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hp   Joe and his girlfriend Betty decided to fly to L.A., because Betty was prone to car sickness.

hp   François declared that he preferred to drive. He wanted, as he said, "to get a feel for California".

hp   So as usual he and Maggie rented a car.

hp   On the way, they were to pick up Bob, who was meditating in his favorite spiritual hangout.

hp   All along the drive, François listened to Beach Boys songs.

hp   Maggie: Do you really need to set it full blast?

hp   François: But it's "Good Vibrations"! One cannot travel throughout California without listening to it at least once.

hp   M.: Certainly, dear, but these are not good vibrations they are a deafening din.

hp   On the morning of the second day, they stopped in Ojai.

hp   Bob, who had spent a week nurturing his karma with Krishnamurti or Werner Erhard or some other conscience opening figure, was in fine shape.

hp   F.: Hello buddy. How were your gurus? We are taking you to another fantasy world.

hp   Bob: All worlds are fantasy: Disneyland, the world broadcast by TV, classical ballet, quantum physics, the one in your head, even what we call ordinary reality.

hp   M.: Whaaaooow! Do you intend to be on a high during the whole visit?

hp   Betty and Joe joined them in a motel in Anaheim where they had all made reservations.

hp   After resting a bit and getting refreshed, they met in the lounge to go visit the world most famous amusement park.

hp   Joe showed up donning a brown "Pluto" disguise, complete with ravenous eyes, dripping tongue and huge paws.

hp   F.: Far out! What's this?

hp   Joe: I hope to get free entry.

hp   M.: No kidding! And for all of us to boot?

hp   J.: At least for me. Then I'll do my best to parlay it into getting yours as well.

hp   After waiting for a long time in the slow moving queue at the ticket booths, they entered the park. (Despite his eye catching outfit, Joe didn't get away with having to pay like everyone else.)

hp   Two big live Mickey and Minnie Mouse welcomed them with this strange mix of human warmth and still faces which used to frighten François so much when he was a kid.

hp   While chatting lightheartedly, the five friends began walking toward the enchanting castle which loomed a couple hundred yards ahead.

hp   F.: Is this Snow White's castle?

hp   Betty: Snow White has no castle. Her stepmother threw her out and tried several times to have her killed. It is that of Sleeping Beauty.

hp   F.: Sorry, I get confused at times with all this hodgepodge of recycled European folklore peppered with Walt Disney's own creations.

hp   F.: I've even heard that they have parks in the US where you can see prehistoric men living among dinosaurs.

hp   J.: Yeah, they are usually run by the same people who support the Intelligent Design idea.

hp   Betty: Joe, you can't say that! The Intelligent Design idea is not without merits. Would all of this otherwise be the product of sheer haphazard? Admit then that it's a rather intelligent haphazard.

hp   J.: You know me well enough, Betty, to be aware that I have reached an age where I can say whatever I like.

hp   Turning then to Margaret:

hp   J.: Maggie, you definitely look like Snow White. For François I hesitate: one of the dwarfs of course, but which among Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy or Dopey?

hp   Bob: All the characters fit all of us. We are in a superposition. When you look at us you see one of them at random. That's what makes them so apt and endearing.

hp   M.: Well yes, but the best for François is undoubtedly Doc.

hp   F.: Bob, it's time you land. Do you think we'll meet Goldilocks and her friends?

hp   Betty: Why are you so interested in her?

hp   M.: Since we went camping in Yosemite, François goes berserk as soon as there is a possibility, however remote, of encountering bears.

hp   Betty: He is scared, you mean?

hp   M.: Not at all. He wanted to catch a cub and bring it home, to keep company to his cats.

hp   M.: But when I described to him how the she-bear would likely react, he wisely gave up on this outlandish idea.

hp   F.: No idea is outlandish in California, sweetie.


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