Tom Waits on Disneyland

While cleaning out my closet, I found this magazine with an article that quotes Tom Waits. He had just finished recording something for a CD of songs from Disney movies.
Tom Waits traces his mordant version of "Heigh-Ho (The Dwarves Marching Song)" to a trip to Disneyland with his kids. "It was a living hell. They hit you up for 30 bucks to go in there and the whole thing is like a Ralph Steadman drawing. I spent an hour trying to get out of there, and we were jammed in like lemmings. I think my version of 'Heigh-Ho' came from that.

"Part of exploring these songs now," Waits observes, "it's like, what did they represent to you when you were young, and how did it change? For me, that [original] 'Heigh-Ho' with the whistling and all... the dwarves are going to work in the mines, they don't know who they're working for, it doesn't matter, they just love working... which is like the people who work at Disneyland. 'We don't get much, we wear these little uniforms, but that's okay, we like to work.'

"This is more of what it is really like, with the jackhammers and piledrivers and machinery. So it seems to me like we got something that could almost be a new ride at the park," Waits muses. "The 'Heigh-Ho' ride: They put you in there and chain you to a machine you don't understand and make you work for eight hours straight. And at the end you're paid absolutely nothing. That's the ride."
-- From page 31 of the January 1989 issue of Musician magazine, article by Mark Rowland.

Technology is not that hard to understand

My friend Joe was working in a bank in the early 1980s when they were introducing Automated Teller Machines. Part of his job was to show inexperienced customers how to use the ATM. He was showing a tiny elderly woman how to withdraw money by first inserting her card, then pushing the buttons, etc., and at the end of the transaction she said, "...and then the man inside the machine pushes the money out the front."

Joe said, "No, actually the machine does that automatically; that's the whole point of having the machine."

"No, I can see the man there inside the machine," she said.

Joe leaned down to the level of the tiny woman and looked where she was pointing, through a horizontal slot in the ATM. He could see a bank employee refilling the machine with new bills. "OK," Joe said, "there's a man there now, but..."