Yes. Yes, the title of this post actually happened.
It’s another Disneyland storytime, so buckle yourselves in kids, but if you’re not into the Disney magic, don’t worry. This story isn’t about Disney magic. It’s about my own personal mortification. I try to avoid audience participation at all costs, but this time… it didn’t work. Here’s how it went down.
SCENE ONE – INT – EVENING:
BUFFALO BILLS WILD WEST SHOW
Bufflo Bills. It’s dinner and show, cowboys and indians style. I was super excited. You get to sing at the saloon, are gifted a cowboy hat with a coloured band that indicates the team you are on, then off you go into the arena. You sit down at long, wooden benches with plates that look like mess tines and skillets, reminiscent of the cowboys cookouts of the John Ford era. Before you is a great cloth, an ode to the famous sights of the spaghetti westerns, such as Monument Valley and Ghost ranch.
Chowing down on chilli and corn bread, gunshots are fired and out gallop the cowboys on horse back, dressed to the nines, carrying the flags for each team. After performing an impressive dressage routine they set up camp, the stage coaches following on. There’s some lassoing, slap stick fighting and gun slinging before sheriff Mickey and friends make an appearance for a sing song.
After a main course of a true cowboy BBQ, the Indians arrive, dancing with fire, crowing and rounding up a heard of buffalo. The story continues, with appearances from Buffalo Bill himself and Annie Oakley, the sharpest shooter in the west, putting out candles with a gun shot whilst on horse back.
But where are the clowns you ask? Well they’re coming. Once dessert is served, apple crumble and ice cream, the teams get their mascots and you’re now part of the game… the mascots being a clown type, hype man, dressed in the colours of each “ranch”. Each team, or ranch, have two cowboys and two indians, who all compete in several events in order to score points. Lassoing, saving their partner by helping them onto a moving horse and delivering the post through an assault course, starting on foot, riding half way through and then back on foot. Whilst all this is happening, the clowns are running around in the stands generally crack jokes, being silly and interacting with you. My friend and I had the misfortune of laughing at the wrong joke… we were now the targets. He made it his mission to drag me down with him.
Let me tell you two facts that will make this tale either more horrifying or more entertaining. A) I suffer incredible feats of social awkwardness around new people, causing bouts of word vomit, sweaty palms and clamming up completely. I have been known to hide on occasion. B) I really, really don’t like clowns. I actively avoid them. Once there was a clown where I worked. He came within five feet of me and I ran away. They found me cowering behind a trolley of dirty crockery.
Now, at first, he was just coming up to me, cracking jokes, teasing, as these kind of characters do. He followed this by crawling along the floor behind my table and jumping up on me, screaming in my face. I nearly shat myself but ha-ha-ha very funny clown man. Then he stole my dessert and walked off with it. Alright, I can deal. I was kinda miffed because I was enjoying my vanilla ice cream shaped like a star. I tried playing along to ease how awkward I felt. He didn’t get it. He decided to spoon feed it to me, including aeroplane noises. He then proceeded to wipe my face with a sock. I’m guessing it probs wasn’t a clean sock. Not that it had been worn, but I work with costumes, I know that a sock tied onto his belt probably wasn’t changed out every show and I’m
hoping guessing I wasn’t the first person he had done this too. Buffalo Bills is two shows a day, seven days a week jobby.
“Kill me now” was the precise thoughts running through my mind. You know there’s always that one person that gets picked on at events like this… that one person was now me. The people I was with were cry-laughing. Never, in three years of going to this dinner/show, had they ever had someone be picked on in their group. Why me too? WHY ME? WHY NOT MY FRIEND? She laughed too! I’m so awkward, I just didn’t know what to do or where to look. I know it was all in good fun, so I played along, but inside I wanted a black hole to open up and swallow me. God. Plus, if I wasn’t mortified enough, he gave me a little wink and a wave during the bows. Please, punch me in the face. Knock me out for a few hours so I can forget.
Well, at least it was a good laugh for everyone around me and it’s a story to tell. Nobody died, just a tiny piece of my soul.