Book Jeff

Sonny Eclipse and the Path of Totality

In case you missed it, and I doubt you did, we had a major celestial event last week. The U.S. experienced a solar eclipse. It wasn’t a huge deal here in Southern California, only 55 percent. But millions of others, including my sister in Dallas, were in the “path of totality.”

Path of Totality.

I’ve spent the past ten days reflecting on the eclipse and this so-called “path of totality.” Naturally, these thoughts took me on a path to Walt Disney World. The Magic Kingdom. Tomorrowland. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. And my favorite audio-animatronics figure, Sonny Eclipse.

In case you don’t know (or hoped to forget), Sonny Eclipse is Disney’s audio-animatronics Alf—complete with bulbous head, twinkling eyes, and interstellar antics. Since 1994, Sonny has been entertaining Starlight lounge guests as they eat, drink, and get off their feet and out of the Florida heat.

Sonny is an acquired taste, but Lyndsey and I are big fans. We love him! Last January, we couldn’t wait to show Sonny to MJY (my mother-in-law) on her first trip to Walt Disney World. One of my favorite memories is seeing her sitting with Sonny, drinking coffee, and tapping her foot to “Planetary Boogieooh ooh” (sung to the tune “Chattanooga Choo Choo”). She instantly understood why we love him.

It was a total eclipse of her heart. Sonny Eclipse? More like Punny Eclipse! His cosmic comedy is filled with puns. Dreadful jokes. Groan-inducing humor.

So are we. I’ve always gotten grief for my love of puns, word play, and name jokes. Only now, I have an accomplice! For Lyndsey and me, there’s no such thing as a bad joke, or a dad joke. They’re just, well, jokes.

And that’s Sonny’s significance. He embodies the importance of being totally, unapologetically, and authentically oneself. He doesn’t try to be something he’s not. He doesn’t shy away from his awkward appearance, love for puns, or quirky humor. He embraces who he is. With gusto.

And so should you. What would your world look like if you embarked on your own “path of totality”? Stop allowing others to darken your sun by eclipsing who you really are. In all the galaxies, there’s only one you. So be authentic. Be you.

Allow your universe to sing.

Speaking of singing, Lyndsey came home in January from our time with her mom with Sonny’s song, “Planetary Boogie,” stuck in her head. One night while cleaning, she started singing “Sanitary Boogie—ooh ooh” instead. And she’s been singing it that way ever since.

Maybe I’m not that unique? That, or I’ve been totally eclipsed.

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