One of my favorite Forensic Stories, found in the Jungle Cruise.
The joke is obvious: a dangerous animal, who’s strong enough to pry open the bars of its cage, is running loose. What makes this story so special is the rope between the bars. Why is it there?
Here are some clues I’ve noticed. The rope fits the bent bars, which implies it was tied on after the escape. The rope is also…well…rope, which is even more pliable than the bars that the orangutan was strong enough to bend. Not the best solution, is it?
Perhaps the skippers can’t afford a new cage, so they figured, hey, this is better than nothing. That said, there’s an explanation I like even better: the skippers tied it on out of spite.
After all, the Jungle Cruise—and Adventureland, in general—explores the absurdity of humankind’s attempts to dominate nature. So imagine skippers being so hurt that the wild orangutan didn’t wanna suffer the oppressions of domestication that they rope up its cage when it’s gone.
"Fine! Leave! I just hope you enjoy your natural habitat, because you’re not welcome in our small cage any more! Boy, did you blow it, mister!"
Look, she’s not wrong—it’s a provocative subject—but we’re talking about the “cannibal” section on GreatCleanJokes.com, here. It’s not like I’m making light of the Dahmer murders.
Still, the woman has the right to be offended by whatever she (dis)likes. It’s just…tut-tutting…? What a quaint way to express a quaint sensitivity!
I was so surprised, I didn’t even think to say, “I agree, the cannibal jokes were made in poor taste.”
I just showed [the] video of your Cruise to my roommate (also a former skipper). Very impressed and might have cursed you a few times at some of your jokes (“loafers,” “grain of salt”).
He said you had some of the smoothest transitions between show scenes, especially Schweizer Falls to the Temple.
Safari Guide Joe
I know this blog is meant for research but honestly if you got a compliment like this wouldn’t you post it as if this was an online fridge door
The Backlot Tour closes today.
This video makes me so goddamn self-conscious. I’ve been sitting on it for years, but now, for posterity’s sake…
…ladies and gentlemen, I present my Backlot Tour, circa 2007.
I can’t believe the Backlot Tour lasted as long as it has. It’s had the Devil’s Luck, outliving dozens of truly wonderful, iconic attractions—so I won’t believe it’s closing until whatever replaces it celebrates its ten-year anniversary.
On the off-chance that Backlot really is unrolling the ol’ garage door for the last time this month…wow. The ride was crappy, and its subtext of futility created such a stimulating working environment—full of fun and inspiration and love and frustration and confusion and growth. It was home, for all the good and bad that implies.
So if this really is the end, then Backlot: good riddance, and thank you.
There was a gaggle of Italians on the boat with us, but they were only there incidentally. They didn’t wanna feign interest in my performance, or appreciate the ride’s atmosphere, or look at the robot animals.
No, they wanted to gossip so loudly that my microphone and I couldn’t compete with them, and boy, were they good at it.
That is, until the elderly English lady began pounding her fists—as fiercely as Donkey Kong—on the seats in front of the Italians. When they noticed her, she scolded them with the primmest accent this side of Julie Andrews.
“You are being inexcusably rude!” she snapped.
I breathed a sigh of relief, grateful for the respect.
“You’re not letting him tell his little jokes!” she added.
While I appreciate the elderly English lady’s help, I’d like to assure everyone that my jokes aren’t little. They’re girthy.
My friend, Brice, launched his portfolio online yesterday.
So far, the main attraction is his queue for a Great Gatsby dark ride. It’s a labor of love for the source material, and it evokes that heartbreaking, “Why can’t I ride this right goddamn now?” feeling by the boatful.
I love poring over his art and insights. This kid is a burgeoning master of the form, and it’s a pleasure to watch him hone his craft.
Skippers don’t spiel in the Jungle Cruise's Cambodian Temple. There isn't a clear reason why.
Some claim it’s because the acoustics don’t pair well with the tinny microphone. Some are content with the explanation that, “The script doesn’t provide any material for the Temple, so we’re not allowed to,” which is a long way of saying, “Because I said so.”
Personally, I don’t like it because it’s a gorgeously themed space. The tone is so eerie. To me, it’s the purest icon of Adventureland: nature reclaiming humankind’s efforts. It’s a sobering moment of meditation amid the puns.
All that said, I spieled in the Temple the other day—without the microphone, I hasten to add—so it wasn’t wholly disruptive. I hate how much I didn’t hate it.
Here’s the bit: when we pass the tiger, I leap to the opposite side of the boat and explain to the nearest guest that I’m allergic to cats. Then, when we pass the cobras, I leap to the other side of the boat and explain that I’m allergic to venom.
I’m torn. On the one hand, I hate spieling in the Temple, but on the other, I love the joke. So I thought, hey, maybe there’s a compromise…? Maybe I’ll only do it with boats who aren’t playing along! Screw ‘em, they don’t deserve the ambiance!
Then I realized that I was considering punishing people by telling them a joke I love.
This is the life I’ve chosen.
I’m now a skipper on the Jungle Cruise. I’ve always, always, always wanted to be one.
Like, none of that, “I wanna be an astronaut when i grow up.” Screw that. Jungle Cruise Skipper.
So if you’re reading this, and you have a career or a marriage or a child, don’t feel bad! Those things are great! They’re silver medals, but they’re great!
Besides, hey, this race isn’t run yet! Keep at it, work as hard as I have, and someday you too can tell puns in a fake rainforest!
Asked by gatheredrosebuds
I’m as annoyed by its existence as the next park snob. Why does a single franchise merit an entire land to itself, why is it this particular franchise, what does it have to do with the “California” theme, and so on.
All that said, it’s a masterpiece. For every nitpick I think of, my subconscious responds with a, “Yeah, but…”
"Mater’s spinners are painful and that song is a goddamn war crime."
"Yeah, but it’s a junk yard that’s so well themed that I actually want to spend time in it."
"It’s weird enough that we’re riding around in gigantic tires, but why on Earth are we riding them horizontally?"
"Okay, but that ride system is as much fun as you’ve ever had."
“‘Radiator Springs Racers’ is…I mean, I don’t even know what it is. It’s just…uggh.”
"True, but the animatronics are jaw-dropingly apt, the ride system is more satisfying here than it is in ‘Test Track’ and adapts the film into a ride more successfully than ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,’ and the little kid beside me who was petrified at the Load Dock clearly loves this ride more than he loves his mother."
None of which excuses the content.
Normally, I hate the argument that cartoons are “just for kids,” but ‘Cars’ is an exception. It’s a half-baked pie comprised of low-hanging fruit. It’s designed for the same sort of demographic that immortalized ‘Transformers.’
Everyone with a modicum of taste raised an eyebrow at it. Chances are, that includes most of the Imagineers who adapted it into the park.
Which, to me, represents a rare artistic achievement. Think of a franchise you hate. Got one in mind?
Okay, now adapt it into a theme park land. Not a cynical one, either. It’s gotta be the truest, most fun land it can possibly be. If it doesn’t have food, figure it out. If it doesn’t suggest two hours’ worth of background music and an alternate Christmas playlist, that’s your job, too. And so on.
All that said, I know this isn’t the prickly response that one expects from a snob who’s been asked about ‘Cars,’ so let me end on a darker note.
To me, the most emblematic part of Cars Land is near the end of the queue for ‘Radiator Springs Racers.’ After walking through one of the most magnificently, painstakingly immersive queues ever constructed, we pass a gas station, and this gas station is called “Butte Gas.”
We exit one of the most magnificently, painstakingly immersive queues ever constructed—not with a whimper, not with a bang, but with a fart joke. It’s the sort of nihilistic joke that amused me back in high school—“All that perfection, leading up to scatology. Rather like life, no? Kill urself lol”—only it’s preceding a Disney E-ticket instead of on my LiveJournal.
While I admire Cars Land as much as anything built in this current theme park renaissance, touches like “Butte Gas” keep me from liking it, and would keep me from grieving, on the off-chance that it’s ever demolished.