“The year was 2001 during the summertime. I was fresh out of high school with no skills or talents, so naturally, I became a proud cast member at Walt Disney World. I got drafted into a terrible job. No, not food service. Not janitor either. Those career paths would have been a treat compared to the venerated title of ‘Character Handler,’ or the guy who makes sure the dude in the Mickey costume doesn’t get rolled over by deranged guests. I spent many hot, long days standing against the hordes of horrible parents trying to get their horrible kids into pictures. But it was all worth it to have just this one experience.
I worked with a particular Goofy who was kind of a prick. The sort of fellow you wouldn’t want hugging your wife. It could only end one way, and it happened on my shift.
I was doing some crowd control when I heard some shouting. I turned just in time to see a guy who was probably barely 21 but clearly quite wasted, flipping Goofy off. There was a woman nearby telling the man to calm down. Meanwhile, Goofy was playing it cool and shrugging. This only prompted the man to accuse Goofy.
‘Don’t play innocent,’ he said, ‘I saw you touch her butt.’
Right now I was in full meltdown mode. Somewhere between worrying that Goofy might actually get punched, and being generally thrilled. It was my job to handle this kind of thing since the actor wasn’t allowed to speak for himself, so I started walking over but then Goofy shrugged again. And then he made some sort of gesture which conveyed that he was caught red-handed and feeling bashful. I was not sure if he was trying to tick the guy off, but it worked because Goofy immediately got shoved.
Now, remember, this Goofy was kind of a prick, so he threw his hands up, ready to fight. Granted, his job was already over at this point, so he had nothing left to hold him back when the angry dude decided that it was time to mess Goofy up. They quickly become enthralled in the most hilarious brawl I’ve ever seen.
Goofy got the worst of it. Sort of. Imagine trying to pummel a man encased in foam armor. It didn’t really protect, but it sure as heck got in the way. It was almost like a hockey fight. At some point, Goofy did manage to get the guy’s shirt over his head, pummeling him with the full wrath of white cartoon gloves. I was not breaking up this fight.
I just called security and kept everyone away from it. Security got there pretty fast (we were close by), but before they arrived, Goofy’s head spun around and was finally missing a glove. His overalls were ripped. He was missing buttons and various accessories. Best of all, he was still swearing and throwing fists like a tipsy sailor, ticking off the security dudes even more. If only smartphones had been invented. Twelve years later and I’m still laughing about it.
There were about 40 kids to witness Goofy get his butt kicked in. But he definitely deserved it.
Goofy did, of course, lose his job. His assailant, however, got turned over to the cops. I got to make my first police statement. I did hear later on that the guy was arrested and charged with assault.
The moral of this story is: Don’t mess with the Mouse.”