Strolling down the path that leads to Tomorrowland, I see the very thing to beckon Elle to my side . . . a mobile trash can. Although this is the first time I have ever laid eyes on the traveling waste receptacle, I immediately recognize it as PUSH. Reports on the internet of PUSH have frequently intrigued me, and I feel a rush of excitement over finally spotting it.
“Elle,” I call out in wild enthusiasm, “Quickly come here!” Elle’s eyes widen at my antics. She knows that I have made a magical discovery and rushes to me. “Look,” I direct, “Do you see that trash can?” She nods. “It’s a walking trash can,” I explain. Elle giggles while she watches PUSH zig-zag across the path ahead of us. I continue, “Its name is PUSH. It is a real, functioning trash can. Do you know why it is called PUSH? You can push its door to throw trash inside,” I elaborate. “Can I try?” my eager waste manager inquires. I respond with a crisp, “Sure!”
Elle takes off after the rubbish-collecting bin. I wear a proud smile on my face as I anticipate a priceless moment. The eager anticipation is short-lived though. My smile rapidly deteriorates into a gaping hole of dread as I see my tyke bumrush PUSH in linebacker fashion.
PUSH is taken by surprise when Elle shoves the can so hard that its grounding is put at risk . As the can teeters back and forth, trying to regain its footing, PUSH’s “bouncer” sharply looks at Elle and glares as if she might pick her up and throw her in the trash receptacle. Oblivious to the Cast Member’s disapproving expression, Elle turns to me with pride. She believes she has made appropriate contact and participated in a Magic Kingdom ritual familiar to all Neurotic Disney Kids, but the horrified look on my face shatters her delusion.
I take her by the hand and slowly back away from PUSH’s angered escort. We walk ahead of the garbage disposing pair, and I quietly explain to Elle that there was a misunderstanding. PUSH isn’t supposed to be pushed in a literal sense. His swinging door is meant to be held open so that one can dispense of trash . . . just like every other trash can. Elle is eager to return to the waste container and engage it in proper fashion, but as I glance over my shoulder and meet the hostile gaze of PUSH’s accompanying escort I advise Elle against this plan of action. We have offended the sensibilities of the litter-fighting crew, and it seems best to walk away while we are ahead.
Elle is heart-broken. She can’t take another step because her sorrow overwhelms her. We come to a stand-still on the path between Main Street USA and Tomorrowland while she hangs her head and sobs. I am at a loss and do not know how to repair this mournful scene. All the while, PUSH and its refuse-protecting guide inch closer to our location.
I become slightly nervous. Will there be a confrontation? PUSH appears to be headed straight for Elle, and I am unsure of the scrapper’s intentions. Once the can reaches us, a small robotic voice asks, “Why are you so sad?” Thinking that I was the one who inquired about her condition, Elle never looks up and pitifully remarks, “I’m not sad, I’m very upset!” PUSH, being a compassionate waste manager, prods, “Well why are you so upset?” This time Elle raises her head and is slightly bewildered to find that the trashy friend she longed to engage is standing before her and actually SPEAKING. She tries to compose herself, but she is stunned by this phenomenon. The junk gatherer not only travels but it can obviously see and carry on a conversation! Looking to me for help, I prompt, “Elle, PUSH wants to know why you are upset. He sees you crying. Are you going to explain why?” Elle slightly stutters, “Well, I wanted to push your door to see the trash.” “Go ahead!” PUSH instructs, “You can see the trash.” I glance at PUSH’s overbearing handler. She seems to have softened at the sight of this interaction.
With some hesitation, Elle opens the trash can’s door and views the smelly waste of countless park guests. I can tell she is baffled because she was expecting to find a person inside the advanced trash accumulator. “Is that better?” PUSH wonders. Elle nods in agreement. The debris-filled bin says, “Now will you smile and give me a hug?” Elle looks to me for guidance. She is unsure if she is allowed to embrace filthy waste containers. Under most circumstances, I would adamantly forbid loving touches with trash cans, but I make an exception this time. She wraps her arms around the boxy bin, and it coos. Elle begins to giggle over the amorous murmurs and rests her head against her new buddy.
As I watch the beauty of litter love unfold before my eyes, I have an epiphany. The best of plans may go awry, but all hope is not lost. Magical moments can still happen with a gentle PUSH and a little pixie dust.
Contributed by: JL (NDM#1). JL is our Disney Driven Lifestyle Coach and creator of The Disney Driven Life as well as the Neurotic Disney People Community.