by Richard Bernato
JUDGE JULIA: Counsel, you may call your next witness.
FILOMENA FRANCIS: Your Honor, I call Ms. Francine Farkle.
Fred and Fanny’s daughter, Francine, takes the stand and is sworn in.
FILOMENA: Francine, you are my client’s and Dr. Farkle’s daughter?
FRANCINE: Yah, sure.
JUDGE JULIA: Ms. Farkle, you aren’t chewing gum in my court are you?
Francine looks sheepish. Takes out the gum and almost puts it on the rail in front of her before she encounters Judge Julia’s glare. She gives it to the clerk.
FRANCINE: Sorry Judge.
JUDGE JULIA: Ms. Francis, please proceed.
FILOMENA: And you are 15 years old? A sophomore at East High School?
FRANCINE: I’m almost 16, and I am a junior actually.
FILOMENA: Tell us about your family vacations to the Most Magical Place on Earth.
FRANCINE: Magical? You are kidding aren’t you?
FILOMENA: I ask the questions and you answer them. And I am not kidding.
FRANCINE: Sorry again. I guess I think this is so obvious that I feel silly about talking about it. If you really want to get evidence call my boyfriend and my other friends to testify.
FILOMENA: Suppose you tell the court what they say to you.
FRANCINE: They tell me how lame my dad is. They make all sorts of jokes about me and these trips. My dad has a picture of my brother and me for every year we have gone to Walt Disney World. He makes me wear Mickey Mouse ears! There they are, all these pictures on the foyer wall when my friends come over! I could just die!
FILOMENA: Surely this is a father who just gets a kick out of seeing how his children have grown?
FRANCINE: If that is a question all I can say is that I am okay with my dad showing his love for my brother and me but he has taken it to a point where it has just been twisted and turned into something that has made me feel sooooo embarrassed!
FILOMENA: Yes, of course, embarrassed. But so far I have only heard about your pictures in the foyer.
FRANCINE: Well how about the time when it was the Fourth of July. It was wall to wall people. I mean like you couldn’t even dive into the pool because it was Standing Room Only ! We go to the Magic Kingdom. Of course he has his line calculator, his iPhone programmed to beep when we should go left, go right, use the bathroom, you name it. We’re standing on line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It’s a million degrees. It’s a million percent humidity. The line moves like six inches a minute if that. We get to the entrance where we all know there’s only maybe another hour to wait to get on a ride we have already ridden maybe 10 times. At least we know there will be air conditioning from this point and we won’t pass out from sun stroke, notwithstanding that we all have to the bathroom because he has made us all drink Gatorade by the bottle.
But THEN, the iPhone beeps. Oh no! He’s made lunch reservations in EPCOT in a half hour! We have to LEAVE the line AND the Magic Kingdom to grab the monorail to keep our ADR in Le Cellier! I mean, like, I don’t even eat meat! It’s gross.
FILOMENA: Anything else you’d like to share?
FRANCINE: How much time do I have? How about one more? We all know that teenagers need to sleep late. Their body clock is built that way. It’s detrimental to our health to get up before [11:00] A.M.! And you know, I’m a teenaged girl I have to take my showers and get ready to go out. My dad doesn’t want to hear it! He has the Mickey Mouse hotel service wake us up at [6:30] AM! so we can all be showered, dressed, and ready for a frontal assault on the theme park of the day, especially the one that has Early Magic Hours. This is terrible!
JUDGE JULIA: Counsel do you have more questions for the witness? I think we can see that Mr. Farkle’s actions are perceived as seriously negative by his daughter.
FILOMENA: I couldn’t have said it better myself, Your Honor. I welcome Mr. Philpot’s attempts to refute such testimony.
PHILPOT: Oh I am only too anxious to put the young lady’s testimony into perspective.
JUDGE JULIA: Good. We will do that tomorrow.
All rise as Judge pounds gavel and exits.
Does your teen love Disney or dread joining the family in The World? What would you say to a teen who did not want to go to Disney?
Rich may be the only blogger who; had an ORIGINAL Davy Crockett coonskin cap (and wishes he still had it); watched Disney’s Wonderful World of Color in black and white; watched the Disneyland opening ceremonies on that same black and white; AND rode the original It’s a Small World in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. In addition, he is a college professor, and a grandfather of six whom he is thoroughly dis-doctrinating as often as possible.