The following is an excerpt from Reeves Wiedeman’s piece for Cartel III (Fall, 2012), which can be purchased for $2.99 as an Amazon Kindle e-book or as a PDF.

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I am asked to place my index finger on a scanner.

This seems strange, mostly because the person in front of me was not asked to do this, nor was the family behind. I instinctively take this as an attack on my civil liberties but quickly realize: it’s probably sensible. Disney World has good reason to keep track of any unaccompanied adult males who, like me, are inexplicably wandering the park on a Monday morning.

I can’t imagine there are many of us. In fact, as far as I can tell, I’m the only person in all of the Magic Kingdom who has come alone. Pretty much everyone at Disney has a child, or four, attached to their hips; the only demographic that doesn’t: elderly couples. They have grandkids.

I’ve come to the Magic Kingdom, alone, at age twenty-five, to fulfill a childhood dream. Disney has been a holy grail since preadolescence, in no small part, I have to assume, because my parents ignored the constant Disney-related nagging and instead took my siblings and me on family vacations to Gettysburg, and Minnesota. (That this is a prominent complaint from my childhood suggests, correctly, that things were pretty good overall.)

So, when I found myself in Orlando for work with an extra day before my flight home, a friend from the city recommended Universal Studios. It had cool rides, he said; Disney didn’t have cool rides. It did, he admitted, have the “Disney Magic.”

There was never a question which one I would choose.

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To read the rest, including 8 other creations that will make you think, laugh, and wonder, buy Cartel now. (Kindle or PDF.)

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