I can't take my BFF Sheila anywhere.
I have given up on taking Sheila to places like museums because she can't resist the urge to touch paintings. And though I regularly try to prevent her from smearing her fingertip oils onto priceless artwork; I remain ignored. Inevitably I find myself in an embarrassing situation as we are chased or chastised by a docent (who usually assumes I'm a complicit accomplice). Sheila has a BFA in Art by the way. So she totally knows better. But her "Inner Toddler" can't resist "touching things". (I'm just relieved that she doesn't put things in her mouth as well.)
Sheila just came for an end-of-summer visit and I figured we'd be safe because we were just going to hang out at the beach. Nobody cares if you touch seashells. But we had barely exited the car before Sheila was "touching things" again. Upon pulling into a parking spot, I mentioned that the cactus by the boardwalk had some pretty purple blooms on it. Sheila squealed with joy.
Sheila: "Wow! I think those are prickly pears!"
Me: "What are prickly pears?"
Sheila: "You know, they were in The Jungle Book. That's my favorite Disney movie! I love that song "The Bare Necessities" when Baloo, the Bear, sings about prickly pears."
(Sheila, by the way, is a BIG Disney fangirl.)
Me: "Uh huh."
(I'm only half-listening.)
As I make my way around to the back of the car to unload groceries, Sheila has climbed over a wall and is approaching the cacti. I momentarily think about warning her that the cactus is on city property, but I don't bother because SURELY Sheila won't pick anything off of it; she's probably just going over to take a closer look.
Wrong!!! Sheila's "Inner Toddler" emerged and when I look up, she is plucking her third prickly pear. She gallops over to me, cradling the bundle of forbidden fruit in her hands.
Me: "Okaaaay! I think you just picked government property. Aren't they prickly?"
Sheila: "Not really. They are kinda fuzzy."
Me: "Really? They they aren't sticking your fingers?"
Sheila: "No. They're . . . OOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! They're stabbing little needles into my fingers!"
Me: "Yeah, cacti sometimes release little flying spines to protect themselves. Are you alright?"
Sheila: "Yes. Urrrrrrr . . . Owww! Maybe not. No. I'm not alright. It's getting worse! It's really hurting. I need treatment! I have to google what to do!"
Now according to google; the cure for prickly pear picking-related wounds requires two things; both of which we did not have:
1. Elmer's school glue (which I haven't purchased since my kids were in grade school).
2. Gauze bandages (which we were fresh out of because my dog had chewed up my medical emergency kit and my husband had thrown out the slobbery remains).
Prickly Pear Treatment requires coating your fingers with Elmer's school glue (not to be confused with the superglue that I DID have on hand) and then wrapping your Sticky Fingers with gauze. Once the glue has dried into mummy hands, you peel the gauze off, hopefully removing the irritating *glochids* from your flesh in the process. (None of this was mentioned on the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers album by the way. What WAS that album about?)
Apparently, Sheila forgot the most important lyrics in the song
It contains EXPLICIT WARNINGS about PRICKLY PEARS!
ALLOW ME TO SHARE THAT EXCERPT
Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a PRICKLY PEAR
And you prick a raw paw
Well next time . . .
DON'T PICK THE PRICKLY PEAR BY THE PAW
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don't need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
Have I given you a clue?
(YES, SHEILA! BALOO GAVE YOU A CLUE!)
The bare necessities of life will come to you;
They'll come to you . . .
(BALOO LIED. THE BARE NECESSITIES OF PRICKLY PEAR TREATMENT ONLY COME TO YOU IF YOUR BFF GETS IN THE CAR AND DRIVES TO CVS TO BUY YOU SOME ELMER'S SCHOOL GLUE AND STERILE GAUZE TO TREAT YOUR SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS . . .)
Since Sheila was incapacitated by Sticky Fingers, I (being the considerate BFF that I am) notified Sheila's next-of-kin. Her hubby, Joe, took the news well. Below is a screenshot of our exchanged text messages.
Anyway, in order to protect my BFF Sheila from further Disney-related injuries, I decided to post the film clip from the new version of The Jungle Book. (Sheila hasn't even seen that one yet. Some fan, huh? With loyal fans like that, you might as well close the Disney film studio.)
And before watching this outtake;
I would like to emphasize something here for the sake of my dear friend Sheila:
The Jungle Book is a CHILDREN'S MOVIE!
Jungle Life does NOT operate like this outside of a Disney Film!
Do NOT do the things Mowgli does.
Remember: He is an animated cartoon.
If you ever see a BEAR,
or a PANTHER,
or an enormous SNAKE in the jungle,
For the love of everything that reeks of common sense,
DON'T TRY TO BEFRIEND THEM!
And DON'T swing on a grapevine to kick a bee's nest off the side of cliff.
(In fact, don't swing on a grapevine off the side of a cliff period.)
However, you may follow Mowgli's example and RUN if you find yourself drawing the attention of a large HERD of Cape Buffalo.
At least Disney got that part right.
Geez. It's like Disney wants our children to go into the jungle unprepared.
They're clearly arming them with all the wrong information!
It's like the opposite of survival preparedness.
You'll see what I mean in this film clip.
I'm not even sure if it is safe to let our kids SEE a Disney film.
However, you gotta love Bill Murray as Baloo.
If bears were fun like Bill Murray, I'd risk befriending one too.
[ NOTE TO SHEILA: THEY'RE NOT!!! ]
***PS: Disney does deserve credit for warning us all about the dangers of Prickly Pears.
So please pay attention to the Disney lyrics.
They kinda work like those Surgeon General warnings found on cigarette packages.