Erasing Vertigo

June 3, 2010
“You guys,” Brittany murmured. “We should totally sit Grandma Toni on the far right seat.” She had a devious grin cemented on her face.

It was the five of us. Brittany, Gigi, her grandma (which is Grandma Toni), Mom and I. We were all walking towards the Backlot Tour tram ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capitol of LA.

“I’m in,” I replied smugly.

“Oh, you mean so you can scare her,” Gigi began to see the plan taking shape.

“Oh, yeah!” Britt squealed. We both looked at Gigi with pleading eyes, knowing how protective she can be of her grandmother. Shortly after, she shook her head in disapproval.

“You guys give are gonna give Mama a heart attack,” Gigi argued. Britt beat me to the punch. “Nah, she’ll be fine,” Britt ensured.

“Okay, fine. But when I end up living with Mark and his greedy girlfriend, it’s on you,” Gigi glared.

Brittany and I planned to have Grandma Toni sit on the far right seat because that would be the scariest seat for when we went to the “Jaws” part of the ride. As we solidified our plan, we finally made it to the ride and got in line.

“Alright, remember the far right,” I whispered to Britt. She flashed me an “I know” smile. Soon after, the tram finally arrived and we started filing in.

“Okay Grandma Toni, you go in first and sit on the far right seat,” Britt said. I snorted, trying to hold back my laughter.

“Yep, it’s the best seat,” I agreed. Grandma Toni gave us both a questioning look.

“You two aren’t trying to scare me are you?” she asked.

“No, we swear,” Britt and I worked our most innocent expressions. Grandma Toni studied our eyes, but sat down anyway. Gigi began to shake her head. Immediately, Britt sat next to Toni, followed by Gigi, and my mom and I sat on the left. At first, my mom gave me a questioning look- I leaned over and explained to her, she started laughing.

After about five minutes of waiting, the driver turned on the speaker, welcomed us, and explained what we would see on the ride. Meanwhile, we passed some on-set productions like War of the Worlds and Desperate Housewives. After 10 minutes, we approached a small lake with a sign in front of it that said, “Beware of Shark”. We had to cross that bridge to get to the other side.

“This is where we filmed Jaws, and we still do have sharks in this area, but not too often. It looks like a woman is enjoying herself in the lake,” the speaker explained. The woman was obviously fake, but looked real enough to fool people who had never been on the ride before. We started crossing the bridge and about half way there we immediately stopped. Of course it was an act, but not everyone knew that.

“Oh, no! Lady look out!” a little girl screeched from behind me. Grandma Toni stiffened. Suddenly, the lady was pulled underwater and red liquid started rising up in the water. Some screamed, while others laughed.

“Oh, crap!” Toni yelled. A straight line of profanities started searing out of her mouth.

“Wait, folks, where on Earth did that shark go?” the speaker continued. I started snickering. Grandma Toni turned around to look at us. Realization dawned on her face, as she realized that she was closest to the water. Another moment passed and suddenly the shark shot out of the water, just inches from Toni.

“Argh;” Toni screeched. She started rambling on about how that shark scared her and a few f bombs. Everyone in the tram started bursting into laughter.

“You guys freakin’ suck! You tricked me,” Toni bellowed out. That made me laugh even harder.

“You two are so evil,” she shook her head.

I smiled at her. “I’m sorry,” I took a deep breath from laughing. “I couldn’t resist.”

Afterwards, we all got off the tram and started walking to other sides. Hours later, we decided to leave the park to go leave the park to go to get some dinner. While we were walking, the concepts of midgets came up.

“Yeah, my mom is deathly afraid of midgets. If she sees one, she will freak out,” Gigi explained. I chuckled.

“What if one just popped out right now?” Britt had a huge grin on her face.

“Oh, the irony,” Mom agreed.

We all started laughing. About five minutes later of walking, we were about half-way to the gate, when my eyes caught sight of a 3’5” man with a beard, chubby body, and who looked about 40 years old and waddled. He walked straight by us, my eyes just about popped out of my head.

“Did you see that?” I gasped. We all stared at each other in disbelief.

“Are you serious?!” Britt yelped.

“A midget – really?!” I boomed. We all shared another moment of silence and started bursting out in laughter. Gigi just stared and shook her head. Suddenly, I head an even louder screech. It was Grandma Toni, clutching her stomach, laughing her butt off. Seriously watching Gigi’s 64-year-old grandmother lose it made me laugh even harder. We were laughing so hard people began to stare.

After we calmed down, a thought came up in my head. “Hey, imagine if your mom were here,” I wailed.

“She would have booked it all the way to the parking lot,” Britt squealed.

“Alright, let’s go eat,” Mom said.

A little time later, we were walking through City Walk, passing through all these amazing stores.

“Nah, fool,” Gigi argued. “Let’s go to Hard Rock Café!”

“Oh, c’mon, Bucca Di Beppo is way better,” I stressed. Gigi glared at me.

“Oh, fine we’ll take a vote,” I sighed. Everyone voted for Bucca Di Bepp.

“Fine,” Gigi snapped. “I’m just saying that you guys never listen to me.” We made our way to the restaurant and the receptionist greeted us. “Welcome to Bucca Di Beppo. How many for dinner?”

“Table for five,” my mother answered.

“Okay, right this way,” she gestured. We got to our table and the walls were plastered in portraits of famous Hollywood stars. Our table was big and round. On each table, there was a little plate in the middle of the table which was for the vinegar and oil mix to dip the bread in. After we got our food, we stuffed our mouths with food. Our conversations were making us crack up so much people were staring at us if we were drink.

As I write this, I’m looking back at that moment and thinking there is so much more to this experience that I haven’t written down, it will forever remain as one of the best memories I have ever had. It was so funny and rare. I realized that times like that one are precious. I also realized, thinking back now, how it’s so important that we live each day as if it’s our last!

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DON'TGIVE said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm
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