Last weekend my friend Charles took his family to Disneyland Paris.
When Lily was four we’d taken her there and stayed in one of the hotels. Just as we’d checked in, Lily said hello to Minnie Mouse who just happened to be strolling by.
The next morning I saw a sign advertising an autograph session.
“Daddy! Please can you get me Goofy’s?”, Lily asked.
Micky tried to grab me and Goofy hit me on the nose
“No problem, darling, just leave it to me,” I said.
There were about 50 children and some parents in a long line. But as I’d bought the Special Disneyland Fast-Track Pass For Jewish Middle Aged Men Born With The Queue Averse Gene, naturally I went straight up to the front of the queue where Goofy was standing.
“Excusez moi, mon enfant pour just un moment,” I said to a little blond boy, as I pushed a sheet of paper towards Goofy. I picked up one of his floppy ears and bent towards him.
“Do me a favour, Goofy, I’m in a petit rush… make it out to Lily. That’s L-I-L-Y, please.”
“Can’t you see zer is a beeg queue?” Goofy said from somewhere inside his big doggy head.
“I know that, Goofy, but I have Le Special Fast-Track Pass…regardez this” I said pointing to the pass dangling from my neck.
“Eet doesn’t apply for zee autographs. Only for zee rides,” he said. “You must go to zee back, I’m sorry.”
I reached into my pocket and, picking up his paw, I stuck a 20 euro note in it.
“That’s for you, Goofy. Lily’s a personal friend of Minnie’s.”
I must have stood on his foot because the next moment, Goofy totally flipped and pushed me hard in the chest.
” You ‘ave to go to ze back,” he shouted.
“Excusez moi mate! You can’t push me, Goofy!” I shouted, giving him a big shove back, making him totter. Some of the kids now started screaming and Mickey and Pluto ran over. Mickey tried to grab me and Goofy hit me on the nose.
In self-defence, I hit him back; a pretty good blow, I thought, to the dog’s stomach. Goofy bent over in pain, tripped over his tail and fell over, pulling me down on top of him.
“Goofy, give me back my twenty euros!” I shouted, as two security guys appeared and pulled me off him. “Goofy’s got my twenty Euros! The dog’s on the take!”
“He started it! Goofy started it!” I shouted as they frogmarched me towards the exit, passing Shirley and Lily, who just stood staring at me.
“It’s all right, Lily, just a little misunderstanding.Daddy got into a little disagreement with Goofy. Nothing to worry about, darling. He started it. I promise you, darling!”
They told me I had to leave the park immediately.
“What do you mean leave the park!? I’m staying in the park! I’m at the hotel here.”
I had to wait for four hours before I was allowed back in. Lily didn’t talk to me for a whole day.
Finally at dinner she looked up at me and said: “Daddy, I can’t believe you hit Goofy.”