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- Okay, here we are!
- This is Disneyland??
- That's right, sporto, get ready for some fun!
- Where's all the rides?
- You can't see them from here. Listen, kid, see that sign over the doorway that says "Men"?
- Right there, behind the picnic bench... near the candy machine, dammit!
- Oh yeah, I see it.
- Well, I want you to do daddy a favor. Go wait by the sign while he parks the car.
- Now, it might take me a while, so don't get bored or scared. Don't ask people to help you, ok? Because I'll be right back.
- All right.
- Oh and hey, son?
- Yeah, dad?
- Here's some money for later on.
- Wow, forty dollars! Thanks, dad!
- Don't mention it. Okay, I'll see you soon. Remember it might take a little while, so don't panic and ask anyone for help, especially police officers. 'Kay?
- Goodbye, Danny.
- Bye, dad.
Date Written: September 12, 2004Comments:
Average Vote: 3.6667
09/16/2004 Joe Frankenstone (5): There are so many reasons this short is fantastic. The picnic bench and candy machine paint a picture with two brushstrokes that creates an amazingly vivid sense of place - fantastic. But the best part is the lack of quotation marks or any formal signifiers of speakers. The immediacy is just awesome, full of a wind-swept ennui combined with a heart-of-darkness gravitas that makes me hard. Disneyland, indeed!
09/16/2004 Joe Frankenstone: INDEED.
09/16/2004 Will Disney (3): there's a 'deep thoughts' something like this that i remember...
09/16/2004 Mr. Pony (3): That one was about taking a kid to a burnt out warehouse and telling him it was Disneyland. That one was funnier, though, and had the good sense to leave once the joke was done. 2.5
09/16/2004 anonymous: I didn't intend to rip off Deep Thoughts, and I don't think I really did. The joke here is not about passing a rest stop off as Disneyland, but about a father abandoning his child at said rest stop. Now that's what I call funny!
09/16/2004 Mr. Pony: Author, I don't think you did either, but I feel this one delivers its payload rather early on ("Where's all the rides?"), then coasts for a while on simple jokes and details that flesh out the situation, but don't add too much to the overall gag. The guilt the father shows in the form of the $40 was a nice touch of realism, but I'm not sure what that little emotional detail brings to the table.
09/16/2004 anonymous: you knew he was going to abandon him at "Where's all the rides?"?
09/16/2004 Mr. Pony: Well, I knew the father was going to do something horrible to the kid. I knew this because the kid's question is the footprint of a lie. I knew it because this is Acme Shorts, and cruelty to children and other horrible activities are par for the course. That's us. Speaking the Unspeakable, 9-6, 5 days a week. Did I know that the kid was going to be abandoned? No, but I knew that at the very least he was going to be abandoned. Even filtering out the context, which perhaps I should at least try to do, the fact remains that the joke really isn't that this guy is abandoning his kid at a rest stop. It's that the guy has very little regard for his kid, which is made apparent very early on.
09/16/2004 TheBuyer (3): yup.
09/16/2004 Joe Frankenstone: The emotional truth is all. More shorts should try it.
09/16/2004 Mr. Pony: The what? By the way, don't those dashes count as formal signifiers?
09/16/2004 TheBuyer: emotional truth like in the useless way or like how Tom Cochrane means it in the also useless way?
09/16/2004 Benny Maniacs (4): I see this short as a short I could go and have a beer with.
09/16/2004 Benny Maniacs: Except for the fact that it's probably Scoop's and he doesn't drink.
09/16/2004 scoop's brain: I would never allow scoop to conjur something like this in me.
09/16/2004 scoop's brain: Here as well. Dead on deconstruction, baby.
09/17/2004 TheBuyer: OSS, I blame NetNanny for this lowish rated short. Just a guess, but I think that at-work proofreading and editing improves acme productivity while damaging [unimportant] job performance. If someone can find an example of a recent OSS short that circumnavigates the joke I'd like to see it.what's asskissing?
09/17/2004 scoop (3): While your Canadian points are salient, TheBuyer, I'm going to have to blame this low rating on OSS's blowing it.
09/17/2004 qualcomm: i don't think it's that bad. i think there're two good execution points ("jokes") along the way that are underappreciated: 1) the father blowing his lid when the danny can't find the sign that says men; and 2) the qua line, "Goodbye, Danny" coming as it does when it does (timing). i say this in response to the puzzling charge that the joke pays off too early (a charge i continue to dispute), with no more fun of any kind to be had thereafter. pony's complaint in particular, that he knew something bad was going to happen to danny, rankles any person of substance's chancre, seeing as one could make a similar charge against about 80% of the shorts on the site, most of them better rated than this.
thank you, and let me leave you all with this thought: none of you, not a single one, knows what the fuck you're talking about.
09/17/2004 Joe Frankenstone: Lay off my chancre. Nice work.
09/17/2004 Mr. Pony: Look, Summer. I gave the thing a three, and like it or not, that three was a part of what I said, a facet of my comments. While I guess I didn't really fall into the wind-swept ennui, there were moments I liked, and just because no one mentioned them doesn't mean they're under-appreciated. However, the father's character swings that we're talking about (the angry outburst, the $40, the way he calls the boy "kid" etc.) really don't have enough going for them in and of themselves, and the short is so spare that there's really not enough context to fully appreciate them. I think you might have a much clearer picture of this story in your head than the one you typed into your computer. For example, your assertion that the "Goodbye, Danny" line is somehow well-timed seems to suggest that this scene plays out in a very specific way in your mind. I'm not sure that specific sequence is as apparent on the page. And I actually wasn't criticizing the fact that I knew something bad was going to happen (in my previous post; I was responding to your specific question), just that not a lot seems to happen after that. See above. P.S. I think it would have been really funny if you ended your last post with the phrase "I believe my work speaks for itself".
09/17/2004 qualcomm: "Goodbye, Danny" reads in a particular way in my mind because it is, objectively, kind of a slip-up on the father's part. It's something even a kid might get suspicious about. Further, I think it reads kind of solemnly, and coming after Danny's gee-whiz "Okay!", it times nicely. You hear me, Slocum, you fucking faggot? It's got good rhythm.
09/17/2004 scoop: Dude, you meant to write Goodbye Georgie, not Danny. Danny doesn't mean what you think it means. I looked it up. If you're not sure dude, just open a dictionary.
09/17/2004 Will Disney: It's great to see Frankenstone back in the mix!
09/17/2004 John Slocum (3): Did this happen to you, OSS? Are you the little boy.
09/17/2004 Jon Matza (4): Not only did this happen to the author, he was wearing white moccasins at the time. Unfortunately, by neglecting this brushstroke he missed a chance to drive this word-canvas's terrifyingly stark emotional truths home even more importantly.
01/8/2005 hagit mizrachy (5): Here's the two stars I owe from 'Sooner or Later They All Fell'