Benji explains that every square inch of Disneyland has its own obsessives. There are people solely devoted to Ron Miller, the man who plays ragtime piano in Refreshment Corner at the end of Main Street. There is one woman who comes to the park every day and just rides the Indiana Jones™ Adventure over and over. Its crew gave her a crystal bowl to commemorate her thousandth time. There are Haunted Mansion people, Matterhorn people. Benji and his closest friends don’t focus on one attraction, though; they are generalists, they like everything at the park.Link Discuss (Thanks, xowie!)
Doug Marsh is Benji’s best friend, even though they couldn’t be less alike. Where Benji is brooding and shy, Doug is expansive, showy, a Disneyland-obsessed Nathan Lane type, short and paunchy, but with flaming red hair and a bushy beard. (“I’m not gay,” he tells me. “A lot of people think I am.”) He says that he’d also love to give me his tour of the park, so one morning we meet near the entrance. As we walk toward the ticket booths, Doug spots a piece of white photocopied paper and goes to pick it up. “Look at this,” he says — it’s a list of special events at the park on October 17, 2001. “Why would this be floating around? And why would they print up a special schedule for that day?” He puts the paper in his satchel. “This will be investigated.” I’ve heard Doug collects paper ephemera, any sort of printed matter that’s given away free at Disneyland. “Yes,” he says. “Ephemera. Particularly ephemeral ephemera.”
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.