Turns Out I Speak Caveman

To all you fine folks who reached out to assure me I am not abnormal after my recent post, “Different” Doesn’t Always Mean “Worse” ( http://www.terrilabonte.com/2019/09/different-doesnt-always-mean-worse/), I appreciate your support.  You are, however, wrong. 

Let me tell you a story which I hope will put to bed all protestations that I am perfectly normal.  Something happened recently that demonstrates the cherry on top of the sundae that is my abnormality. 

I read that Disney World is going to completely renovate and refurbish the Spaceship Earth attraction at Epcot.  Spaceship Earth is an iconic Epcot experience.  It is one of the few original Epcot rides that still exists, 47 years later.  Many people don’t even know that the ride is called Spaceship Earth.  People normally refer to it as the “golf ball” ride or that “ride at the entrance of the park inside that big geodesic dome thingy.”  For the uninitiated, the ride is a slow-moving exploration of the history of human communication.  Currently, Dame Judi Dench voices the narration.  Like many attractions in the “Future World” section of Epcot, the ride is starting to fray around its cutting edges.  Let’s face it, the future becomes the past rather regularly in a 47-year time period.  You may ask, if the ride is about the history of human communication, how does it become dated?  The problem is that this history stopped in 1976 when Steve Wozniak developed the first home computer.

Anyhoodle, when I read that this bastion of Disney attractions was going to be closed for two years to reimagine it, I knew I wanted to experience it for about the hundredth time on my next trip to Epcot.  Max and I went to Epcot the other day, Fast Passes for Spaceship Earth locked and loaded on our annual passholder cards. 

As we began our trip back into communication, there was a scene showing cavemen developing a spoken language.  I listened to the cavemen speaking and kept hearing the word “umboday” over and over again.  In a split second, my mind took a rollicking tour through weirdness and reached an incredible destination.  “Umboday” is Pig Latin for “Dumbo.”  Hidden Mickey Hunters, eat your hearts out!

It is abnormal… no, bizarre… that I had this revelation.  The real question, though, is how my disturbed mind got from “I wonder how we know what spoken language the cavemen had?” to “oh my gosh, that’s Pig Latin for Dumbo!”  It’s creepy, but I can even tell you, roughly, how my mind processed all this.  Here are some of the thoughts that shot through my brain, rather like the data points zipping through the “modern” super computer the size of a building that is featured on the ride:

  • I know Disney did a lot of technical research when they opened Animal Kingdom to make sure the park was accurate and sensitive to the cultures it represented.  Did they do the same for this ride?
  • Wait; how could they research the spoken language of primitive man?  How would we know before there were any written records?   
  • There were no tape recorders, nor surviving eye witnesses, right?
  • Does archeology know anything about languages before the writings on cave walls?
  • On the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ride (for those of us with a memory… the PeopleMover), the soundtrack includes an announcer paging “Tom Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow” (Tomorrow… get it?). I heard something about a project or company or character called Yisned (Disney spelled backwards).  Is the “umboday” thing a trick?
  • They are talking about the fact that the world’s body of knowledge was preserved after the fire of Rome because middle Eastern scholars kept copies of most of the books in their libraries.  I wonder if any of the titles on those books shown in that scene mean “It’s A Small World” in Hebrew or Arabic or something.  That would be cute.  They should totally do that in the redesign.
  • Hmmm… “umboday… umboday”… oh wait, that’s Dumbo in pig Latin!

There is so something wrong with me!  I am definitely abnormal. 

I went home and posted my observation on Facebook.  I belong to a couple of Disney passholder groups.  I thought my fellow Disnerds in those groups would get a kick out of the information.  Either that, or they would tell me I was late to the party and everyone who is anyone already knows this.  It turns out that I have never before posted ANYTHING on Facebook quite as engaging as this.  As I write this, over 125 people have already reacted to my newsflash and that number is growing.  

I am sure that many of you are reading this and thinking, “she’s a total loon.”  On the other hand, I seem to belong to quite the flock of loons, given the Facebook response.  Maybe I’m abnormal, but maybe I am also rare and exotic.

Is it bad that I want to go back on the ride to see if I can translate the rest of the caveman conversation?  Just what are they saying about Dumbo?  Maybe… “your children will be scarred for life if they don’t get to ride Dumbo?”

What is the weirdest thought that has ever struck you?  If that is too broad a question, how about the weirdest thing you’ve thought this week?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement @gmail.com. 

Have a weird day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

8 thoughts on “Turns Out I Speak Caveman”

  1. All I can say is I just love it! You, your story and your weirdly unique take on the world- especially this one, as Spaceship Earth is also one of my, and my family’s favorite rides. We’ve also been on it hundreds of times and can’t wait to go back before it closes to hear “Umboday”!!

    1. I’m sure it is one of those things that you can’t “unhear.” If you make it before it closes, let me know if you can translate the rest of the message, ok? I’ve been a little worried about Dumbo.

    1. Knowing that I will be weird for the rest of my life, it is probably a good idea to try to think of it as a good thing. Thanks for encouraging me in that point of view, Pat!

  2. All I can say is you must be a crazy word scapes or crossword puzzle player. Now you will be hyper aware of all things Disney language. I had an interesting thing happen regarding the word scapes game. My friend met me for lunch and she couldn’t for the life of her figure out the last word in her puzzle. She handed it to me and within 30 seconds I had the word. She was amazed as she had been working on this puzzle for hours. So then I got hooked and began playing it. I noticed that my brain sees the letters and then just plops them in the order they need to be in. So weird. I got bored with that game and now I am playing solitaire. My husband thinks I am obsessed. Oh well, weird brains have to stick together.

  3. I think the biggest surprise is that Epcot is 47 years old! I was there one of the first couple years it was open and it can’t have been that long ago!!

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