Category Archives: humor

Beware the Kid Scissors

So, just when you thought it was safe to leave your six year old alone with his art supplies, you find out you were wrong.  Waaaay wrong.

Snags came downstairs a few nights ago after taking his bath and wanted to know if he could have one of my hair barrettes.  He said his bangs were “getting in his nerves,” only I thought he said “in his nose,” and that was odd because it couldn’t have possibly been true.  His bangs were still up on his forehead.  At that time anyway…

He got mad at me when I said he couldn’t wear my hair barrette to school to keep his bangs pushed off his face.  “You look like a girl,” I told him.

He cried.  He argued with me.  “Well, I think it looks good and I think it makes me look older!” he said.

“Yes,” I agreed.  “Like an older girl.”

“If you want your bangs to be shorter,” I offered, “then let’s go tomorrow and get your hair cut.”

“No!” he responded.  “I want to grow my hair out to be long.” 

Let’s just get this point clear: He wanted to grow his hair out  “to be long” so he could look like Adam in the movie Snow Buddies, and also so he could wear one long braid down the side of his face like Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled with either look, but shaggy skateboarder is apparently “IN” right now, so I thought I could be a little flexible on the hair.  Besides, getting to the braid point was going to take some time. With summer approaching, I figured Snags would give up at some point, and ask for a hair cut just to get the wet sweaty hair off the back of his neck.  I figured we probably weren’t really in this for the long haul, but I had no idea just how soon the situation would change. 

Snags ran out of the room crying because I wouldn’t let him keep my hair barrette. 
Less than a minute later he ran back in.

“How do you like my hair now?” he demanded with a huge smile and a menacing cackle.

I glanced at him.  The middle portion of his bangs were pulled back, the hair barrette was hidden somehow.  If he was a girl with really long hair, it would have been a great look.

“Where’s the hair barrette?” I asked. “How did you do that?  I can’t even see the barrette.”

“That’s because there is no hair barrette!” he laughed.

And then it hit me…

“Did you CUT your bangs?” I asked, wide-eyed, as my husband more or less groaned, “Oh! Snags!”

And then Snags ran from the room crying once again.  He ran up the stairs as my husband called after him, “What scissors did you use? Where did you get them?”

Well, he used his art supply scissors.  Of course!  The ones with the red handle.  The ones intended for paper.  Not hair.

“Did you even look in the mirror when you did that?” I asked when I found him crying on his bed.

“No!” he wailed.

My husband tried to fix the damage by trimming the sides of his bangs, with (why do boys do this?) the same art supply scissors.  The ones with the red handle.  Again, for paper.  Not hair.

Of course that only made it worse.  Snags stood there crying in front of the mirror.
“You look like Willy Wonka,” I offered, kindly.  I thought that would cheer him up.  When he was four he wanted to BE Willy Wonka.  He wanted me to buy him a purple wig or let him grow his hair out in a page boy style and get it dyed.  He had a Willy Wonka costume.  We fashioned a “W” out of an old coat hanger and he wore it everywhere, just like Johnny Depp in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

But now, well, I guess that’s not cool anymore.  Snags cried some more.  I tried not to laugh, but honestly, I wasn’t doing a very good job of it.

I took the scissors from my husband’s hands and figured, well, what the hell.  No use going all the way back downstairs to get the kitchen shears at this point.  Besides, kitchen shears aren’t much better for cutting hair than the red handled art scissors.  I trimmed the other side.  But that didn’t help much, either.  Finally, I put the sniffling, snuffling Snags to bed.

When I woke in the morning I stayed in bed for a while, hoping it was all just a dream. But it wasn’t.  Snags came in my room and demanded to know, “Why did you and dad make me look in the mirror when I didn’t want to?  That’s just RUDE!  That is like sticking someone’s head down the toilet!  That’s how rude that was!”

“Oh!”  I said, a bit startled at the analogy.  “We weren’t trying to be RUDE.  We just wanted you to see your hair since you cut it without even looking at it.”

I sent Snags to school and I sent his teacher an email to warn her about his hair.  When I picked him up after school it seemed like every teacher in the building had heard the story.  They all gave me sympathetic smiles as they said, “Off to get Snag’s hair cut by the professionals now?” 

“Yes,” I said.  Yes we were, indeed.  Thank you for asking.

 

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Filed under humor, kids, life, parenting, Snags

Every Good Tattoo Artist Has to Start Somewhere

We’ve all seen them, the pictures floating around the internet that show a child covered in magic marker; she’s drawn on herself and she has a big smile on her face.  You would think that when a boy is six and a half and going on seven that drawing on himself would be, well, beneath him.  He’s got reams of paper around the house for drawing on after all.  But you’d think wrong.

I should have paid more attention to what he was saying but I was unloading the dishwasher and he started off the conversation with his usual “Mom, in my movie…” and that is more or less where I tune out.  I don’t mean to, but by God, this child talks about the movie he is going to make ALL.DAY.LONG and has been for the past year.  If he ever actually filmed the thing it would be longer than a Ken Burns special on PBS.  And my husband has told him repeatedly that George Lucas will sue him if he merely copies Star Wars.  So Snags recently renamed the title of his “movie” to Star Man (I haven’t had the heart to tell him that title’s also been used before) while leaving most of the characters the same.  It’s plagiarism with the tiniest twist.  Like calling your new book Barry Rotter and Barry’s got this lightening shaped scar on his forehead and he attends Hogwarts with Ron and Hermione…

So anyway, I was unloading the dishwasher and Snags said something about drawing some lines on his face.  I immediately thought of the cool tattoo that Chakotay sported in Star Trek: Voyager, but I told Snags that no, he could not draw on his face.  No, not even right before bath time where it would get washed off.  “Because,” I said, “it might not wash all the way off and then all your friends at school are going to be like ‘What’s all over your face?'”

Only… twenty minutes later and I’ve moved on to checking email on the laptop and here comes Snags.  He’s got a big smile on his face as he sticks his right arm out to me and pushes up his sleeve.  “Look, Mom!” he says, pen still in hand.  “Isn’t this like a really cool tattoo?” he asks.  And I look.  He’s written on himself.  He’s written “rase cars” on his right arm, and then “crash” on his left arm.  And that is what I get for letting him borrow a DVD of old Speed Racer cartoons from the public library.

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Filed under humor, life, movie, Snags, Speed Racer, tattoo

From Gerbils to Alaska (With a note to God)

In addition to his never waning interest in all things Star Wars and his desire to make his own Star Wars movie, my six year old son, Snags, has recently decided that he wants to be like Adam in the movie Snow Buddies, and he wants to race his own dog sled team. Only, we don’t have a dog sled team.

And so every night he prays to God to send him six dogs for a dog sled team.  Snags will build the sled himself.  And then he will enter a dog sled race.  In Alaska.

Today he came to me with a large manila envelope and on the front he had written in fat black sharpie, “Snag’s DOG SEDinG MUNee” and below that he had drawn a picture of the dog sled he will build.  He asked that any money I give him be in EVEN amounts (hello grandparents, take note!) so that he can split the funds between his savings for “GrBl MUNee” (Gerbil Money) and “DOG SEDinG MUNee”.  The envelope for the dog sledding fund is “in case God doesn’t give me the six dogs that I’ve been praying for.” 

And I think, yes, son, it’s always good to have a contingency plan.

Dear God, I’m not sure what you do up in heaven all day, but I am sure you are busy. If you sneak any time away from your job to read blogs, read this:  DO NOT SEND SNAGS SIX DOGS!  At least not until he is fully grown and living on his own or with a wife in ALASKA.  I am struggling with the one dog we have and cannot take care of six more.  Snags cannot clean up his own LEGOs, and so I have serious doubts about whether he would be capable of scooping up the poop made by six dogs roaming my back yard. Er… seven, if you count the dog we already have. So please, when you hear his cute little voice at night coming to you over the prayer hotline, as soon as he gets to the word “dogs,” just start humming to yourself or something, like, “la, la, la, I can’t HEAR YOU!”  You can get back to what he is saying when he says please and thank you and Amen. Or um, if he says something like “Please let my mom win one-hundred million dollars in the lottery.” That would be a good prayer to answer.  A request for six dogs, not so much.  

On the gerbil front, well, Snags has come up with a list of possible names for this gerbil he wants.  And wouldn’t you know it, all of the names are names of the dogs that appear in the movie Snow Buddies.  Lucky for me, gerbils are apparently harder to come by than dogs sent straight down from God in heaven for a dog sled team, and none of the pet stores near us happen to have any gerbils in stock right now.  Sad, isn’t it?

Actually, I thought Snags was going to be really upset over the apparent lack of gerbils, especially since he’s worked so hard to save up his money to buy one, cage, food and all.  For weeks now, every time I have run an errand I make a quick stop at the nearest pet store to see if they’ve gotten any gerbils in yet, and so far, no luck.  But it seems as if it might not matter anymore.

Because Snags recently got a second manila envelope and on the front he wrote “Snags loG KABiN MUNee” and he drew a picture of the log cabin that he wants to build in Alaska on the front of it.  I believe this is where he plans to live with his dogs when he races with them up there in the cold North. After he made this, he took all of the cash in his “GrBl MUNee” fund out of its specially designed envelope and put it into his “loG KABiN” fund.  All $33.00 of it. 

When I found the “GrBl MUNee” envelope lying empty on the kitchen table, I rather discreetly threw it away.  I’m hoping that without the envelope to remind him, Snags will forget that he ever wanted a gerbil in the first place. And that would be fine with me, because even though they are smaller and perhaps less work than six additional dogs would be, I don’t really want the job of scooping up Gerbil poop either.

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Filed under Alaska, dog sledding, gerbil, humor, life, log cabin, Snags

Easter 2008

It’s two days until Easter and I’m getting ready for work.  As I start to gather our things, our backpacks and lunchboxes, laptops, and briefcases, Snags comes to me carrying a plastic Target bag.  He opens the bag, holds it out just under my nose and demands, “What’s THIS? My EASTER PRESENT?!” And by God, it WAS.  Or at least it was supposed to be.  His present from the rabbit.  I’m shocked and I’m stunned. I’m also furious and tempted to say “Yes you little snoop, it WAS the stuff the Easter Bunny was going to bring you.  But now that you’ve gone and snooped around and found it, well, now he’s NOT going to bring it to you.  In fact, there is no Easter Bunny.  I am the Walrus Easter Bunny.  I hid that stuff to put it in your Easter Basket but you’ve gone and blown it now, haven’t you, you little snoop?”

But instead I said, “Um… where did you find that?” all nice and “inquiring minds want to know” like.

With a big smile on his face he says, “It was in the trunk in the spare room closet, under some towels!” 

And, yes, yes it was. That’s where I hid it.  Unsuccessfully, I might add.

The first lesson here is to NEVER hide anything that you don’t want your child to find anywhere in your own home.  At least not anywhere they can get to without a load of trouble or noise that would automatically send you running in search of the crashing sounds.

It turns out that Snags was looking for our plastic Easter eggs so he could hide them for The Best Easter Party Ever.  He wasn’t, he cried, snooping.  In fact, he only saw some of the stuff in the bag.  He thinks he recognizes “something from something” he “saw on T.V.” (Blendy Pens?) but he’s “not entirely sure.”

I told him the things in the bag were supposed to be his Easter Presents from ME.  And that now I might not give them to him until Christmas.  He cries and runs out of the kitchen.  I am mean.  He was only looking for the Easter Eggs.  He wasn’t snooping.

One day before Easter and I am back at Target, and then Toys- R-Us, fighting the crowds of all the other parents who are also now frantically searching for replacements for Easter basket gifts because their children ALSO found the stuff they had hidden away.  Or, um… maybe not.  Probably they just waited until the last minute to shop for those Easter baskets.  But, me? I think I shouldn’t be here.  I planned.  I bought.  I was ready WAY ahead of time.  That little snoop…

Eventually I find what I am looking for: some jelly beans and Mike and Ike’s and Twizzlers and Silly Putty. I head home, but this time I leave the goods in the trunk of my car.

Easter Eve.  We eat dinner and get dragged to the Best Easter Party Ever [sic].  Luckily it’s a short walk from the kitchen table to the family room.  Snags has hidden plastic Easter Eggs around the house. My husband and I have to find them.  I win the hunt when I find 19 eggs and my husband only finds 13.  Snags has filled the eggs with nickels and dimes, pennies, and Crispex cereal.  I am thankful he left the milk in the refrigerator.

Not much else happens at the party, go figure.  Snags was unable to find any party poppers or streamers and he accidentally threw away his checklist of party activities. He can’t remember what else he had planned so we eat some dessert and watch Enchanted.  Snags goes to bed in eager anticipation of the Easter Bunny, and I go to get the loot out of my trunk.

Midnight and Snags is up. He steps out of his bedroom and spies the trail of plastic eggs the rabbit has left for him to follow.  Snags wants to follow them right then, but once more I am mean.  I make him return to bed.

The second lesson here is NEVER leave any evidence that magical beings have come round in the middle of the night.  Don’t start the trail of eggs right outside the bedroom door.  Don’t leave gifts from Santa in the child’s room.  Hang a large sign on your front door reminding those that might visit, such as the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, elves, fairies, or leprechauns, to keep to main floor, to avoid sleeping children at all costs.  If you’d like to sleep until some semblance of morning, then trust me on this.

Five hours later and it is still, in my book, not a respectable time to wake.  Snags thinks differently and of course the egg trail is calling, begging him to follow down the hall… I am tempted to let him hunt for his basket on his own, let him gorge on the candy within and open the trinkets, do what he will, as long as he lets me go back to sleep.  Instead I pull up every last ounce of parenting skill I have in reserve and I make him go back to his bedroom until some more human hour, like 7:00, rolls around.

But it’s pointless.  He’s not sleeping.  He’s in his room pulling the springy door stop back and releasing it so it Boings! Boings! Boings! Boings! Boings! itself into my brain for a full hour and thrity-eight minutes when I finally give up and let him hunt for his Easter basket.

One hour later and Snags, belly full and face covered in chocolate, jelly beans and play doh and silly putty and Mike and Ike’s scattered across the kitchen table, has a stomach ache.  I only feel a teeny bit bad for him as I make him get dressed for church.  The stomach ache, I think, is just a little bit of payback for snooping and waking me up too early. Thank you, Easter Bunny!

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Filed under Easter, humor, life, Snags

Maybe Next Year

The luck of the Irish was not with my son this St. Patrick’s Day.  He built a leprechaun trap, but failed to catch a leprechaun with it.  He’s been feeling a bit down about the whole thing, and he’s hoping that next year might be better.  He’s already planning for it.

Leprechaun traps, if you are not familiar with them, are made from empty boxes, plastic wrap, pennies, and scotch tape.  The pennies hang from the inside of the box attached to long strands of scotch tape because “Leprechauns like shiny things.”  And then, if your father lets you, you can throw in some Lucky Charms, like cheese on a mouse trap, to lure the little green fellow into the trap.  The plastic wrap covers the opening of the box but has a hole just large enough for a leprechaun to crawl through.  I’m not sure why a leprechaun would be unable to go back out through the hole in the plastic wrap to escape, but Snags assures me this is not possible.  Maybe the leprechaun gets entangled in the strands of scotch tape… maybe he peels the pennies off the tape and fills his pockets with them, bulging his sides out just large enough to prevent the escape… at any rate, once he gets in, it is not possible to get out. 

If luck IS on your side and you do catch a leprechaun this way, he has to “…give you his bag of gold!”  But like I said, it didn’t work out, and so we didn’t get rich this year after all.  It’s a pity, really.  We could have used the gold to pay off some bills.

Snags thinks the reason we didn’t catch a leprechaun is because his father, fearing they would attract a parade of ants, wouldn’t let him put any Lucky Charms into the box.  That may or may not be true.

It may be, however, that the failure to catch a leprechaun has more to do with the fact that there is no such thing, but I hesitate to tell Snags that.  He is, at the moment, caught in some plane of existence between the reality of a schizophrenic stuck in a fantasy world and that of a normal person leading a boring life devoid of things like magic and imaginary friends and tricky little leprechauns.  In other words, there are some wildly unbelievable things that he believes in, and some, I can tell, he is beginning to question. May his belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny remain strong.  May his belief in Darth Vader begin to wane.

Snags informs me that leprechauns are very tricky little fellows.  They can change themselves into a squirrel or a rabbit to fool you.  They are sly that way, he says.  Sly like a fox!  And that is why he insists that we must be cautious around any squirrels or rabbits that we find in our garden.  They might be leprechauns out to trick us.  Or, they might be plain old squirrels or rabbits.  In any event, we shouldn’t go near them, he tells me.  If they are of the regular variety, “they might have rabies!”

Now that St. Patrick’s day is past, I’m hoping that I can dispose of the leprechaun trap that didn’t work.  It’s taking up all of the counter space in front of my toaster.

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Filed under humor, leprechauns, life, Snags, St. patrick's Day

School Daze

I love playing school with my son.  I’m good at it.  After all, I learned how to be a good student at the hands of my niece.  When Alyssa was three or four years old, she’d grab my hand the very second I walked in her front door and she’d lead me down the hall to her bedroom.  Once there she’d tell me where to sit and what to do, and so for the most part, playing school involved nothing more than sitting and listening.  Occasionally I’d have to trouble myself to raise my hand to ask permission to use the bathroom, and once in a rare while Alyssa would line the class up — the class being me and about a dozen invisible classmates — and she would march us down the hallway, single file, on a field trip to the kitchen.  There was this one kid, his name was Grumpy Boy, who was always in trouble for one thing or another.  Stepping out of line, not raising his hand, not taking turns, etc… He was sent to the principal’s office quite often.  Me? Well, I was the teacher’s pet.

Eventually Alyssa started school for real, and somewhere between Kindergarten and 1st grade she lost interest in playing school.  I guess the reality of attending school on a daily basis diminished her desire to think about it on the weekends.  Probably not unlike my unwillingness to drive downtown to visit the museums on weekends.  I work in the city so choosing to go all the way back there on a Saturday or Sunday seems unwise, almost like I never left the office at all.

But now that my son has half a year of real Kindergarten under his belt, he’s taken a sudden interest in playing school at home.  I admit that I absolutely love this.  Not only is this a game I understand, but it means that for once, the kid is not talking about Star Wars!  My husband isn’t as enchanted by this game as I am.  But that is probably because it’s obvious that once again, I am the teacher’s pet.  And for whatever reason, my husband is the real life version of my niece’s Grumpy Boy. 

“That’s it,” Snags, ahem, Mr. Scott, says, “I am flipping your card.”

“For what?”  My husband asks, incredulous.  “I didn’t do anything!”

“Well, now you have to go to the principal’s office for back talking me.  Actually, you’re expelled,” says Mr. Scott.  “Leave.  Leave now,” he insists as he points the way.

And then Mr. Scott sits down next to me and says very quietly, “Belle, you are being very good today.  Thank you for being such a good listener.”  And I just smile and sit there.  That’s all I have to do.  It’s the easiest game in the world, just sitting.  The only game that might be better is dead fish, where you lie on the floor and remain as still as possible.  That’s great because you get to lay down, and if I’m lucky and lie still long enough, someone is bound to fall asleep.  And naps are good for everyone.

A minute later Mr. Scott is calling my husband back to school.  His expulsion is over.  His card is flipped back to green.  He gets another chance.

The good will doesn’t last long, however.  Once Mr. Scott starts reading the lunch menu and we place our orders, my husband is in trouble yet again.  Even though Mr. Scott says we are in night school (because we are tired children who like to sleep during the day), we still have lunch (because, naturally, we are asleep when real lunch time would roll around).  I choose fried steak and macaroni and cheese from the menu because the sardine sandwich on white bread makes me gag just thinking about it.  My husband chooses the steak too, but that gets him in trouble.

“You can’t order the same food as Belle,” Mr. Scott says.

“Why not?” My husband asks, beginning to sound defensive because he knows where this is going. 

“Because, I talked to your parents and they said you do this all the time. They asked me not to let you do that so you have to order something else.” 

And sure enough, my husband is expelled again.

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Filed under humor, play, school, Snags

M-m-m-magic!

I’m just finishing up my breakfast when my son says: “So mom, the first people on the earth, how did they spread?” 

“What do mean ‘how did they spread?’” I ask, feeling a bit defensive as I shovel the last bite of french toast, the last bite of bacon, into my mouth.  Is he setting me up for a fat joke, I wonder? 

“Well, how did they spread around?  Did God send down more or were some of them girls and they had babies?”

Ah!  It’s not a fat joke after all.  In my mind I picture people floating down from the heavens in a tunnel like band of light. The opposite direction of how you might imagine people being sucked up by an alien space ship hovering in the clouds.

The voices in my head start up.  They gasp, and wonder why he is thinking about this.  The voices rise as they start to panic in my brain, Why?  Why are you asking me this?  You are SIX, just go watch some cartoons already.  Be a couch potato for half an hour.  Quit playing ‘inquiring minds want to know.’  Let your mother get back to thinking about piercing her nose…

“I think some were girls and they had babies,” I tell him.

To which he replies, “Oh.  So when the babies grew up if they were girls they had more babies.”  And I agree that sounds about right.

Then he says, “Well, the first people, they were all family right?  So then if they were family, then everyone in the world today is really family to each other.”  In my mind I sigh, and out loud I agree that at some level, he is probably right.  I wait for him to go on, to take it to the next level and tell me that if everyone in the world is family and people get married, then that means they are marrying family, so it should be okay for him to marry his cousin Emma after all.  But luck is on my side, and he doesn’t go there.

I don’t feel like playing religious education teacher this morning.  I don’t have the strength of will to explain the Catholic’s concept of God as the one and only father because I know it will lead to more questions.  And probably defiance.  I can picture it clearly, Snags arguing with his father: “Mom said you aren’t my REAL dad, so you can’t tell me what to do.  I don’t have to pick up my LEGOs unless God tells me to!” 

And then, “How did you have a baby with God anyway, Mom?” I know if I try to explain he will ask me that next.  So yes, I think, best to let this one sit there for now.  Maybe the Scooby Doo cartoon on TV will capture his interest.

At dinner time, just as I get a mouthful of turkey Snags asks, “So who invented Disney World, anyway?  And how did they invent Disney World?”

“A man named Walt Disney had a dream,” I offered.

“A dream about what?” Snags asks.

“A dream to build the happiest place on earth,” my husband helpfully chimes in.

“But how did Mickey Mouse come to life?” Snags wonders.

This one, I’m confident, I can handle.  I sit up a little straighter.

“Well,” I say, “a cartoonist was drawing cartoons on a piece of paper, and there was this strange little bottle sitting on his desk.  He had never seen the bottle before and he didn’t know what it was, but he didn’t give it much thought.  While he was drawing, he accidentally knocked the bottle over and the cork popped out and the liquid inside spilled all over his drawing.  It turned out that the liquid was growth serum and when it hit the drawing of Mickey Mouse, the paper started to bubble and Mickey Mouse grew right out of the drawing!  He popped right out and was actually standing ON the desk.  Then he waved at the man who drew him, and he said “Hiya!” and the man fainted from shock right there.

I imitate what I think a man fainting from shock right where he is sitting might look like.  Snags giggles.  I’m proud of my explanation, it sounds good.

Only…

“What color was the growth serum?  Was it blue?  Was it green?  Was it red?  Can we get some? Where did it come from? Let’s get some! Can we make some?  Where do they sell growth serum?  Tell me again what happened…”

And the questions continue until Snags decides that maybe we can get some growth serum and use it to bring the dead back to life!  I shudder at the thought, wondering who he would use this on, if he could.  With visions from W.W. Jacob’s The Monkey’s Paw in my mind, I gently explain how that might not be such a good idea.  With Easter around the corner I consider telling him that only God can bring the dead back to life, but decide to leave it alone, for now.  I stick with a watered down explanation of zombies and the decaying dead, and how if he used the growth serum he’d be bring back nothing but skeleton bones.  It sounds plausible enough.  But later, my husband asks me why I didn’t just tell him that Mickey came to life from Disney Magic.  Damn! Why didn’t I think of that? I wonder.  But it’s okay.  I can use the Disney Magic explanation the next time Snags asks about how people came to earth and started spreading around. 

The only problem, as I see it, is how to explain things once Snags realizes that Mickey Mouse isn’t real.  That Mickey Mouse at Disney World is really just a person inside a costume.  I guess I’ll have to teach him about cannibalism then. 

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Filed under death, Disney, God, humor, life, Magic, Snags