Around the world in 80 Drinks

OK, maybe just 8 drinks. Epcot is tailor made for the American tourist. It’s an English speaking foreign destination without the attitude or the smell. Add a liberal amount of alcohol and the appeal widens to stressed-out parents and the gay population in general.


“Canada is where they serve Molson, right?” I ask Paul. He looks at me as if I have no socially redeeming values. “William, it’s not all about the drinks. Did you see the gardens in Canada?” “There are gardens?” I reply. Paul sighs and begins walking again. The sun is beating down on us. So we decide to take a ride on Spaceship Earth for the short line and merciful air conditioning.


We are sitting in the two person car that carries its passengers on a trip through time highlighting the importance of the written word. Instead of paying attention to the mechanical movements of the ancient Phoenicians, Paul is flirting with me as if we have just entered the “Tunnel of Love” at a county fair. This is something I am sure Disney never imagined in his future world. Or maybe he did, he certainly seemed to have issues with his mother. As evidenced by the murder or absence of her in every Disney cartoon movie.

Towards the end of the ride, Judi Dench’s voice elegantly asks the passengers to record their answers to several questions on a computer screen. The answers will be used to produce our “Future World” she declares. I am happy to do something other than look at the creepy mannequins, which are decidedly dated. After all the questions are answered, a video plays with our heads superimposed onto cartoon bodies.

Our future selves purchase clothes online, and check themselves out in the mirror. They prance through our future house and push a button for breakfast. While they sip coffee a huge TV appears, so they can catch up on entertainment news. Then they pop into a hover craft bound for the city. We both have a good laugh at this.

In the car in front of us sits a single lady in her fifties with waist length wiry grey hair. Her clothes are surely made of earth friendly materials. We watch her “future world” play. She tends to a garden on her rooftop in the country while recycling all of her household materials.

Suddenly, my future world seems kind of frivolous. And to be honest, my future world is pretty much a mirror of my present world.

Later that evening, Paul and I begin the “Epcot Pub Crawl”. Ingeniously, Disney has designed a world cocktail tour with each country represented as a backdrop. We start in Great Britain (ale for me, gin & tonic for Paul) and work our way around the globe. Mexico (frozen margaritas), Norway (glacier shots), China (plum wine), Germany (Jagermeister), Italy (prosecco). Halfway there! USA (bathroom break because neither of us are fans of Bud

weiser), Japan (sake was never was my favorite so souvenirs for the kids), Morocco (Muslim so no alcohol and let’s face it, Africa and the gays don’t mix.) Finally we pick up Grey Goose Slurpees in France, bypass Canada (pretty much USA North) and then make a run for the border and end up in Mexico again for nachos.

I sip my adult Slurpee and “make love” to my Nachos, as Paul says. I look out over the manmade lake and the twinkling lights of the fake Paris in the distance. In a moment of absolute clarity that often follows a few adult beverages I romanticize my life. Sure, everything around me is a representation, but what in life is truly real? The cartoon has captured a dimension of my life, not all of it. And to be honest, if the future mirrors the present, I can live with that




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