This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’ve got to say it.
Disneyland is not the happiest place on Earth.
Oh, no. Not even close
The happiest place on Earth is any bar, brewery, or beer hall where there is live polka. Where revelers are clad in lederhosen, hoisting their glasses in the air – shouts of “Prost!” all around.
Because, here’s the thing – it’s impossible to be unhappy when polka is playing.
Just ask the woman I saw at work last night. She came in with the sourest look on her face – all pinched and pouting, looking annoyingly aggravated. But then. Then! Tuba Dan started to play.
The rhythmic “bump, bump, bump,” of his song circled the room. It came up through the floor, vibrating the old wooden boards. It moved into toes, knees, and legs, impossibly infectious. Customers swayed on their barstools, following the rhythm, singing the lyrics they’d known for years. These songs are well-known, well-loved; a staple at every church picnic, Oktoberfest, and wedding reception from here to Waupaca.
I watched this woman – this angry woman – watched her shift from one foot to the other, her eyes scanning the menu. I watched her face soften, her head move back and forth. I watched her lips spread into a smile, her shoulders bounce up and down. She ordered her beer, sat down and enjoyed the end of the song.
“…Roll out the barrel, for the gang’s all here!”