23. GEORGE’S BLOG – DUMBO MAGIC
18th March 2017
AGED 10 MONTHS
Welcome to my world, won’t you come on in.
I’m supposed to be the coolest dude of all the family. The laid back one who is not affected by anything or anyone. I fought everything and anything to get here and nothing’s gonna stop me now. (Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, No.1, 9th May 1987 for 4 weeks)
Life is all about being laid back and easy like a Sunday morning. But it’s tough maintaining that stance. I am constantly under lots of pressure.
Sunday was a perfect example.
I (with Sister Freya) had to Mamma and Grandad Sit for the whole day. Fair enough I enjoy their company, they are not difficult, infact they can be fun. Yes, go on then I look forward to seeing them.
But they try my patience, a little.
They were supposed to be taking me for my first trip on a tram in to Nottingham. I was beside myself with excitement. I’ve been on Thomas the Tank Engine but never on a tram.
But then as I sat in my car seat in Mamma’s car I realised we were heading towards Nottingham. The tram trip had been scrapped. Had anybody ‘bovered’ to consult with me? No!
Not to worry. I have a vivid imagination, so I closed my eyes and pretended my car seat was a tram simulator. But it’s not quite the same.
Then my excitement returned because I picked up on the fact that we are going to Disneyworld, instead. According to my limited knowledge Disneyworld is in Orlando, USA. Now that is exciting.
Tut! I got that wrong too. We actually went to the Disney Store in Victoria Centre, Nottingham.
Not to worry, I do like the shop, it is vibrant, where many of the characters we watch on TV appear in real life. But because I am my Grandad’s grandchild you might be sure I have a few criticisms.
Firstly it would work better if instead of me being anchored in my pushchair I was allowed to be unleashed and left to run amok sampling the merchandise, spreading it around the floor and generally wreaking havoc. I say “run” but it’s more of a mad crawl at the moment, but watch this space. With targets like the Disney Store in mind I’ll be running before I can walk.
Secondly the bulk of the stuff in the store is for girls. There is so much Princess, Princes, doll stuff and dresses. I know my generation is all about doing this gender neutral concept but I’m a boy and no matter what happens around me my instincts gravitate me towards more male orientated things. I’m sorry, it’s just the natural way I am.
OK there’s Star Wars and a few (Disney Pixar) Cars, in the store, but the bulk is about princesses.
Thirdly, they have no real TV remote controls, telephones or cables. A must for all children. So how can they call it a magical shop?
Grandad was so excited. It was lovely to see his little face and so was Sister Freya. Grandad was so intent on buying me something. I couldn’t disappoint him. Although I was desperate for a real mobile phone, I love my Grandad, so I gave in.
He’s got this jumbo obsession about elephants. He’s always buying me elephants. As children I think it is compulsory that we have to have a pet animal. I bet Grandad gets me a real live baby elephant. We’ll have to keep it in the garage and I can ride it to nursery every day. At this moment in time the walk to nursery does seem a long daunting one. So brilliant. You couldn’t ride a rabbit or goldfish.
But until that day arrives these soft toys keep being forced upon me. Disney’s main elephant character is called Dumbo. Grandad said it was an elephant that can fly. Sounds a bit far fetched to me, but I instinctively grabbed the trunk. Big mistake Grandad thought I liked it and bought it for me and a Rapunzel doll for Sister Freya. I wanted some Star Wars gear! But as ever, not to worry, let it go, time to move on.
Now, as I said I’m easy like a Sunday morning but there is no way I’m having that huge thing put in the cot with me at night. There will be no room for me. And wow, imagine waking up and seeing that beside you.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to money since Cousin Ewan and I blogged on the subject and the penny has started to drop on it’s value and no where more so than here in the Disney Store. But because these two items were so much money and this being a magical shop Mamma used a magical plastic card to pay for them.
As we left the Disney Store and all the Star Wars toys, Grandad was very relaxed about the cost. I think because it was Mamma’s money paying, anyway. He said if Disney did not make money they would have no money to invest in new characters and films and then what would we spend our money on.
Fair point. Well thought out, Grandad.
I glanced at all the Dumbos still sitting on the shelf. I realised I had been a big dumbo reaching out for him and instantly regretted it. Grandad would now assume I was as obsessed with Dumbo as he is. He will go so over the top. Next time I see him I will be forced to sit and watch the newly purchased Dumbo DVD hundreds of times until I know every word by heart. We will read a library of newly purchased Dumbo books. We will make up Dumbo stories, draw pictures and sing all 18 Dumbo songs, like “When I See An Elephant Fly”.
What have I done? Please someone save me.
I already know Dumbo was released on October 23, 1941. That is so old Grandad was not even born. The film was made to recoup the financial losses (yes, money, again, I’m really starting to understand it) of Fantasia, it was a deliberate pursuit of simplicity and economy for the Disney studio. At 64 minutes, it is one of Disney’s shortest animated films. It won the 1941 Academy Awards Best Scoring of a Musical Picture and in 1947 won Cannes Film Festival Best Animation Design.
Outside the Disney Store Grandad and Mamma showed me and Sister Freya this huge clock. Mum loves and collects huge clocks but even she doesn’t have one standing in water that is as tall as the ceiling, like this one. I have no time for clocks. What is the point of them? People say you need to know when its dinner time or bedtime. Easy: eat when you are hungry go to bed when you are tired or if it’s dark. Why you need a clock?
There was lots of money in the pool of water it stood in. Mamma said it was a wishing well and gave me and Sister Freya a 10p piece to throw in the water. She said to make a wish before we threw the coin in. Sister Freya did it straight away.
I did not. I am just starting to understand the value of money and they expect me to throw it away. I clung tightly to the 10p. This one’s for the moneybox. But Grandad forced it out of my fingers.
“Make a wish” he said.
“I wish I could keep this 10p” I wished.
But then Grandad forced it from my hand and it fell, “Splash!” into the water.
Life lesson learnt. “Wishing Wells” do not work. (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe that one was out of order, awaiting maintenance. I don’t want to dismiss all magic from my life.)
After that we had a bottle in House of Fraser Café Zest, and Grandad fed even more coins into a Wishing Machine. He said out loud: “I wish we didn’t have to pay to get out of this car park.”
The wish came true. Mamma drove up to the car park barrier. Pushed a piece of paper in a slot and the barrier opened. Wish come true!
But this money thing really is making sense. Ok Grandad did not have to pay to get out of the Car Park but what about the coins he put in the Wishing Machine. Isn’t that the same as paying.
The adult world gets more and more confusing.
©2017 Phil Robinson www.rujokinggrandad.co.uk