March 11th, 2005

Mickey Mouse Uncensored.

You've got to wonder something whenever you see those magical commercials that advertise Disneyland vacations: What is it like to be a guy that works fulltime as one of the Mickey Mouses located at every theme park? What is it like to wake up every day and know that the only uniform you'll ever have to wear for work is a giant furry mouse outfit that doesn't just hide your face, but changes your attitude into a loving, fun, and playful mouse in giant shoes and red suspender shorts.

I wonder how many Mickey Mouses there really are, and if it at all takes away from the magic of it all when children realize that Mickey really can't be at all the theme parks at the same time, so he must be duplicated somehow. Imagine you are one of them; one of the cloned Mickey Mouses, spending a normal day at work. I wonder if this average Joe behind the costume is really a fun-loving guy that loves to hug little children (you probably have to be to take on a job like that), or if he's some drunk douchebag that beats his wife. Does Mickey Mouse just hop from place to place throughout the theme park, stopping at some places to give hugs and sign autographs, and dropping by the occasional ride to surprise some unsuspecting children? I specifically remember from my childhood visits to Disneyland that wherever there was a Mickey, there was a line of about 300 three-foot-high kids waiting with their autograph books open. So how does it work? Does Mickey have specified appointments, when he is supposed to be at a certain place in the park at a certain time? And just how many Mickey Mouses reside in the same theme park? What if two of them ran into each other and some unfortunate kid were to see? All his dreams and fantasies would be shattered. How is such a situation to be avoided?

I would think that working fulltime as a Mickey Mouse would be sort of like working in a twilight zone. Being constantly surrounded by other grown adults parading around in polyester outfits of fictional characters, created by the minds of total maniacs and loonies. How does it feel to know that even if you're swearing under your breath, all anyone else can see is a smile the size of their heads? How does it feel to know that you can't stop smiling unless you rip your polyester fake face to shreds? Not only that, but you're constantly being bombarded by little children that believe with all their hearts that you really are a walking and talking oversized mouse. How would it be possible to make any friends at work? How could you, as a grown adult, find the strength to take any of your co-workers seriously? And just who do you feel somewhat obligated to be friends with? When Minnie Mouse has her massive foam head removed, do you feel duty-bound to be closer to her than say, Aladdin, because you were romantically involved with her in the movies, and Aladdin was a totally different motion picture? What if Mickey and Minnie are both girls? Or both guys? How bizarre would it feel to be a guy that worked professionally as Minnie Mouse? What would you tell your in-laws?

How exactly does it feel to work in a place that's so disconnected from reality? What's it like to work in an environment that focuses solely on bringing fantasy to life? It seems sort of oxymoronic to me; having a job to make money and survive in the real world, but doing so in a completely unreal place. I wonder if it's the kind of job that people can only stand for a short period of time, or if there are people that have been working professionally as a Mickey Mouse for years. Those people must be extremely fucked in the head.