So there I was in Times Square last Thursday, dodging tourists, when my way was blocked by Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
I figured they were shills for the tour buses, so I stopped and said hello. They gestured for my wife to take my photo with them. Then I heard Minnie say, “Hay que pagar algo.”
“No thanks,” I said. “I don’t need the tour. I live in New York.”
They stood in front of me and held out long velvet bags. Were they handing out lollipops? I looked into the bag and saw a few wadded up dollar bills.
“Dinero,” Mickey insisted in a low, gruff voice. “Necessitamos dinero.”
All of a sudden, Spongebob and Goofy came out of nowhere and started closing in on me.
What’s the deal? Mickey was dressed as Uncle Sam. Was he supposed to be a weird caricature of a taxman? Or were they all photo hustlers, like the water sellers of Marrakech?
Or is this the new re-branding thing? You probably heard that Disney wants to get rid of the old “Mr. Nice Guy” Mickey. Maybe I had met Edgy Mickey or Extreme Mickey or Epic Mickey or Squeegeeman Mickey or whatever he’s called.
Someone in corporate better look into this.