Tag Archives: Drone

Nightmare on Main Street

Main Street

By Jack Edwards

Our family had a brilliant idea. We would spend New Year’s Eve at Disneyland watching fireworks explode over the castle. Only, one little problem. Eighty-four thousand, nine-hundred and ninety-six people, people we didn’t even know, and certainly never invited, had the same brilliant idea.

That’s the cut-off. 85,000. This is proof that Disney runs Anaheim like the Mob runs Vegas. Just kidding! The bones in my legs are perfectly fine in their current, unbroken condition! (I’m referring to Disney. Not even the Mob is heartless enough to charge you $5.00 for a small soda.)

In order for 85,000 people to simultaneously experience the Wonder and the Joy that is the “Magic Kingdom,” each of the theme park characters is contractually required to carry at least one guest on his or her back to conserve foot space.  (Snow White is required to carry seven.)

There are only two possible explanations for Anaheim’s Fire Marshal signing off on Disney herding 85,000 victims into this human corral. Either old Walt had some dirt on the fire marshal, or the fire marshal is currently driving around in sparkling new Lamborghini with a bumper sticker that reads: “I brake for Mickey!”

The tragic result of this story, which will soon become ironically, and sadly, apparent, is that our family didn’t even need to suffer this tragedy.

Let me explain. When our family checks into a hotel, we ask for the best view available. Unfortunately, the best view available in our price range is a view of the hotel’s dumpster. Imagine our shock then of getting a room with a panoramic view of the Disneyland castle. We briefly discussed staying in our room to watch the fireworks, but decided that wouldn’t capture the full New Year’s celebration experience. As we soon learned… No, indeed, it would not.

We were warned that Disneyland usually cuts off entry around midday on New Year’s Eve when it reaches capacity. (Did I mention capacity was 85,000?) A Disney representative told us that if we left the park there was no guarantee of being allowed to reenter. This meant we had to head in early in the day, and remain in the park until midnight. If you’re beginning to get the sense that our whole plan was a bad idea, you would be sadly and absolutely correct.

Once in the park, warning signs were everywhere. We were 14 hours from midnight, and people were spreading blankets and staking out territory like it was the Middle East. Those of you familiar with Disney parks know that they have what they call a FASTPASS system with their more popular rides. You can go up to them and get a ticket to return at a later time (usually two or three hours when it’s busy) and then bypass the regular line. We struggled to Space Mountain for a FASTPASS at about 11:40 a.m. Our FASTPASS told us to return for the ride at 10:45 p.m. We were like those buffoons in the horror movie who stumble across a dead body stuffed into a dog house, but instead of fleeing for our lives, we simply shrug our shoulders and go, “Humm, that’s odd. The landlord told us this vacation rental didn’t allow dogs.”

The good news was, the temperature was nearly freezing.

Finally, midnight arrived. You know those pimentos that they shove into an olive? Yeah. We were 85,000 pimentos shoved into a gigantic Disney olive. In the end, the best view I could get was watching the fireworks through the thick branches of a tree on Disneyland’s Main Street. I stood there freezing, longing to be in my warm hotel room gazing out at my customary of the hotel dumpster.

Unofficial Yukon Quest Insider’s Guide

Quest (2)

By Jack Edwards

I think I speak for everyone, when I say that there are few things in life I enjoy more than watching people suffer.  This is why I am so excited that the Yukon Quest begins in just nine days.  What is the Yukon Quest?  Think NASCAR, except dog sleds for cars.   Watching people suffer at room temperature is one thing, but watching them suffer in subfreezing conditions?  Well, that’s a whole new level of toe curling, “Thank goodness I’m not that guy,” satisfaction.

The Yukon Quest is a 1,000 mile dog sled race between Whitehorse, Yukon, and the Alaskan city named after screen legend Douglas Fairbanks.  The Yukon Quest’s official motto is: “The Iditarod is for sissies!”  The starting point of the race alternates between the two cities.  The rules require that the last musher to begin the race neatly fold and then tuck the starting banner into his sled.  According to one race official, “Sure the last musher usually gripes about it.  But this saves us a bundle in postage getting ready for next year’s race.”

This year’s “insider tip”:

Be on the lookout for Lance Mackey.  (Lance Mackey is the Peyton Manning of sled dog racing.)  Mackey isn’t signed up this year, yet, but here is an insider rumor.  Mackey has stolen one of Amazon’s prototype drones and hatched a diabolical plan.  He’s going to use his “star power” and golden boy charm to convince race organizers to let him sign up for the race at the last minute.  Then he’s going to attach his GPS sled tracker to the pilfered drone.  After that, it’s off to Honolulu for ten days before zipping back to slip onto the trail again and claim the prize.  If you see Brent Sass, Hugh Neff or Allen Moore gazing up into the sky as their sleds fly along the course, it means that the rumor is out.  They’re looking for Mackey’s drone.

Bonus “insider tip”:

Any of you who are interested in signing up for next year’s race can find the entry requirements on the Yukon Quest official website.  The requirements are: 1. You must be at least 18 years old, 2. You much have completed a 200 and a 300 mile race, and 3. You must sign a sworn statement that you will not attach your GPS transponder to an Amazon drone.

Bonus, bonus “insider tip”:

Rumor has it that next year’s Yukon Quest will be sponsored by Amazon.

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The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness at –


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The World’s Best Gift for Lawyers OR The Proper Care and Feeding of Sharks


According to the most recent census, there is one lawyer for every man, woman, child and four-legged creature living in the continental United States.  (Alaska, of course, is the wild frontier; yes, there are lawyers in Alaska, but they limit their professional activities to officiating at duels.  And Hawaii is the Land of Aloha, and Aloha means never having to hire a lawyer.)  Disturbingly, the number of lawyers continues to increase faster than a herd of bunny rabbits loose in a Viagra factory.  (Yes, it is a “herd” of rabbits.  I always thought it was a “hutch” of rabbits, but it’s a herd.  That’s what my iPhone says, so it’s true.)  This leaves us with a problem – what to get the five lawyers we each know personally for Christmas.  The last thing you want to do is set yourself up to be sued for the common law tort of Negligent Gift Giving.  (And, sadly, we each know lawyers, perhaps close relatives, who would file that nuisance suit in a New York minute.)  Having been down that litigation road before, I am here to help.

Let me begin by ruling out a number of gifts you may so foolishly be considering.

First, forget any products using, claiming to be, or insinuating that they are associated with shark skin.  Especially, shark skin belts.  No, it’s not clever or cute.  And it’s about as original as grandma giving Johnny that t-shirt that says:  “My grandma went to Aruba, and all she got me was this lousy t-shirt.”  Besides, have you priced a shark skin belt?  Ouch.  Find me a lawyer worth that.  I’d want to put him on retainer immediately.

Second, refrain from the tired pen and pencil set.  Sorry, yes it’s cheaper than a shark skin belt, but it’s equally as trite.  It also sends a clear message:  “I refuse to put any thought into this gift, at all.”  A pen and pencil set is in the box of chocolates category.  And you might as well throw that pencil in the trash.  He will.  Nobody uses pencils anymore.

Without further ado, here it is.  The answer to your problems.

[WARNING:  The remainder of this column is an info-laughable.

Info-laughable (in-fo-laf-able), n.  a humorous entertainment designed to be amusing, but also to shamelessly promote a commercial product.]

So, we have arrived at our destination.  The world’s best gift for lawyers.  Drumroll, please….

An inspirational book.

No, not a hardback (Don’t be crazy.  Do you know what a hardback costs these days?).  A paperback.  An uplifting read.  One that comes to mind is The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the Legal Wilderness


You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  You’ll thank God you’ve scratched that lousy chore off your list.  And according to 60 Minutes, Amazon will now deliver it by next-day drone.  But remember that the most important thing about presenting any lawyer with a book – the inscription.  Don’t make a costly mistake.  I suggest the following heartfelt sentiment:

“Dearest [fill in name of blood sucker],

I hope you will find sufficient inspiration within these pages to brace you through the stressful year ahead, where few truly appreciate the necessary work you do.  But, please, I beg of you, do not bill me by the tenth of the hour to read this gift!”


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Check out these great books:

The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness at –


Seven Rules for the College Playground –


Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer –