THE TOP 5 PLACES I CAN’T GO ON VACATION
When my wife, Susan, and I go on vacation, we just assume that no place is off limits. We have either snuck into, or finagled our way into, dozens of places in multiple countries. It’s just what we do. Restrictions are for suckers.
In Pittsburgh we convinced a guard to let us into an exclusive men’s club and even got him to give us a personal tour, which was great since he had a key to all the locked doors. We snuck onto the roof of the National Cathedral in Washington DC—you wouldn’t believe how much they appear to not want people to do that. We had to go through the monks’ personal quarters (it was a round room with a red carpet, and looked eerily similar to the dorm room in Harry Potter) and through the little bell-ringing room, but we got up there. Then there is Venice, which had lots of places that were off limits—so that was a fun trip.
Every destination seems to have restricted areas. We don’t like that. And like I said, we assume that doesn’t apply to us. What they really mean is that it’s closed to stupid people—especially since most places’ big-time security systems involve a sign on a stick, or a little rope stretched across a doorway. Seems like an invitation to me.
So this week’s top five is a list of places that I don’t think even Susan and I could get into. That doesn’t mean we won’t someday try (especially now that we know about them). But these five places would be particularly challenging.
1. Disneyland is just taunting us with this one. A comedian once said that since there is no alcohol allowed in Disneyland, how can it possibly be “The happiest place on earth”? Good point. But there is in fact one place you can get snoggered in the park. It’s called Club 33. And very appropriately it is in the New Orleans Square section. Duh. Where else would it be? It’s supposed to be a secret private club, but how secret can you be when your details are explained in Wikipedia? The problem for Susan and I is that it costs between 10 and 30 thousand dollars to join (but maybe we can find a coupon), and the waiting list is fourteen years long. You have to be buzzed in, and show a membership card, and probably give a DNA sample, so this might be beyond our abilities, and therefore belongs on this list.
2. The funny thing about this next one is that I might be invited there someday. But until the end of the world comes, it’s a big no-no. And that’s actually the point of the place: The end of the world. It’s called Mount Weather, so they’re not very creative, but they’re very super duper serious. Whatever goes on in there is wicked secretive, because it’s the place the US government has prepared for people to go when the world is about to be destroyed, or annihilated, or whatever. It’s the highly secure, last safe place on earth, impending doom, destination of choice. So unless Susan or I can find a way to send a comet toward earth, we’ll probably never get in.
3. The year 2013 is the key to this next one. That’s when Susan and I will make our move. Because otherwise, the Ise Grand Shrine is incredibly tough to crack into. We could probably fake being members of the Japanese imperial family to get in (that’s a requirement) because we’ve impersonated journalists and architecture students to get into places. So how hard can royalty be? However, the kicker is that being imperial isn’t enough. You also have to be a priest or priestess, and neither of us know anything about the Shinto religion. Ah, but there is a loophole. They demolish and rebuild the shrine every twenty years. (It’s a death/rebirth thing.) And guess when the next deconstruction is scheduled? 2013. Time to get fitted for a Japanese construction-worker’s uniform.
4. Now, this next place isn’t racist. Sexist, but not racist. I’m telling you this because it’s called White’s Gentlemen’s Club. But that’s just because the founder’s name was Francis White. (See, told you.) But no women are allowed. (See? I was right again.) So, obviously I have a slightly better chance of getting in than Susan, but the only way I can do it is if I’m invited in by a member who also has the support of two other members. And not that many people like me. At least not all in one place. And definitely not in England (the club’s location). Plus these guys are loaded. They make six-thousand-dollar bets on things like which of two raindrops will slide down a window first. Seriously. So you know they can afford the best security systems. But maybe we can get them to bet on whether Susan or I can get inside first. Ha! Another loophole.
5. If Club 33 sounded exclusive, how about Room 39? That’s both exclusive and annoyingly vague. But just because it’s in North Korea, and run by their government, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to go there. Of course we want to go there—you told us we couldn’t. Plus, since it is suspected (no one knows, because no one can get in) that inside they are making tons of counterfeit currency, maybe if we can get in, they’ll print us off some.