Thursday, January 26, 2006


This lady is really, really smart.

Do you know why I get to say this? Because I worked at the Disney Store for three summers and 1 summer at Chuck E. Cheese.

There's something about having kids under the age of 5 that makes some people convinced that Satan himself is trying to somehow corrupt your kid. 9 out of 10 times, it's nothing the kid would have ever noticed if the parent hadn't misinterpreted it and then made a big deal out of it.

About once every two weeks when I was a Disney employee making $5.00/ hr, somebody would locate me and start telling me how some tower in Little Mermaid looked too much like a penis, or they'd have to tell me how aghast they were at the famous "SEX" in the clouds in Lion King. The common denominator was that it was invariably something their stupid kid never would have noticed if Mommy wasn't getting her panties in a bunch about it. (How they thought their 2 year old child knew what an erect penis looked like was a bit of a mystery best left unexplored.)

I usually would humor these angry guests for a minute and then point out a manager. If a manager wasn't readily available, I would ask "Was your child upset by this?" which was probably not what Disney wanted me to do, but I figured I could probably find another $5.00/ hr job if push came to shove. Without fail, the child now only knew that the Disney Store was now suddenly a "bad" place full of wicked $5.00/ hr clock watchers but wasn't sure what the hubbub was really about.

Look, there is SOME stuff in Disney movies that shouldn't probably be there. The priest's erection in Little Mermaid comes to mind. That's no urban myth. The supposed one frame of Jessica Rabbit I've also seen confirmed. However... That stuff is fairly well hidden. If the two frames of filth have forever warped your child, you're a terrible parent and you're doing an awful job of preparing your kid for life. These are not the messages you get to relay when you don the polyester sweater and form fitting pants.

If the 1/24th of second of obscenity is bugging you that much, Disney has a policy that you can, at any time, return any Disney product to a Disney Store and receive some sort of refund. I am sure by offering up this info that I just broke a non-disclosure agreement, but it's true. If Mickey or Goofy are on the item, you can drop it there and get some sort of reimbursement.

The flipside of this is, of course, that for every one of these parents who is trying to shelter their kids from the storm, there's 5 of the "throw 'em in the deep end" variety dropping the f-bomb because they can't find the right size princess dress for their kid.

The League is not wholly convinced that these parents aren't usually one and the same. It all sort of depends on their mood and who they want to blame today that their kid is a little hooligan.

But this isn't Disney we're talking about. These are the post-Jim Henson muppets who speak in freakish falsettos and act like morons day after day and sell damned-near anywhere. But since he's a Muppet and not a Disney character, you can't return Elmo to the Disney Store. So...Before you jump in the Excursion to demand your money back at Wal-Mart, The League suggests you consider the following:

-If Elmo's weird little friend's garbled squeakings sound to you like "Who wants to die?" let's think of it as a Rorshach test, mommy. Maybe it's time for you to take a look around the house and see what needs changing.

-If Elmo's weird little friend is, in fact, asking "Who wants to die?", you gotta look at the bright side. Maybe your kid is just learning about goth kids at an early age.

-Finally, if you're reading your kid an electronic talking book about how to take a pee, The League would suggest you need to sit back and take a good, long, hard assessment of your life.

Look, if you want to be concerned about your kids learning how human beings are, I highly suggest locking them in a box until they're 18. Then let them out. As an adult with adult experiences, you may read all kinds of stuff into works which were never intended to be all that filthy. Further, calling CNN because there's bad audio in your Elmo read-a-long book is a cry for help.

Sometimes bad audio compression is just bad audio compression.

And that's the advice today from Uncle League.

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