SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- A jury awarded $8,000 this week to a disabled man who sued Disneyland for leaving him stranded on an immobile boat in the "It's a Small World" attraction after a 30-minute breakdown in 2009. At least half of that amount was provided as compensation for the pain and suffering the man incurred from exposure to the incessant loop of the theme song, which played over and over again at deafening volumes. The victim suffered an acute panic attack and did not medically stabilize for over three hours, according to paramedics. But on Wednesday, as seven other traumatized passengers from that ill-fated voyage stepped forward to sue the Happiest Place on Earth, the court found Disneyland guilty of eight criminal counts of torture. The ruling, analysts predict, will significantly impact the Anaheim resort's profits after settlements, legal costs, OSHA fines and mandated renovations to the attraction are factored. As a result, economists believe next year's ticket prices could soar to over $1,700 per person for a one-day admission to the park.
The seven other people involved in the incident described scenes of torment and cruelty, comparing the ordeal to horror movies such as "Saw," and invoking bleak Dante-inspired images of Hell and its eternal punishments.
Bursting into tears, Sherry Hymand told the court how, with blood streaming from her right ear, she screamed herself hoarse begging Disney employees for mercy or death.
"It was worse than anything a living soul could conceive of," Ms. Hymand explained. "The workers couldn't reach the boat to help us off. And they wouldn't turn the damn music off. We pleaded for mercy. Some of us, after what seemed like hours, implored them for the sweet relief of death."
Peter Frasnit, a former CIA agent who has experienced simulated waterboarding, said he would gladly spend every day of the next year being waterboarded rather than enduring another 30 minutes of the "It's a Small World" tune.
"It's like demons serenading troubled souls to their ruin," Frasnit observed. "It's like having your soul raped by the devil's tongue...coated with a bucket of rooster sauce."
Disneyland representatives said the theme park provided appropriate assistance during the incident: "We're disappointed that the court did not fully agree, but our cast members did everything humanly possible to help. The sad reality is that Disney engineered the theme to never stop playing. There is no way to disable the song or the speakers. After mankind has vanished from the planet, and the animals have regained their kingdom, this song will remain -- playing continuously -- as a reminder of humanity's terrifying sojourn in the universe."
One Disneyland maintenance worker, who stayed near the doomed passengers throughout the entire nightmare while struggling to get the boats moving again, was also injured during the incident. After rescue crews arrived, he was dispatched to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation following a nervous breakdown.
The worker, whose name is being withheld by authorities, committed suicide Tuesday night by injecting an air-bubble into his bloodstream with an empty syringe. Doctors say this is an incredibly painful death, but still more tolerable than 30 minutes of listening to the "It's a Small World" theme.
"In some ways, the song behaves as a virus," one doctor said. "It spreads from host to host, and once it enters a patient's system, it attaches itself to the brain. There, it slowly devours the neocortex and destroys the victim's ability to reason."
Police detectives and psychiatrists are also investigating the actions of a young couple who drowned their infant daughter after the first 10 minutes of "captivity" on the ride to "spare her any more horrors."
Disney officials implied that they would settle with the families directly for undisclosed sums.
2013. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.
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