It’s an iconic format–the hero, before he can claim his true destiny and aspire to the greatness within, must first be…a cabin boy.
Well, not necessarily a cabin boy, but physical labor is generally required, especially involving floor scrubbing. Take a few Disney classics for example:
This is the premise for my new philosophy: Cabin Boy Theory. Heroes have to start somewhere, right? Cleaning and serving builds strong moral character. Scrubbing floors and intense sanitary labor are all part of the journey from rags to riches. Heroes don’t just pop up out of nowhere–they’re born of soap bubbles and dishwater.
So, for this very reason, I was more than happy to be put on floor-scrubbing duty today. I was excited to participate in my own theory. Disney scientist, that’s me! I thought cheerfully. Bring it on!
At least, I was that enthusiastic once I got over the initial you want me to do what? moment. (“Group one! You get to be the Special Group today!” “Yay! Do we get extra leftovers? To help the chef demo?” “Nope. Floor scrubbing duty! Go get the mops!”)
Let me just say, deck swabbing in a culinary demo kitchen is disgusting. I’m just going to leave it at that. You do not want to know what those floors looked like once we got scrubbing up close and personal.
I was in charge of using the mop to splash water all over the floor. I actually enjoyed it. I felt like a pirate swabbing the deck. Instead of the usual “Yes Chef!” response I was tempted instead to agree, “Aye, Aye, Captain!” I managed to restrain myself for the sake of my grade.
I wasn’t the only one who was imagining this scenario, though. Heidi, my demo partner was beside me, squeegeeing extra water down the drain.
“Should we be singin’ like a princess working song or somethin’?” she whispered as we scrubbed away. By the time we were done, the floors were gloriously sparkling, even by Cinderella standards.
All in all, this experience just goes to prove my Cabin Boy Theory. Before you can be a captain, you’ve got to swab the decks!