It’s a Small, Small, Non-Selfie World

Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Someone, somewhere, is finally doing something to make the world a better place. In a day and age when there are so many dangers that can ruin one’s day in a heartbeat, like hearing yet another story about the Kardashians, a major corporation has finally decided to take a stand. I am, of course, talking about the recent decision by Walt Disney World to ban the use of selfie sticks. The world is truly a safer place because of it.

In my estimation, the selfie stick is the technology equivalent of that large wart on my uncle Louie’s rather protuberant nose. It is conspicuous enough to stop traffic – both vehicular and foot-based – while causing uncle Louie great angst every time someone wants to take a picture of him. You can bet old Louie hates selfie sticks as much as I do. He doesn’t need another reason to have people avoiding him like one of Justin Beiber’s former pals.

As residents of Central Florida, my wife and I first heard about the selfie stick ban in a rather delightful way. We were standing in the parking lot at the Magic Kingdom, gleefully minding our own business, as a tram full of eager tourists anticipated the end of the recorded greeting so the driver could be “cleared for dispatch.” But alas, not so fast. The recorded voice had barely finished boring the riders to tears when the tram worker at the end of the vehicle broke the bad news:

“Ladies and gentlemen, please be aware that today will be the final day you can take your selfie sticks into any of the Walt Disney World parks. Starting July 1, selfie sticks will not be allowed. We wanted to ban selfies altogether, but we realized doing so would make it impossible for some of you who are cosmetically challenged – you know who you are – to get pictures of yourself while on vacation. We regret the inconvenience this may cause you, your family, grandma and grandpa, Apple, Samsung, selfie stick makers, the entire medical profession, Chinese tourists, and the Narcissist-in-Chief, President Barack Obama.”

Upon witnessing this display of less-than-articulate verbiage from the English-challenged tram worker, I couldn’t decide which was more enjoyable: the knowledge that I would no longer be at risk of sustaining bodily injury from an unwieldy selfie stick, by which I mean losing an eye, or the looks of total confusion on the faces of the Walt Disney World patrons. Remember that this is Central Florida, one of the world’s favorite tourist hot spots. I would wager to guess “selfie stick” may have been the only word/and or phrase most of the tram riders understood and/or paid attention to.

So we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I hope the selfie stick scofflaws are dealt with as harshly as those who try to sneak their way into the parks using a ticket purchased at one of the many discount stands – wink, wink – littering the roads around the Walt Disney property.

I expect to see Narcissists United To Save Selfies (NUTSS) launch a campaign to protest Walt Disney World and their discriminatory policy. I can hear them chanting now, “NUTSS of the world, unite! We are NUTSS and we’re not going to take it anymore!” They might even unofficially adopt Chip and Dale as their campaign mascots. Wouldn’t that be a treat to see?

Should the ban on selfie sticks prove to make the Disney parks a better place, the next move would be to take the ban nationwide. Imagine a world without the evil devices responsible for so much mayhem in large crowds. Of course, there would be fewer pictures circulating around the Internet as a result, but that may be a good thing – especially for the cosmetically challenged. Some people, again you know who you are, really should consider putting less of themselves out there – if you know what I mean.

Yes indeed, July 1 may go down in history as one of the greatest days ever for international tourism. Ridding the world of the evil selfie stick will reduce tourism-related injuries, reduce tourism-based traffic congestion, and keep a lot of unwanted pictures off the Internet. If it can prevent harm to just one child, it will be worth it.

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