Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The end

I hope you all know how fortunate you are that I am able to write this blog. We almost saw the end of my ability to post. Ever. I saw my freedom fleeting before my very eyes. Although, if I was going to be stuck anywhere, it was probably a good place to live out my days. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As many of you know, Mariana is employed as a performer at a central Pennsylvania family-friendly, chocolate-inspired amusement park (name withheld to protect the usually innocent). Because she is under-age and must comply with the state of Pennsylvania's child labor laws as well as the rules of the central Pennsylvania family-friendly, chocolate-inspired amusement park, she must be accompanied by a guardian at all times. As such, she wears a pass with her lovely photo on it and her guardian carries a small laminated pass that clearly states "2010 Performer's Pass: Guardian of Mariana King" and "Enter at Employee Gate Only." Most of the time we enter the park with little trouble, although they often look at us funny and scrutinize our passes as if we're mother-daughter thieves trying to illegally enter said park. Exiting has never been an issue and we just walk through with a friendly good-bye. Never a need to flash a pass to exit. Tonight, as usual, we entered with little more than a glance and a security wave through the employee-only gates. It was when we tried to go home that we had trouble.

As we were walking toward the employee gate to leave, I glanced up and saw not one but three guards standing in the way. I joked to Mariana that they sent a whole swarm of guards to meet us this time. Little did I know how true that was going to be.

We got closer to find that the three power-wielding men were blocking the exit gate. The following is an exact transcipt of the conversation that followed:

Guard #1: (Presumably the leader as he did most of the talking): What do you think you're doing?

Cindy: We're leaving.

Guard #1: Do you work here?

Cindy (Pointing to Mariana): She does.

Guard #1: Then she can leave but you can't.

Cindy (Laughs, thinking he is joking - Hey, it's always good to have a funny guard)

Guard #1: Well, this exit is for employees only. How did you get here?

Cindy (Still thinking he 's joking): She drove herself.

Guard #1: Well, you certainly didn't park here.

Cindy: Yes, we did. We're parked in the employee parking lot.

Guard #1: But you didn't come in through this gate.

Cindy (Beginning to realize that there might be a problem): Are you serious or are you joking?

Guard #1: I'm serious. You certainly didn't come in through this gate.

Cindy: Yes, we did. She's an employee. She works in the theater.

Guard #1 (Said to Mariana while pointing at Cindy): Did you bring her in here with you?

Mariana: Yes, I did.

Guard #1 (Looks at Mariana with a conspiratorial glance, clearly saying without words, "Come on, I know you're lying.")

Guard #2 (Finally getting a voice): Well, we don't allow non-employees to enter through the employee gate.

Guard #3 (Also breaking his silence): And I know I wasn't here when you entered.

Cindy (Thinking to herself: This is true but how does it relate to our current situation? Are you the only guard allowed to admit people? We had a very nice, non-power wielding female guard when we walked through)

Guard #1: Who is the employee?

Cindy (Thinking to herself that we've already been through this and digging in her purse for her pass): She is. She has a pass. And so do I.

Mariana (Holds up her pass, which has been hanging around her neck in plain view this whole time)

Guard #1: Only the employee is allowed through this gate. You're surely not parked in this parking lot and this is for employees only.

Cindy (Still looking for the pass which she always has at-the-ready when entering but has never had to use when exiting. It would be easy to find if she wasn't so confused and flustered): But I am her guardian. I have a pass which says "Guardian". How do you think a minor gets here?

Guard #2 (Feeling bolder and smarter as time passes): We do not let guardians through this gate, only employees.

Guard #3 (Pointing to sign on gate and talking to Cindy as if she is short-of-brain cells as well as stature): It says right here - Employee Exit Only

This never-ending conversation went on for several more rounds while Cindy tried to imagine life stuck in the central Pennsylvania family-friendly chocolate-inspired amusement park. A never-ending supply of Reese's Peanut Butter cups didn't seem so bad. It might get kind of cold for sleeping, though. And they don't sell ice cream in the park in winter. Her brain tried to compute the rationale behind allowing guardians to enter the park but refusing them leave. She finally located her pass and held it right under their noses.

Guards #1, 2, and 3: Ohhhhhh. We can let you through.

It was that easy.

Later, as we were processing the evening, we were reminded of a conversation we overheard earlier. It was between several other guards, located elsewhere in the park. These guards were joking about how it'd be to their liking if this particular central Pennsylvania family-friendly chocolate-inspired amusement park adapted the TSA full-body scan and pat down procedures. Must have been something extra in the water tonight that caused power-exerting feelings and actions in the men wearing brown uniforms.

Please pass the Reese's.

Mariana with writer, director, and producer of Home Sweet Home for Christmas, Matt Davenport (who has absolutely nothing to do with the refusal-to-allow-departure guards in today's story and who would be aghast if he knew his actors and their guardians were being treated with such contempt)

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