A few weeks ago my wife discovered the Disney Store in the Crossroads Plaza downtown.
I think it made her a little nuts.You have to understand that Joyce is normally a very sensible person. In fact, people often tell me she's such a sensible person they don't understand how we ever got together. (I assume that's a compliment, but I'm never quite sure.)
To set this up, you should know that twice in the past couple of years we have traveled to Disney World on movie junkets paid for by Disney. The point here is that the trips didn't cost us anything, so we had some money to spend there.
At Disney World we wandered through most of the stores in the various hotels and parks, which have essentially the same items this new Salt Lake Disney Store has. And Joyce didn't really show much interest in buying anything, aside from the expected souvenir trinkets - EPCOT Center postcards, Mickey Mouse key rings, Daisy Duck combs.
In fact, she is usually restrained about loosening the purse strings - if there's an impulsive buyer in the family, it's me.
When the local Disney Store opened up recently, you can imagine my pride at going in there alone, with a credit card in my wallet, and somehow coming out with nothing in my hands. Not even those wonderful little "Sorcerer's Apprentice" music boxes or the cute stuffed Goofys or those terrific ceramic Mickeys holding movie clapboards, not to mention the "life-size" Jessica Rabbit posters. . . .
Sorry, I got a little carried away there.
But not like Joyce did.
About a week ago I came home from work, walked into our bedroom and heard the phone ringing. But I couldn't see the phone.
On the night stand was a plastic upright Mickey Mouse figure where the phone used to be. Yes, Mickey was ringing.
I picked it up and heard, "Hello, Hello?" A voice was coming from the back of Mickey's head.
Putting the back of Mickey's head to my ear, I spoke into the back of his feet. Obviously, the person on the other end of the phone couldn't see me standing there holding Mickey Mouse up to my face, but I felt pretty silly anyway.
A moment later my teenage son, Matthew, came in, saw Mickey held up to my face and said, "Cool! Is that for me?"
"I hope so," I said, fearing the worst.
Yes, it's true. My wife bought a Mickey Mouse phone for our room.
"Isn't it cute?" Joyce said as she came in.
"Oh, yes, it's darling," I replied unconvincingly. "And did you get that Donald Duck electric toothbrush I asked for?" I was kidding, of course, but she didn't laugh. Now I wonder if that isn't what she put in the Minnie Mouse wrapping paper and placed under the tree, which is decorated with bulbs featuring various Disney cartoon characters.
In fact, the Disney Store has apparently taken care of a good number of our Christmas gift-giving needs this year.
And I don't think she's finished yet.
Last week as we entered the Crossroads Plaza and started down the hall, she began leaning into the entrance to the Disney Store as if it were a magnet, pulling her.
"Are we going in there?" I asked.
She smiled. We went in. And we didn't come out empty-handed.
I'm wondering if Disneyholics Anonymous also has a Salt Lake branch. Membership might be the perfect gift for Joyce this year.
- HOW DO YOU KNOW when you've really made it to the top?
On the trip to Sundance a week and a half ago to interview Robert Redford, I made a joke to my wife just before we started up the canyon: Glancing over at some shops we passed, I said, "Do you suppose Redford ever comes down here and pops into the Pay 'n' Pak to buy a little something?" Joyce answered wryly, "Sure, right after he gets a Big Mac to go."
Then we started talking about the man who owns a mountain, the success of his ski resort and the Sundance Institute, and the Sundance Catalog that comes out periodically, featuring items ranging from $10 belt buckles to $379 boots, some of them designed by Redford himself (with partial proceeds going to the non-profit institute and environmental preservation).
Those are certainly signs of success, but we spotted the sure sign at the resort, specifically at the General Store, in a little plastic stand by the cash register - an application for a Sundance Credit Card.
When you have your own credit card company, you've made it.
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK: John Hughes, writer-producer of the enormous holiday hit "Home Alone," whose other films include "Uncle Buck," "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," "Pretty in Pink" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (in the Dec. 7 Entertainment magazine):
"I've finally made a movie that my 11-year-old can tell his friends I did. There's no kissing in it."