One in 2000: Chris Vazquez

So, you took a year off? When was this?

After freshman year, so from 2000-2001.

What did you do in your year off, if you don’t mind my asking?

I worked at Disney World. I was one of Disney’s 55,000 “cast members.”

You actually worked in the park?

No, not exactly. They call everyone who works there a “cast member,” even the guy who cleans the bathrooms. I was a lifeguard at Lizard Beach. It’s technically part of the theme park, but not actually Magic Kingdom or MGM Studios.

You mean to tell me you had no inclination whatsoever to dress up in one of those big, furry felt costumes?

I was going to try out for some of the costume characters, but I really only wanted to be Tigger. I didn’t get the part. There was a height requirement. You have to be 6’2”.

What about other characters?

Mickey Mouse you have to be about five feet tall, and the only ones I could be were people like John Smith, and I didn’t want any of that.

When did you get the inspired idea that you wanted to work for Disney World? Did it hit you during freshman year?

No, it hit me when I was about seven years old.

Well, every seven-year-old wishes they could live at Disney World and never leave.

Yes, but the difference is that most people grow out of that. The idea never left me. The cool thing was you had to get to the park an hour before opening to set things up, and every morning they picked two people who got to go through and test all the rides.

I cannot find words to express my jealousy right now.

Yeah, but the day I got to do it the weather was terrible. It was absolutely freezing and no one was volunteering, so I got forced into it. But I admit, it was still fun.

What was it like returning to Williams after a year at America’s favorite theme park?

Hey, it was great. I got to live in Greylock even though I was only a sophomore, so I felt extra cool. I mean I’ve kept really busy. I’m in the step group, and I just joined Ephlats. Actually, today I am announcing for the football game.

You’re announcing? How did you land that job?

Freshman year the guy who was doing it was a junior, and he went to my high school. . .

So this was a case of patronage?

Well no, not entirely. They made me read some lines to Dick Quinn, and after that they just loved my silky smooth voice so much they told me to keep on doing it. By the way, I’m sorry, I know it’s really hot in my room.

It’s pretty stifling.

Sometimes I sweat through my sheets. Oh wait, don’t include that! Oh well, so much for this interview serving as a personal ad.

You can always direct people to your website. I hear you have a very interesting one where you dispense nuggets of wisdom.

Oh boy.

Could you share one of those nuggets with me?

You’ll have to go to the website to read those. Most of them are just quotations from other places anyways.

None of them are original? That’s cheap.

No, some of them are. If they are other people’s quotations they are in quotation marks.

Please share an original Chris Vazquez musing. Come on! Just one. . .

Okay, I’ve got one. It goes, “I used to think that hooking up with girls is like a dumb squirrel looking for nuts. He should take every nut he can find because he never knows when the long winter will come when there are no nuts and he and his nuts have to hibernate. The big difference I found was that for the squirrel, the nuts don’t get pissed when they find out that the squirrel has been collecting other nuts. And they don’t hold that against him come next spring! Oh if only I knew then what I do now, I could have realized I was grossly mistaken.”

Wow. I’m speechless. . .

The main point of it is that some people don’t want to get involved with too many people because it will make them look bad. But there comes a point where you realize you got to horde your nuts while you can get ’em. If you want to read all the rest of my quotations you should go to the WSO student pages.

You have an absurd amount of electronic equipment in your room. From what I see you have two computers, two Nintendos, a video camera, a VCR, DVD player and the list just goes on and on. Why would someone need two computers?

I like to have two screen names on AOL IM, so since this room is technically a double, I have both computers hooked up to the Internet.

You’re running an IM switchboard. Why does someone need two screen names signed on simultaneously?

You know there are some people you just really don’t want to talk to. So you put up an away message on one name, then you go to another name that only select people know about and you can talk to whom you want.

You didn’t want to talk to certain people so badly that you actually went out and bought another computer? Have you heard of the block function?

Well, I use the other computer for other purposes too.

How about the rest of the equipment?

Well, you got to have the DVD in addition to the VCR because some of my favorite movies I have on DVD.

What is your favorite movie? Is it a Disney movie?

Actually it is, and I’ve got it right here. It’s called The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I actually rented it from Blockbuster and never returned it because I wanted it so badly. It’s the 25th anniversary edition with re-mastered sound. Winnie the Pooh is so cute. I mean, who doesn’t want their own personal Winnie the Pooh? He could cook for me. . .

Pooh doesn’t cook. He eats honey directly from the pot.

Well, technically yes. But I could just say, “Yo, Pooh, go downstairs and get me a beer,” and he would tumble and roll down the stairs all cute and stuff. He’s unbelievable. Unfortunately, since I cannot have my own personal Pooh, I at least have the movie.

It all comes back to Disney, doesn’t it Chris?

I suppose it all does.