Disney On Ice: After The ThawPosted: October 10, 2011
Last week, a show called Disney On Ice came to town. I know that it probably was about ice skating princesses, Mickey Mouse and such. But the title reminded me of the legend that Walt Disney had himself frozen so he could be brought back when a cure for whatever was ailing him was found.
The Disney On Ice title conjured up the image in my mind of a weird road show that displayed souls who were frozen on purpose or accidentally. Because of the title, frozen Walt was obviously the star attraction. If such a show really occurred, I’d be much more interested in seeing baseball’s (now frozen) greatest hitter, Ted Williams, or perhaps that Woolly Mammoth they recently found in a glacier.
Having yourself frozen brings on a good bit of pressure. I don’t know if Walt, Ted, or anyone else who has had themselves popsiclized has really thought that pressure through.
It is easy to imagine being thawed out and meeting a doctor who says “hey, we’ve got this cancer thing licked. Come get your cancer shot and go back to drawing Mickey.” I don’t think it would be that easy for Walt, or people like you and me.
But what if I were frozen?
What would I say when they thawed me? I’d feel a lot of pressure to have something funny to say. Maybe I’d say “what, no soup?” My fear is that I’d wake up continuing the scream I’d started 125 years earlier when I realized the bus was going to hit me. Letting fly with a ten minute f-bomb is not likely to endear me to my fifth generation relatives. Perhaps if I were Walt Disney it might.
The Novelty Wears Off
Imagine a day, decades from now, when my great, great, great, great, great-granddaughter says something like “it’s costing me how much per year to keep him frozen?” That would be the day that they started thawing frozen me.
At first, I’d be sought after and fawned over. I’d do news interviews. My relatives would get tales of their predecessors. Then, slowly, the novelty of having me around would wear off. How much time would they want to spend hearing stories of people they never knew existed? I’d end up being passed from one relative to another.
Perhaps a few days after being thawed, I would remember that I forgot to say “what, no soup?” I crack me up sometimes, so I’d probably just start saying that to people. They wouldn’t know why I was laughing. It would be awkward.
I’d struggle to name a good part of my life after being frozen. My friends would be gone, the internet can’t make us all rich enough that we’ll be able to pay for our own cold storage. And my knees would still be somewhat suspect. Days would pass, each after another, as fruitless searches for the perfect things that wouldn’t exist as they did in my previous lifetime…like Steve Earle CDs, or pizza cooked just to the point that the cheese browns in spots.
I know how the tale of unfrozen me would end. I’ve thought it through that far.
After a while, my relatives would tire of my prattling on about how they don’t make music like they did when Steve was alive and the other stuff they don’t do right. They’d turn to the only people who truly understood what they were going through with me – the families of the other unfrozen souls. Together, the families would build a big house where I’d live with Walt Disney and Ted Williams. Our pet mammoth would live in the yard out back.
They’d realize they could make some money on this proposition. Before long, a reality TV show would be produced about us. I’d push for them to call it “What, No Soup?”
So Long And Thanks For All The Soup
The show would feature the misadventures of Ted, Walt and me as we confronted a new world that we would never quite be able to comprehend. It would be funny, but mixed with the sad reminiscences of a ball player, a cartoonist and a writer. People would be fascinated, season after season.
The final episode would be the highest rated show of them all.
As that last hour approached its end, people would sit, enraptured, wondering where it would all end up. I’d be sitting at dinner with my housemates. Ted would once again be telling the story of how he hit a home run on the very last swing of the bat of his career. Picking at my Kung Pao Chicken as I listened, I’d spear a water chestnut and a carrot with my fork, and then interrupt Ted.
Pointing with my fork, I’d say “Boys, do you know who was smart enough not to buy into this getting frozen thing?”
They’d stare at me, clueless.
“Women.”(fade to black)