FRUSTRATED IN FLORIDA
Flying|March 2020
SOME DESTINATIONS AREN’T WORTH THE CROSS-COUNTRY TO GET THERE
Martha Lunken

After a weekend with friends at Kentucky’s Lake Cumberland, my niece and her husband were packing up for the drive home. Somebody tossing garbage bags into a dumpster spied a bundle of discarded Playboy magazines in pristine condition all from the 1980s.

“Any of you guys interested in old Playboy magazines?”

My psychologist nephew-in-law, Jim, took one, as did most of the guys. A week or so later, Jim gave me his copy because he knows David Mamet and I are friends, and this issue (August 1989) included an essay by the famous author, playwright and former Flying columnist.

Nothing to do with sex, voluptuous pinups or airplanes (and written long before David began flying), it’s about his love affair with amusement parks. He compares the rough-and-tumble but magical park of his youth— Riverview Park on Chicago’s North Side—to Florida’s Disney World, which he first visited with his family the year it opened in 1971.

Many years later, he returned with his own 5-year-old on what happened to be Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday. David describes the colorful parade, singing the familiar Mickey song, smiling and feeling good. Then he stopped and asked himself: What exactly was he endorsing?

“How and to what end this warm feeling?”

He concludes that, rather than celebrating the birthday of an (albeit) iconic mouse, he was doing what was expected of guests: enthusiastically celebrating and extending fervent well-wishes to one of the most commercial of all enterprises.

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