Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mickey Mouse Clubbed

Still in Disneyworld, Florida. Conference hell continues.

The stairwells have become my only refuge, where, free from the crushing conformity of Disney and my conference confreres, I can sneak a cigarette and brush up my lousy Spanish with the costumed wretches trying to cool off between appearances.

Diego, the depressed Donald I met on my first day, has become something of a friend. Donald is not a popular character, so he gets a lot of free time and is almost always in the same ratty armchair on the third floor landing, reading a newspaper consisting mainly of anti-Castro diatribes. My kind of guy. I spot him a cigarette, he gives me a light, we laugh about the lard-assed locals and the boiled-lobster complexion of the English, and forget our troubles for a while.

The evening brings the reception paid for by conference vendors and sponsors. To make the event more ‘magical’, there is optional fancy dress, provided courtesy of Disney. Their uber-humourless “cast members” are on hand to ensure that propriety is observed. I ask them for giant mousetrap costume, so I can go tell everyone I’m looking for Mickey, and they instantly call security. Fortunately it never occurs to them to check the stairs, so I escape without incident. While I’m skulking on the landing, Diego offers me his Donald, but he’s about 5’ 3” and I think Donald has enough popularity problems as it is without adding indecent exposure.

So instead I sneak back into the reception in mufti and spend the evening getting drunk on free g&t, expressing eager interest in anything these chumps offer to sell me as long as they keep my glass full. Sadly for them I have the same degree of budgetary authority as a carpet mite, but it would be ill-mannered of me to spoil their evening by mentioning this.

Some of the other attendees have been equally indiscriminate in their embrace of the vendors’ hospitality. A rather buxom Minnie manages to fall simultaneously off of her chair and out of her costume and is helped to her room by suspiciously willing colleagues. A man in an unnecessarily tight-fitting Robin Hood costume is beginning to eye me hopefully, so I decide to take my last drink back to my room and finish it in safety.

This evening the little button on my palm turns red and I get to leave this god-forsaken hell-hole. I just hope the hangover has worn off by then.

Disney – something for everyone…


R. Sherman said...

There's a toasty place in the afterlife for the person(s) who came up with the idea of costume parties for adults. Unless its me in a tux and about 25 co-eds dressed as French Maids, I'll pass.


Rob said...

Just go dressed in a KGB uniform. A colonel at the very least, obviously.

Desargues said...

So there are gay Robin Hoods at Disney? Hmm... I thought it was a family-oriented place. I wonder if Tony Perkins knows about this. But they're everywhere, you know...

To let everyone know that you're straight, you could go dressed as Glenn Quagmire. :-)

Ivan the Terrible said...

Randall, your wife better not be reading this. If Germans know one thing, it's how to hand out punishment.

Rob - most of the staff here look like ex-Stasis, so they'd spot a fake instantly.

And Des, I can't do the Quagmire thing. The 'giggity' is OK, but the head-movement buggers my neck every time, and I have a flight to catch...

PI said...

You seem to have been there for ages.
Love the alliteration - quite poetic.
'I spot him' - give him???
You keep quaffing the G&Ts at that tate my boy, and you'll out-lobster the Brits. Not nice!
Why have you a little button on your palm. And Happy Easter!

Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi Pi. If it seems like ages to you, trust me when I say it seems aeons to me. "spot" does indeed equal "give", or sometimes "loan". The button is another Logan's Run joke - nothing to be alarmed about. And a very Happy Easter to you too - ХРИСТОС ВОСКРЕСЕ!

Aunty Marianne said...

Damn, was going to quip about Jenny Agutter but it's all been revealed.

I'm all for adult fancy dress. The Germans love it at Carnival around Brussels, they get quite out of hand.

And then there's the whole tie-cutting thing. Oooh there's a fun thing to do at a Disney-run cocktail party. Snip. Snip.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Jenny Agutter, eh? Fwoar! Wouldn't mind fingering her little red button... Well, twenty years ago, anyway.

Desargues said...

This is not really relevant to the topic at hand, but I thought it nicely connects to your post on weird names from a few days ago. Maybe you'll all be exhilarated to hear that, at the World Health Organization, the new HIV/AIDS director is one Kevin De Cock. That should put our worries to rest.

Ivan the Terrible said...

When you've met a man called Lars Limprich, all other comedy names pale into insignificance, somehow...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

What was Mr. Limprich? Was he a hoosier? A sausage-maker in a hungry part of The Wurstwald? A politician? Had he ever been to Wiltshire?

It's always good to have a realistic friend when you have to stay at Disney. It keeps you grounded and aware that your trip to The Magic Kingdom will, as everything must, come to an end. For the lone and vulnerable business traveller, a world-weary ducky mate will also help in scaring away Florida's looser mucky dates.

Aunty Marianne said...

Oooh I can beat you. I used to pay travel expenses for one poor gentleman called Bernd Burger.

I kid you not.

BTW Des when Napoleon forced the Dutch to adopt family names, a lot of them took rude ones to take the mick. De Stront, for example. They still bear them with great pride.

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