A recent visit to Movie World, (not out of choice) inspired me to write the following:
People, people, masses of people jammed between wrought iron fences and theme park sign boards awaiting their hollywood fix and the scent of flesh upon flesh and perspiring children coalesce to yield stench. Theme park bureaucrats linger behind admission gates playing guard with brawny arms firmly crossed and chunky legs set apart wearing security bomber jackets and black trousers, on alert for a soul that steps out of place. Kids all around asking where, when, why so long and mothers expressing the virtues of patience in vain knowing right well their own be wearing thin and the kids jiggle in nike pumps and baseball caps donning logos of the latest marketing sensations. With the slap of a hand, they resort back to picking underwear from their arses.
Tacky trios of dancing girls emerge from behind the gates singing pop tunes three tones out shaking hips in hideous sequined tutus to keep children amused until the twenty second countdown, which turns out to be the onset of a ten minute lecture on theme park rules. Then gates slide open for a mass stampede and the day begins.
We tread star tracks of a park devoid of fancy clowns and merry-go-rounds chasing chaotic noise and colour that makes no sense. Ducks artificially inflicted with deep southern drawl throw witticisms to men in black trench coats dodging imaginary bullets from cowboys awkwardly flipping bogus pistols. Daffy slumps quietly by a street pole nearby to the ruckus enduring a hangover of Saturday night rum, wondering when he can take his cheque and head home to sleep.
A gravely mutated version of superman passes my space and it's got me moving on to anywhere but there, and for a while I be more than adequately disoriented in this commercial jungle of merchandise stores filled with plastic figurines made in Taiwan and five dollar t-shirts. I stroll among echelons of sidewalks and stores with movie characters playing love and war while Miss Monroe wannabe shrieks into the microphone of a chance to win a trip to movie world in Hollywood for purchases over fifty dollars…..but hurry, because tickets are running out.
Children fervently tug at their mother's waist flipping dogged eyes, waving toys, insisting on their fair chance because the other children all get to partake and it's got parents blushing and yanking out their wallets of hard earned living to fulfil empty hopes of their loved ones. I stumble past queue upon queue of fetid heat stench and high pitched whines wondering where this all ends and I realise there is no end as Pollyana swings round her pole beckoning me to follow her fingers to Toholo Shoppe where I can buy Pollyana shorts and bean bags. She's delightful in a blue chiffon skirt and Sunday white bonnet and I see she's forgotten to remove the budget costume rental tag from the waistband. I politely point out her blunder and she shoots me a half-arsed glance.
Two hotdogs and nineteen stores later, I find my exodus from the market place to be accosted by a petite flaxen woman with a phoney American twang, overzealous smile and batman tanktop revealing breasts the size of a child's chest. She be hollering into the microphone to anyone everyone at decibels too high,
"Hey guys, I am Sharon Jackson!!!!! Are you ready for the action? Craving for the adventure? Game enough for Gotham City?" and she gestures to an enormous metallic dome and it's got the crowds manic queuing up for their part in the big American slosh. A half hour of time past and she's still running her little satire drawing crowds and finally the gates to the corporate produced dome disengage and aching footed parents attempt to restrain erratic children gone wild from idling through the three tier queue system. The herd thrusts forward through the gates like parched cattle and burly guards stand chest solid protecting border lines which they dare not cross. They congregate in a shadowy chamber called the "Library of Gotham" and grandiose symphony's of another era flow from four corners of the ceiling and ancient books brace mahogany shelves barely visible from the dimness of candles. It has me thinking the ambience of this place would be damn fine if it weren't for the whispers of a hundred parents disciplining children and teens creating echoing howls.
Searching a solitary corner wishing to be isolated from this madness, I wonder of the literary selection and edge closer to discern the titles of a cluster of books where I be halted by a chained railing with a sign saying, "do not step beyond this point". I figure it couldn't be so great an ordeal to have a quick browse whilst the remainder of the herd assemble. I step beyond the margins of my confine to find that books are not always books and I discover behind the cover they are merely cardboard boxes. I extend my hand to touch the lie I wish to deny and the rigid hand of authority seizes my shoulder and spins me around to be greeted by a voice which says, "Excuse me, did you read the sign…no stepping across the line". Devoid of rebellion I step back to my place and wait amid the drone of whispers eager undertone and shuffling feet of impatient children and somewhere of an eon later when Sharon Jackson has compressed as many people as humanly feasible into the great Library of Gotham, she takes to the mini stage before the assembly. She speaks in another accent of yankee drawl attempting mystical auras telling of some crusade we have been personally honoured to partake and ensuing a ten minute prep talk she concludes, "And in a thrilling chase through over and under the streets of Gotham City, you will help batman in his quest to defeat the evil penguin and notorious Red Triangle Gang", and children sigh wide eyed excitement and the American accent adds, "Parents are to make sure children are supervised at all times and loose articles are to be kept secure as Warner Bros Movie World accepts no responsibility for lost or stolen possessions". Fathers grip their kids firmly while mothers protectively clutch handbags under their arms and they ushered along with their rancid fetor polluting the air, gracelessly tripping on each other's heels as they are directed through different areas, forced to listen to phoney actors on television screens ramble on about the crusade ahead. Children fidget vehemently in eagerness to play their part and that time does come after half an hour in the final three minutes where we are privileged to be seated in chairs of belts and buckles that rock to and fro while watching a large screen. And the show concludes with Sharon Jackson overawed by our collective ability to defend the city and it is announced that we have won the battle and we be the heroes of Gotham.
"Will you rise", she continues "and please make your way to the exit in an orderly manner and don't forget to check the Warner Bros gift shop on your way out".
"Riddle me this, riddle me that
Where is the home of the big black bat???
Right here at Warner Bros Movie World just two hours South of Brisbane on the Pacific Highway where you can get value coupons and free cokes with every t-shirt purchase."