Disneyland has performed “It’s a Small World” at its parks since 1966.
It’s a catchy tune, with an even catchier theme.
But nobody believes the world is small. They don’t believe the world’s people will learn to sing in perfect harmony, either–let alone build the world a home, furnish it with love, and then grow apple trees, honey bees and snow-white turtle doves.
Everybody, including me, believes the world is huge.
In fact, it is.
Mother Earth weighs 6,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons, more at certain times of the month. Her area is 195,000,000 square miles, most of that water, although there’s a lot of undeveloped land in Canada practically begging to be peppered with condos. Her pole-to-pole circumference is 24,900 miles, or about how long I usually absentmindedly wait to change the oil in my car. She’s 7,926 miles wide at the equator, forcing her to shop for “relaxed-fit” pantsuits at the Big & Tall Clothing Store.
In the last week, though, the world started looking smaller to me. Three things happened to change my world view:
1) I recently started parting my hair on the left side, and less than a week after announcing it, I received an e-mail from fellow blogger Rares Cojocaru, who also parts his hair on the left side. I was amazed, because Rares is Romanian. Americans have about as much in common with Romania as former Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci and American opera singer Deborah Voigt, who was dismissed from a production of Ariadne auf Naxos in London because she’d gained a little too much weight and fans constantly confused her with Mother Earth.
Most Americans don’t even know where Romania is, mistakenly assuming “Romania” is Olde Latin for “Rome” and therefore must be in Belgium. And yet, Rares and I are brothers. Despite the vast expanse of the Black Sea that separates us, we are inexorably bound together by the common comb–or brush, in my case. I have lovely hair, and brush it 100 times every night before I lay me down to sleep. I’m not sure what Rares does, although Romanians are famous for their healthy heads of hair, especially the eternally youthful Romanian vampires.
2) I travelled to Washington, D.C. last month to attend a three-day handicapped accessibility conference. About two weeks later, fellow blogger Lorena also went there to participate in a similar event known as Comedy Central’s Rally to Restore Sanity and March to Keep Fear Alive.
I live in Colorado. Rena lives in Idaho, which is the world’s potato basket and may have something to do with Mother Earth’s aforementioned circumference issues. Although Rena and I read one another’s blogs and occasionally exchange e-mails, I figure the odds against two people–one a middle-aged man and the other a young woman–travelling from two disparate states to Washington, D.C. in the same month are about as infinitesimal as the odds against our president having an affair with a 22-year-old White House intern.
Wait, bad example.
Okay, maybe it’s not that all that rare for middle-aged men and young women to travel separately to Washington, D.C. Still, it seemed unusual to me and showed me once again how small the world is getting. Oh, and just for the record, I really and truly didn’t have sexual relations with that woman. What Rena may or may not have done with former President Bill Clinton, John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, on the other hand, is her own business, and I don’t want to know.
Yes, I do. Of course, I do. Everybody does.
3) My wife, Kerry, and I just bought a new dishwasher. Our former one, an upscale KitchenAid that never worked correctly, died a premature death. The new one, a basic General Electric model, will be delivered and installed Wednesday.
That’s not amazing, but here’s what is: Busy fellow blogger Ziva and her boyfriend, M, also bought a new dishwasher!
Now remember, Kerry and I live in Colorado, which is in America. The world’s first practical dishwasher was invented here in 1866 by Josephine Cochrane. Cochrane was a rich woman who held many dinner parties and wanted a machine that could do the dishes faster, and with fewer chips, than her servants. Her dishwashing machine caught on quickly, and her company, now known as KitchenAid, is still a leader in dishwasher technology. Although I’ll probably never buy another KitchenAid because that rich bitch and her friends cheated me out of $500, everybody in America has a Constitutionally protected right to own a dishwasher. Most Americans actually own two, one for the everyday fine porcelain, and the other for the gold-plated fine porcelain.
Ziva and M, however, live in Finland, which is pretty near Romania as the vampire bat flies. I had no idea Finlandians had access to dishwashers. Until today, I didn’t even know they used dishes. I thought they still ate their food–mostly berries and muesli soaked in reindeer milk–out of hand-carved wooden bowls, and drank their strong mead from upturned horns. So imagine my surprise when I learned that Ziva and M–friends on the distant, dark and cold side of Mother Earth–also bought a dishwasher. Like us, I’m sure they’ll enjoy it, too, just as soon as Finland gets indoor plumbing.
Anyway, even though I still believe Mother Earth is pretty big, recent events have convinced me that the world is getting smaller, if only metaphorically. I’m not going to start singing that silly Disney song, though. It’s too upbeat for my tastes.