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Play Some Freebird!!!
Written on 2002-03-11, at 5:06 a.m.
dizboy's disturbing daily diet...

1 Chicken Carbonara Sub

1 Coke

1/2 Slab BBQ Ribs

2 Sweet Teas

John Live*

Just...keep reading...

*Not at all live

Also, not at all John.

I sit here, at 5:10 in the AM, writing an entry, when I know full well that a carefully thought out paper on the ethical atrocities of the Tuskegee Syphilis study needs to be completed before I walk out the door at 8:20 this very same morning.

"John...the traffic cone..."

Simmer down, I'll get to it.

I'm not sure exactly why I'm putting this paper off, but I have been.

And I've done a dazzling job at it.

Yesterday (Saturday) at work was quite interesting.

Now, you'll recall that it's still Bike Week here in Orlando, and unfortunately doesn't show any signs of dispersing once the "week" is up.

So, Bike Week...

Well, it's Bike Week here in town, and those crazy kids in Marketing thought it would be great fun to make our guest band for this particular week none other than Lynyrd Skynyrd.

With this group as a catalyst, the bikers descended upon the hallowed grounds of Universal Orlando like moths to a flame.

Drunken, swarthy, moths.

To a neon bar flamingo.

Walking the park that afternoon was like nothing I'd ever seen before...

They came in, bikers, and bike...um, -ettes(?) roaming the streets freely, greeting each other, and drinking heavily from ornamental souvenir glasses.

They came in, and by 3pm, had staked out their positions in front of the stage, milling about the area, daring anyone to come near them.

They came in, adorned with tattoos, and clad in all shapes and sizes of leather, despite the thermometer's reading of 84.

They came in, and refused to budge, though fifteen very large parade floats were en route to them.

That's where I come in.

I'm walking the parade out, and hear a call on my radio that something is happening up at the mainstage area.

Catching something to the effect of:

"...have broken through..."


"Security is trying to..."

I immediately began to power-walk (You, as an employee, should never run in a Theme Park, it looks bad, and could panic the guests, causing "mayhem") toward the area. Though, once security, and two other Entertainment coordinators barreled past me, I just took off running as well.

By the time we got up there, the situation had ebbed quite a bit.

The parade had to be stopped for the better part of three minutes, which doesn't sound too bad, but when you're a performer who's gone from a constant motion, to now just sort of standing in front of a group of guests going..."Um...Hi.", it can be an eternity.

The Skynyrd fans had refused to move as the parade came through, afraid that they were going to be robbed of their viewing locales, as well as the chance to finally, in all actuality, yell "Play some FREEBIRD!!", and mean it.

Which, I did.

But only to be able to say I did.

Not two minutes after the parade had started moving again, one of our float drivers, who had apparently received their license from "Stevie Wonder's Wacky Wheels School of Motor Vehicles", runs a float up onto a curb.

As there are guests on said curb, I ran up to place myself between the wayward float, and a group of people who had "biker" written all over them.

Putting myself in harms way, and I don't mean the float, I stood there, now sandwiched between the Boeuf Gras unit, and the man I deemed "Stinkor, Ruler of Acrid Odors".

STINKOR: What are you doing?

ME: Trying to keep people back from the float.


ME: Because it may run you over and kill you, which is only one of the many adventures you can experience here at Universal Orlando, where you can ride the movies, and see the stars.


ME: I said your tattoo is simply lovely..."I Fucked Your Mother in Hell", the literary imagery of it all just works on so many levels.

The float was free, and we were off again, after another short stop.

Keep in mind that all this is happening as the parade music still blares, and people continue to cheer, and my (and I say this with all sincerity) incredible team of performers dance about giving the air that this is exactly how it's supposed to happen, curbs and all.

I had gotten about a hundred feet down the street when I see a coordinator standing, looking into the crowd, with a Health Services employee in tow.

I walked up to see what had happened now, and I'm informed that the old woman we were all now watching hold an ice pack to the back of her head had been pushed out into the parade by the drunken crowd behind her..

...while in her wheelchair.

She was pushed out into the street where the brakes caught on the chair, and the momentum sent her flying out into the street.

And into the middle of some of my dancers.

Now, I know that traditionally they throw beads, and dubloons at Mardi Gras.

But septuagenarians?

Hmm, that's too big a word...

"But old women?"

There, that's funnier.

So for a few awkward seconds, she lay there in the street, like an orca on the beach who's day has suddenly taken a demented turn.

Needless to say, the group she was with was not happy at all, and I ended up bending over backwards to do some service recovery for them, though it wasn't our fault any way you could slice it.

But my God, it must have been funny...

I can say that, guilt-free because:

A) She was perfectly fine, besides a bump on the head.

B) One of the women with her was, and never stopped being incredibly rude to me, even though I was doing everything possible to help, and

C) An old woman falling out of a wheelchair in the middle of a street during a Mardi Gras celebration is intrinsically funny, period.

You're still wondering about today's picture, aren't you?

After all was said and done, and the horrors of the work night were over, it was time to play.

So I went with some friends to Cigarz, a bar at Universal Citiwalk for drinks, and relaxation.

Four drinks, and about twenty-three dollars later, I had not a glimmer of a buzz, though it did give me a healthy appetite.

Taking my leave, I said good-byes, grabbed a Cinnabon on the way out, and headed to my car.

Getting in, I paused to nosh a little bit, then started up, and drove away.

Almost immediately I heard a terrible grinding noise, like my gears were having the most unpleasant sexual encounter with other metal things in my car.

Shortly after that, I smelled something burning.

Swearing silently to myself, I cursed the vehicle for purposely doing this to me, when it knew I needed to save money.

I decided to try and make it home, since I live only a mile and a half from the park, so I was going as fast as I could to make it without my car exploding, all the while the noise and smell growing increasingly louder and stronger, respectively.

I made it to my parking lot, and thanking the car gods, pulled into my space, and popped the hood.

Getting out of the car, the smell was almost unbearable, and as I walked around to the front of the vehicle, I see a neon yellow traffic cone pointing out from underneath my bumper like a dyslexic unicorn.

I had dragged...nay, pushed this thing through the parking garage, onto the highway, and back to my complex.

This brought to mind the man who saw me driving by, and started to wave at me, going so far as to try and get in the way of the car, though I sped up, and swerved around him, thinking it to be the act of a clearly insane individual.

The joke was on me.

Back in the parking lot, I'm trying to dislodge the half melted cone from it's resting place under my hood, but it was holding fast.

One final, swift tug however, sent both the cone and myself toppling backwards into the wet grass.

Lying there with the stagnant smell of burnt plastic in my nose, and the dewey moisture of the grass soaking into my shirt, I couldn't help but think that it could have been worse...I suppose could have been pulled over...

Listen sonny, you know you're pushing a cone with your bumper?

Oh, is that what it is? I've been trying to figure that out since I left the bar.

Bar, eh? You been drinking tonight?

Oh, well, yes sir, but only four...


Er..pints...but they didn't do anything, that's why I left so early.

Right then...(this is where he'd handcuff me, and charge me with illegal use of a motor vehicle to transport a cone across private property)...Have anything to say for yourself boy?

Um...Skynyrd rocks?


P.S.-Oh yes...I wanted to plug Daniel's diary before I forgot...I can't stop reading this one.

Your Host and Emcee...dizboy.

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