Thursday, July 14, 2005


run for the hills!

i just read jamie's blog about her hatred of all things disney, and i have to admit that...

i have a fear of people dressed as characters.

now, i guess it's not a fear, per se. rather, a strong dislike. i become very agitated and need to get away from the diminutive folk smothering themselves in pounds of foam and fur. i just can't stand it.

what always makes things interesting is that i go to disneyworld twice a year for work. invariably, i have phobia-inducing incidents annually.

the character breakfast catastrophy: each year, one of my sadistic friends decides to make reservations for breakfast with the characters and i begrudgingly oblige. loading my plate with the sugary carb-fest that is mickey shaped waffles, french toast sticks, and really well-done has browns [love it], i cower over the sneezeguard, willing myself invisible. as quickly as i can, i return to my seat located on the inside of the booth so as not to have any direct contact with our furry friends.

occasionally, all my scheming backfires. one year, my friends decided to all get up and refill their plates, leaving me sitting there. before you know it, pluto is sitting in the vacant seat with his snout propped lovingly on my shoulder. i was mortified. i think he was waiting for me to react, pet him, talk to him. i sat wooden, mechanically shoving my breakfast in my mouth, sweating, praying he'd leave and go canoodle with some plump little terror circling his napkin overhead to the repeating happy breakfast tune.

the character breakfast catastrophy, part 2: this year, my friend jeannine was chatting up mickey mouse as we exited the restaurant. jeannine is small -- 4'11" -- and the woman in the mickey suit was likely to be even smaller. before we departed, jeannine and mickey hugged. mid-hug, there seemed to be a change in weight distribution -- one thought the other was supporting her as if in a dip -- and both came crashing to the floor. small children everywhere were stunned as poor mickey struggled to right him/herself, wrestling with the large heavy head. i was shellshocked and broke out in nervous laughter. the horror! receipt in hand, we escaped as quickly as possible.

the character breakfast catastrophy, the aftermath: later that evening, we arrived at the annual sales meeting kickoff dinner. to make things festive and fun, the company had hired a photographer who was taking pictures of my coworkers, cocktails in hand with... mickey. oh, shit.

i made repeated trips to the bar, trying to entangle myself in a brow-furrowing conversation about event-planning and marly floors. alas, my efforts were for naught.

"git up thair'n getcher picture tay-kin," commanded a vp we'll call the sheepherder.

"she's afraid of the characters," retorted jeannine, sipping her martini.

"yer afrayed of the characters?" asks shake-pop-down, another vp, with her newport-cured voice.

"well, it's not really a fear, per se..."

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