The time: Circa 1992
The place: Disneyland in Anaheim, CA
The reason: Fun with my parents and two of my sisters!
Whenever we went to Disneyland it seemed like my sisters and I, being the youngest, were always hanging out with our parents who didn't always want to go on the rides we wanted. And really, we just wanted to be able to go off on our own like our older brothers and sisters. It was an independence thing. This was the first time that we were able to go off by "ourselves," even though "ourselves" was just without our parents since all of our siblings were older and not on this vacation.
We soon learned that most of the rides weren't very good for a party of three. A party of four or two would work well, but with three, sometimes there was somebody who might ride by themselves. Well, we decided to take turns. We were optimists, so we always said, "Yay, I get to ride by myself this time!" Unless of course it was Pirates of the Caribbean (scary talking cross bone guy that has since been replaced by Jack Sparrow) or It's a Small World. Scary dolls. Also, I confess that I've always been freaked out by the Haunted Mansion. Actually, come to think of it, there are a number of rides that are somewhat disturbing in Disneyland.
Well, the time came for it to be my turn. We were in an extremely long line for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. There was a group of "cool" slightly older teens behind us in line. I always liked to look ahead at which cart I thought would be mine. The ride operator asked how many were in our group, and Banana and Cash were getting ready to get on the ride first. They got in the cart and were off! I went to get in my cart and behold! There was already some guy in the cart! His appearance was truly frightening. He looked like a nerdy Tony Hale with glasses and wearing a full on suit! He was sitting properly in the cart looking straight forward, and he had a briefcase in his lap! If you can call it a lap. I mean, those carts are really small, and he was kind of crammed in there.
I timidly got into the cart, casting a look at the cool teens in line behind me. My face probably said "help" because theirs looked worried for me. The cart started going. I contemplated what was in the briefcase? Was it a bomb? Or was he some kind of nerdy Disneyland accountant on his lunch or dinner break? Was there a gun in the briefcase? Was he a Disneyland investor? Why was he grinning and staring straight forward so creepily? The ride continued on. I realized how weird the Mr. Toad story was, and as we got run over by a train and delivered to hell, I only hoped that I would make it out alive and unscathed. But I died. And I am a ghost typing this.
I mean, I survived and nothing happened. He really just sat there with his briefcase, grinning the whole time, and I really had to just tell my sisters why I hadn't enjoyed the ride because they hadn't even seen him at all.
The moral of this story is: before going to Disneyland when you're a young teen, go forward in time and get a smart phone to take with you to Disneyland so you can sneakily take a picture of the creepy Mr. Toad's guy. That way you can better share the creepiness with everyone AND have a photo to upload to your blog for the story.