My girlfriend is a cheater.
We had it all. Love. Respect. A deep and abiding shared enthusiasm for Disney. Then came the day we rode Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters together, for the first time, and I realized everything we had was built on lies.
It all started as a friendly wager. We are fans of the Toy Story franchise. We both enjoyed the delightful Disneyland Buzz Lightyear attraction, though, at the time, I had limited experience with it. Until this incident, one could have presumed we both had a healthy competitive nature. So, we bet a churro on who could get a higher score. The targets appear in various shapes and are worth different amounts of points. Some are worth a lot more than others. She knew it. She knew I didn’t know, and she didn’t tell me.
She beat me like my gun was broken.
As the “competition” opened, I began naively blasting away, presuming to do well shooting at every target in sight. Meanwhile, my alleged soul mate was carefully targeting blue triangles, running up an almost unrealistic score. By the time we passed through the first room, in which there are apparently several blue triangles of which only she was unaware, her score resembled a Powerball payout. My effort what not shameful, though it was already clear who would be buying the churros. She could have holstered her blaster at that point and still won, easily. She didn’t. Score-wise and socially, the end result was a true Disney tragedy.
Midway through the ride, I still hadn’t caught on to her strategy. That I would never catch the credit card number she was putting up as a score was certain. As much out of admiration as concession, I inquired as to how such wizardry was possible. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, though looking back, this is where our foundation of love and trust was shattered. Without pausing, and apparently without remorse, she said, “I don’t know.”
She wasn’t going to tell me. I think it was so she could do it again. She was not content to humiliate me for one single churro. Oh, no. She was going to retain her valuable little secret in case I was ever foolish enough to seek a rematch. Fortunately, I am far too much a coward to volunteer for two such beatings.
What I did do, out of resignation or simple paralysis, is let my blaster slip to the floorboard and simply sit and bear witness to my prolonged slaughter. I finally caught on in the last room. My score was the cube root of hers at that point, and still she could not relent. Thus she finally tipped her filthy hand.
In the final scene there is a blue triangle right behind the evil Emperor Zurg. When he lifts his arm and the target illuminates, it makes quite the tempting point-harvester for those in the know. She lit it up like it was responsible for the passing of a beloved pet.
I refused to purchase the in-ride photo, but I did buy the churros. I also married her. It wasn’t the most weighty factor, but if you find someone who loves Disney, and churros, and winning enough to humiliate and lie to you for it, hang on to them. Also practice, because a rematch, mind you, a reckoning is coming.