet genius, carpenter of Lego constructs from which I just knew in my netherworld brain that I would never emerge, at least unscathed.
And as I fall further and further to the losing side of the battle, my other half of consciousness arises from the landscape and reminds me of the age-old trick to rapidly, efficiently lay waste to even the most sturdy of Lincoln Log constructs.
So the dream me finds the nearest kitchen cabinet (Hey it’s a dream man. I don’t know where the cabinets came from), and out come the dreaded Reapers of Lincoln Logs.
What is it that can clear even the most heavily laden table, or nearly completely covered floor, of Lincoln Logs in a single motion?
A mother with dinner plates.
And I awake.