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Assaulted by Donald Duck

Published September 04. 2010 09:00AM

The newscaster was smirking as he announced that a young woman was suing the Walt Disney Company.

Apparently, she felt traumatized by an encounter two years ago with a Disney employee who was wearing a Donald Duck costume. Why it took her so long to sue is anybody's guess. My guess? She saw dollar signs and could use some extra cash.

According to the lawsuit, the wayward Duck accosted the female park guest at Epcot in Walt Disney World, Florida. The feathered felon "molested" the woman by bumping up against her chest.

Now, if you have ever worn a large, hot, feathered costume and tried to control your every movement, you have sympathy for the Duck.

When I was an elementary school principal, my student body challenged me during a reading contest. If the pupils could read a certain number of books in a given period of time, I would dress up as my favorite book character and read a portion of that book to every class in the school.

Well, it just so happened that the students outdid themselves and read thousands of books. And, as fate would have it, my favorite book character of all time is "Jonathan Livingston Seagull." And, to add insult to injury, this reading marathon was to take place during one of the hottest weeks in early June.

It took me some time to find a suitable Jonathan costume. Seagull outfits are not that popular, so I was forced to rent an eagle costume. I figured that many of the kids wouldn't care which bird I was as long as I dressed up as a bird.

The eagle costume was fabulous. It had large wings and a headpiece that could have served as a small house for an eagle. When I put the whole thing on, I felt as though I had entered the Amazon jungle. The heat was amazing. However, since a principal never knows what's coming next, I was forced to wear my typical daily clothing underneath the costume. No shorts and T-shirts.

Believe me when I tell you that the reading contest taught me a good lesson. The next time, my favorite book character would be "The Little Mermaid." Some young pupils might be traumatized by my ancient body in sparkly tights and a tail, but at least I wouldn't have 100-degree feathers on the outside.

So, I am supremely qualified to sympathize with Disney's poor Donald Duck. It's amazing to me that our society has deteriorated to the point that a cuddly icon being worn by a sweating, tilting employee could be accused of malfeasance.

I'd like to challenge the young over-sensitive woman who is suing Disney to walk a mile in Donald's big orange shoes. She'd learn quickly that there's a big difference between molestation and stumbling with fatigue.


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