Sunday, 15 August 2010

Feathering her nest

If a grown man wandered around the streets dressed as a sailor, but neglected to cover his lower half, he'd be locked up and put on the sex offenders' register quicker than you could say "Daily Star lynch mob".

And yet, for the last 75 years, Donald Faulteroy Duck, has been wandering the grounds of Disneyland (and WaltDisneyWorld, fact fans) without a thought for local indecency laws. He even poses for pictures with children, as half-naked as the day he was drawn.

So it was probably only a matter of time before he fell fowl (sorry!) of America's litigious culture. Donald is now the defendant in a $50,000 lawsuit being pursued by April Magolon from Delaware.

This deluded chancer claims that she was molested by the lisping waterfowl on a visit to Epcot, Orlando in 2008. It's her contention that the duck stuck his decidedly dextrous wing where it wasn't wanted, ultimately leaving her with "'severe physical injury, muscle contraction headaches, acute anxiety, nausea, cold sweats, insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, digestive problems and other conditions that are permanent in nature". I guess this means she's gone right off Peking duck rolls too.

Defenders of the Disney empire have been quick to point out that the cumbersome costumes make it hard to make any precise moves, leaving cast members shambling around the park like drunk lab-rats.

Furthermore, the characters are always accompanied by more human-looking attendants. As well as making sure that tourists don't get too amorous, they're also on hand to prevent nervous kids from being terrified by the prospect of seven-foot-tall anthropomorphic wildlife.

When confronted with wild animals, it's commonplace to be told "they're more frightened of you, than you are of them". And it stands to reason that the same goes for these giant, cuddly characters.

Hardly surprising really, when you consider the popularity of 'furries'. For the uninitiated, they're the people who get turned on by dressing up as plush characters and making the beast with two zip-up backs (also known as 'yiffing').

Maybe April Magalon tried it on with Donald, and was angry about being rebuffed with her offer of a quick yiff in the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that Disney counter-sues on the defenseless duck's behalf...

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