This is probably not the kind of thing I should admit publicly, so it will fit right in on my blog. But in times of excessive stress, I find great comfort in listening to Disney songs. I’m not sure how I made this discovery or exactly how I came to have parts of Classic Disney 1, 2 and 3 in my iTunes library, but listening to some of these songs – “Under the Sea,” “Be Our Guest,” and oddly, the song from the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room, as well as the Electric Light Parade music, go a long way toward bringing me closer back to my happy place. Maybe it’s the connection to the Happiest Place on Earth – even though I’ve never felt that draw to Disney the way some others do. But it is a place of sort-of escapism (except for the maddening press of humanity that surrounds you when you’re there).

The song that makes me happiest, though, is “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from Mary Poppins. I listen to that song and I want to be a chimney sweep in London. Which is just ridiculous because are there even chimney sweeps anymore? It can’t be a viable profession, really, and if it exists, it’s certainly not a safe one, although I’m sure there are just pages of OSHA regulations for cleaning chimneys. But Dick Van Dyke sounds so damn HAPPY with his job.

Now, as the ladder of life ‘as been strung
You might think a sweep’s on the bottommost rung
Though I spends me time in the ashes and smoke
In this ‘ole wide world there’s no ‘appier bloke

I want to feel that way. He makes it sound so romantic, so free.

Up where the smoke is all billered and curled
‘Tween pavement and stars is the chimney sweep world
When there’s ‘ardly no day nor ‘ardly no night
There’s things ‘alf in shadow and ‘alfway in light
On the rooftops of London coo, what a sight!

Pure escapism, I know. I just want to get away, to run and hide and be somewhere magical. Perhaps the most logical choice would be a beach somewhere, or a cruise ship, or some sort of vacation spot that is not the roof of a house in the middle of a city; a roof containing a chimney that I am responsible for cleaning soot and probably bird shit out of. But there you go. That’s the magic of Disney, making it sound like it’s the best place in the world to escape your troubles. And when I’m wide awake at 5 a.m., having once again used wine and food as a band-aid, with the typical lack of success, I feel like any alternatives have to be better – even ones that involve brooms and brushes and soot. If I could just stand on a rooftop and get away from it all, I’d be one happy bloke.


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