Tales from the Theme Park #3

November 21st, 2013 | Posted in Tales from the Theme Park

I know I just told this story last year here at some point, but it’s a good one and I wanted it part of the series. This one happened about 20 years ago when I had a run in with a theme park manager . . .

I was working at one of my theme park concessions in 1992 when one of the newer members of the park’s “management team” came up to the booth and asked if I was the owner.

“Yes,” I told her.

She pointed at one of the many examples up on the wall, one I had done, and told me there was a problem with it. “This is a family park,” she explained. “After his scandal and arrest, we can’t have a caricature of Pee Wee Herman on display.”

“I understand,” I replied. “I totally agree.”

“Great. So you’ll take that caricature example down?”

“No, I won’t,” I said.

This took her aback. “I’m sorry, I thought I was clear,” she went on. “We can’t allow you to hang a caricature of Pee Wee Herman in front of our guests at this park.”

“Yes, I completely understand.”

“So, please take that caricature off the wall.”


Now she’s getting incensed. “I’m TELLING YOU it is UNACCEPTABLE to have a caricature of Pee Wee Herman up in a family park!” She kept saying, getting red in the face. “Take that caricature down IMMEDIATELY.”

“I understand what you are saying,” I calmly replied, “but I am not going to take down that caricature.”

“WHY NOT?” She finally spurted out, totally flustered.

“Because that’s not Pee Wee Herman, that’s “Ed Grimley” from Saturday Night Live.”

She stared at me in bug eyed disbelief for a few seconds, and then turned and walked away. She never said a word to me again.

I’ve searched in vain for a scan or copy of that caricature but it’s long lost.


  1. bobcomeans says:

    Tales from the theme park are my favorite articles from you. Thanks!

  2. Jose says:

    I second that Tom. I really dig these “Tales”.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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