Category Archives: doll collecting

Fritterday

If you are old, forgetful, and retired like Mickey, you may have the same problem Mickey does with remembering what day it is. But he has a solution. At the end of the week, he simply has two Fritterdays. They take the “Fri” from Friday, and the “turday” out of Saturday…. But wait just a gol’ danged minute. We have to get the “turd’ out of there because nobody likes those. And we do that by changing the “u” to an “e” which means we also add a “t” to it to change the long “I” sound to a short “I” sound because “fritter” can mean wasting something, especially time, because that’s what you do when you don’t even know what-the-heck day it is. Fritterday! Fun times for the hopelessly forgetful.

And it is fun to be retired and not have anything to do… but put eye drops in each eye three times a day from three different colored-coded bottles so you don’t go blind from glaucoma… and pick up the package for the Princess at the Post Office because the doorbell is broken and nobody hears the package-delivery guy when he knocks… and go to CVS for more bottles of eye drops because they finally filled the prescription three days after the doctor phoned it in… and the Medicare paperwork needs to be filled in at the pharmacy… and you get 4 free Covid 19 test kits just because you are old… and… phooey! It is hard to make a run-on sentence like that fun. And the grammar-check program hates it in a mixture of blue and red squiggly underlines.

But you found things you didn’t even know you had lost, like paper doll clothes that had fallen off the paper dolls because the little white foldable tabs don’t stay folded and need to be given a little dab of glue. And the rubber bands you use for your ponytail because haircuts give you psoriasis sores and you don’t cut your hair anymore because of them, but they are all back in the same sack again because you found them scattered on the floor while you were cleaning in order to find the lost package-claim slip that you mislaid… apparently under the bed… the one you needed to claim the Princess’s package which contained… a white stuffed tiger toy all the way from a game company in Japan… because it matched the stuffed tigers she had as a child and she won it by playing an online game. Boy, howdy! Another sentence or two the grammar checker hates!

Annette Funicello from the cutout paper doll on the back of a 1960’s Cheerios box looks good in the cowboy getup… err… cowgirl getup you found under the corner of the bookcase. You have liked her since you were a boy. You once had a yearning to see a picture of her naked, but that never panned out. She was a Disney star and not allowed to even think bad thoughts, let alone pose for any nude photos. She was in the Mickey Mouse Club, not the Playboy Magazine Bunny Club. Darn it!

But the mind still works, and you’re still not blind, and you enjoy enraging the grammar-check program, and you cleaned your room without meaning to. You even wrote most of this messy blog post in second-person point-of-view without realizing you were doing it.

Hang-dang! A Fritterday! And there’s probably another one coming tomorrow.

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Filed under autobiography, cleaning genii, commentary, doll collecting, humor, Mickey, photo paffoonies, playing with toys, satire, self pity, self portrait

The Doll Collector’s Nightmare of Doll Revenge

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Filed under cartoons, doll collecting, dreams, humor

Collecting Disney Princesses

 

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Collecting dolls and action figures can overwhelm someone like me with hoarding disorder (and a Grandmother and Great Aunt who hardly had room to walk around their homes because of piles of collected stuff that they simply could not part with).  There have to be rules and limits to save me from myself.  I try hard to keep Disney Princesses from flooding my home and drowning me in a sea of plastic.  The toymakers are constantly updating and modifying their designs to entice fools like me to keep buying.

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A round of new designs with glittered-up clothes and new faces. Can I resist buying them all? Well, not the first four times.

I have to stop and take stock of where I’m at.  I rounded up all the Disney dolls I have that are not mint in boxes for collecting purposes and potential resale in the collectibles market.  Here they are;

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There are several ways that I can go about trying to limit and prune this massive obsession.  First and foremost, I can break this gigantic feeding frenzy up into smaller bites and pick and choose how long I chew.  This part of my collection, is based on the Tinkerbell movies and is limited to only one edition of these dolls.  It took over a year to buy all four;

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There are just four dolls in this set.  I chose only the size consistent with the 12-inch figures I always choose.  No little ones.  No second editions.  No doll costing more than $20.

Some of the dolls are rescue dolls, either bought naked at Goodwill or another thrift store, taken home to be cleaned, repaired, restored, and dressed (like the Ariel doll I posted first in this post).  These are probably my most valuable acquisitions, because they are previously loved and played with.  (The Jasmine doll in the middle belonged to my daughter, who had a tendency to mangle and experiment on dolls as well as strip them permanently naked.  This doll’s survival is a minor miracle.)

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The rescued dolls include two Snow Whites, a Jasmine that belonged to my daughter, and Mulan… mostly dressed in Barbie clothes.

The remainder of these collected dolls are recent edition Disney Princesses that I waited for some time to acquire so that they would come down in price.  A couple of these, like Tiana and Repunzel, and all the Frozen Dolls are not also represented in my collection by mint in box dolls.  I do have Belle and Aurora and even Tarzan’s Jane, but boxed only, so they are not pictured here.

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So you can see what a trippy-type trial it has become to keep a collection like this from taking over the house.  I have to impose limits on myself so I don’t become a weird old man living in cardboard box under a bridge with hundreds of dolls and action figures.

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Thinking Differently

Buckminster Fuller is an intellectual hero of mine.  As he said in the video, if you bothered to watch it, “I was told I had to get a job and make money, but would you rather be making money, or making sense?”  Bucky was always a little bit to the left of center, and basically in the farthest corner of the outfield.  That’s why we depend so much on him in times like these when the ball is being hit to the warning track.  (I know the world doesn’t really work on baseball metaphors any more, but my life has always been about metaphors from 1964 with the St. Louis Cardinals playing and beating the New York Yankees.  Mantle was on their side, but Maris was playing for us.)  You have to live in the world that fits into your own mental map of reality.  And if you’ve been whacked on the side of the head one too many times… it changes the way you think.  You begin to think differently.  

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If you don’t know who Bucky is, as you probably don’t because he revolutionized the world in the 60’s and died in the 1980’s,  Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor.  He is credited with the invention of the Geodesic Dome.  But he was so much more than that.  He wanted to build things that made better sense, in a practical sort of way, than the way we actually do them.  He built geodesic homes because he felt a home should maximize space and use of materials and minimize costs and amounts of materials as well as environmental impacts.  He is the one who popularized the notion of “Spaceship Earth”.  He wrote and published more than thirty books, and gave us a variety of truly wise insights.  He promoted the concept of synergy.  He said, “Don’t fight forces, use them.”  He also pointed out, “Ninety per cent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.”  He was a man full of quotes useful for internet memes.

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So, lets consider an example from the mixed up mind of Mickey;

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Here are three dolls from the Planet of the Apes part of my doll collection. (Two different movies are represented here, the 1968 original, and the Tim Burton 2001 remake.)

The world we now live in is increasingly like the movie, The Planet of the Apes.  In that film the world the astronauts set down upon is ruled by talking apes.  The human beings in that film are relegated to the fields and forests where they are no more than speechless animals.  Much like the Republican Party and the wealthy ruling elite of this day and age, the apes control everything and, led by Dr. Zaius (seen on the far right) reject science and evidence as a way to explain things.  They rely on the rules set down by the Lawgiver in much the same way that modern day Republicans swear by the U.S. Constitution to determine the truth of all things.

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Here we see the apes capturing and enslaving Marky Mark… er… Mark Wahlberg rather than Chuck Heston from the original movie.

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In the original set of movies, Charleton Heston, playing the astronaut Taylor, discovers that through hatred and warring, the human beings of Earth have bombed themselves back into the stone age and enabled the evolved apes to take over.  How does Mr. Heston deal with that problem?  He discovers an old doomsday device and blows up the world.  Chuck Heston has always approved Second Amendment solutions to modern problems, so it is no wonder that he lays waste to everything, the good and the bad.  I think we can see that old orangutan-man, Donald Trump doing exactly the same things now as he runs for President, or Great Ape, or whatever…

In both the previous series, and the current remake, salvation from the rule of the monkey people comes in the form of a leader among the apes.  Caesar, whether he be played by Roddy MacDowell or by Andy Serkis, is able to solve the problems of apes and men by reaching out to those of the other species, assigning them value, and ultimately doing what helps everyone to survive and live together.  Diversity is power and provides a workable solution through cooperation.  The forces of hatred and fear are the things that must be overcome and threaten the existence of everyone.  Donald Trump needs to learn from the lesson of The Planet of the Apes, and be less like General Ursus.   We need Bernie Sanders to embrace the role of Caesar and show us how we can get along with our Muslim brothers… after all, they are more like us than the apes are, and Caesar builds bridges between apes and men.

So, there you have it, my attempt to build a new model based on an old movie… or on the remake… whichever you prefer.  And if that doesn’t work, well, there’s always…

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Hoarding Disorder

Pinkie PieI am writing this post today to celebrate two things.  My doctor’s visit today not only came back with positive post-op results (no cancer cells  in the cyst), but it was free.  And while I waited at Walmart for my prescription to be filled at the pharmacy, I found the two Equestria Girls that finish my collection.  I spent the co-pay (that I didn’t have to pay) on Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy (I made that rhyme without a try!)  Yay me!

But I have also come to the sobering realization that my collecting mania may actually be a form of mental illness.  After all, my daughter is now 20 and not really interested in My Little Pony any longer.  That excuse no longer flies.  My wife has lost interest in collecting also (although she still collects clothes and shoes with a gusto that shames Imelda Marcos.)

So why do I do this collecting thing so relentlessly?  Is it a serious mental disorder?  As always I turned to the internet to diagnose myself with life-threatening conditions based on one, or possibly  two symptoms.   I may be doomed.  What I found was an explanation of Hoarding Disorder.

Yes, I inherited it from Grandma Beyer.  She hoarded all sorts of stuff in her little house in Mason City, Iowa.  In her basement, when they cleaned out the house, she still had wrapping paper from Christmases in the 1930’s.  It was in stacks. neatly folded and ready to be re-used.  According to the Psychology Today website article about extreme collecting, one of the first signs of the disorder is the inability to part with personal possessions no matter their actual value.  Never in all the years we spent Christmases together did I ever notice Grandma re-using wrapping paper.  She actually kept that stuff for the memories they invoked and the sentimental value they held for her.  My mother ended up throwing out all that wrapping paper when the house was sold.

Another indicator is the extreme cluttering of the home, to the point of rendering living spaces unlivable.  One glance at the upstairs hallway sends shivers down my weak little hoarder’s spine.

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There are any number of things that might concern a psychiatrist in this hallway.  Of course, the blocked door in the back is where the old non-working air-conditioner is stashed, so there is no room in there for stuffing more stuff.  This picture reveals that I have a vast collection of collections… not merely one.  I collect stuffed toys, HO model railroad stuff and trains, Pez dispensers, stamps, coins, comic books (in the boxes in the back corner under the stuffed toys), and books… gobs, and gobs, and gobs of books!  (“Gobs” is Iowegian for “lots”, not “sailors”.)  In fact, the door on the left is actually the door to the library.

A quick scan of Toonerville along the tops of the bookshelves reveals the full extent of my madness.  Here you see HO-sized buildings, most of which I painted myself or built from kits.  You also see the Pez dispensers that suck money out of my pockets at $1.50 a shot. Downtown Toonerville Downtown Toonerville2My trains have been around for many years.  I shared that obsession with my father (Grandma Beyer’s eldest son) when I was a boy and most of these trains were either gifts from him, or purchased with allowance.  (I haven’t bought anything new in seven years.)

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So, the evidence makes it clear.  One day soon I will be locked up somewhere in a padded room.  I hope, at least, that my children still like me well enough to sneak in Pez dispensers when they come to visit.

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The Doofy Doll Collector

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I suppose it is a rather girly thing… or maybe even a creepy thing, that a sixty year old man like me collects and plays with dolls.  This post, a lazy-writer short post, is intended just to show you some of my newest dolls and newest collections.  I am not going to waste time justifying why I like dolls.  That would probably require an advanced degree in abnormal psychology.  So I will just show you and gloat about what I have achieved in my own weird little way.

This Monster High doll is Frankie Stein, the daughter of Frankenstein’s monster.  I scored two of these at Walmart’s pre-Christmas clearance sale for three dollars apiece.  This is the one I pose and play with.  The other I am keeping as a mint in box.

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These are the three lovely girls I bought with Christmas money from relatives back in Iowa.  I went almost to the limit buying Starfire at a pricey $19.88.  The collection rules clearly state, “Never buy a single doll worth more than $20.”

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I bought Starfire to keep Harley Quinn, my other $19.88 doll company as part of my DC Heroines collection.  That collection as it now stands follows.

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You can see I still need Batgirl and Poison Ivy.

So there is my lazy-writer post about me playing with dolls, poorly rationalized and barely explained.

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Troll Time at the Local Doll House

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You know that old doll house that my wife rescued for me?  You don’t?  Well, about six or seven years ago she spotted it on the sidewalk with a pile of other trash waiting for the city garbage collectors.  She asked the homeowner about it.  It was a kit they had bought at Michael’s but never finished, so my wife immediately thought, “My goofy old husband collects dolls all the time, so he will love this.”

“Take it,” said the homeowner, “It’s a shame to have to throw it out.”

So she brought it home and gave it to me.  I of course, collect twelve inch dolls and action figures, none of which fit in a doll house of this particular scale.  So it had to sit practically empty for a space of about four years.  Then my daughter got tired of some of the small Happy Meal dolls that she had gotten from McDonald’s when she was a wee gamin.  (Yes, that’s a real thing… you can look it up.)  I acquired two mostly naked Mini-Barbies, and four other doll-house size dolls, two baseball players and a Lullaby League Girl from Oz, along with a small Winkie Soldier.  Then Dreamworks did the Trolls movie.

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They began moving in by two different routes, these trolls.  Teacher Troll and Baby Troll and Big Troll, whose hair in the back is the only visible part of him… or possibly her, moved in from where I found them in kids’ bedrooms and the garage while cleaning.  I used to keep a stash of them to give out as classroom prizes back in the 90’s.  I bought the movie Trolls from Walmart at $5 a shot over a bunch of weeks between Thanksgiving and last weekend.  The empty spaces where I didn’t even have appropriate doll furniture were now being filled by Trolls.

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In the downstairs bedroom you can see the little yellow Troll has joined Naked Mini-Barbie, the Lullaby-Leaguer, Ceramic Book-Lovin’ Bear and the Angel who used to hold my wedding ring.  (I could never wear it due to arthritis, and it eventually got lost in the move from South Texas to Dallas.)  (Yes, I know it is not a good thing to lose your wedding ring, but it is possible my wife sold it so she could shop for a better husband.  At least, that’s what she told me while she was really angry.)  (And yes, I know I’m supposed to be talking about Trolls taking over my doll house, but I actually like bird-walking while telling such stories.  It lends such every-day Mickey-ness to the story.)

c360_2017-02-24-13-18-52-533The baseball player in the upstairs sitting room where nobody sits, once spent an entire winter at the bottom of the swimming pool.  That’s why his blue uniform turned a bit putrid green.  He stays in this room with my Wish-nik Troll from 1967 and the Winkie Soldier from Oz, who is naturally green in the face and never took a swim.

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Also upstairs are my Troll-topped Pez dispensers, two more movie Trolls, and the former Teacher Troll who lost her apple and my daughter gave a modelling clay diaper to for modesty’s sake which has long since melted a bit (the diaper, not the modesty).

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And at the top of it all, in the attic, are the two movie Trolls that I bought first and started this whole Troll-collection nonsense.  So now the doll house is no longer empty.  But the Trolls are beginning to complain that there is no paint on the walls, and I really ought to do something about that before they take matters into their own hands.  You never know what they might do in the middle of the night when nobody is looking.

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Sanctuary

This is my library, the place where I keep my books.  It is also a place for my doll collection and the Dungeons and Dragons game that I’ve been playing with my kids for more than a decade.  It is a place to read and think and… oh, yeah, there’s an X-Box also.  Well, that’s one way to get the kids to spend time there too.

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I do realize what a jumbled mess it is.  The shelves are all cheap Walmart kits that I built myself.  Some have been damaged over time and travel.  I have rebuilt them, restocked them, and rearranged them time and again.

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This reading nook is currently being used to display parts of my Captain Action collection.  The Captain America costume on the left is my original property from Christmas 1967.  The Steve Canyon costume next to it is an E-bay purchase and a rare find from a decade ago.  Aquaman is a combination.  The mask, trident,conch horn, and swim fins are from my original set from Christmas 1966.  The suit itself had to be replaced from E-Bay because I played with it until it was no more than a mass of frayed thread.  The gloves come from a innovative toy company called Classic Plastick run by Wes McCue.  http://classicplastick.proboards.com/  You may notice cups and junk left by kids in my library.  Cheetos wrappers from food that my daughter the Princess loves are often found crammed in between the books.

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This alcove is where I store my customized Star Wars’ Twi’leck Barbie which I made myself with acrylic paint, Sculpey plasticine, exacto-knife, and Crazy Glue.  It also is where I store my antique book collection, some of which are a hundred years old or more.  (I have books from my Grandparents’ libraries as well as some from my own childhood.)

Let me show you the Star Wars shelf.  (It is not big enough for all my twelve-inch Star Wars action figures, but… oh, well.

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Here is the back side of the shelf.  (How did topless Mermaid Barbie get in there?)20150110_134644

I also have a corner for the X-Box and the TV it is attached to.  (But Dr. Evil is holding it hostage at this writing.)

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And finally, let me bore you with the fact that the small upstairs bedroom that is now the library does not have enough room to contain all my books.  The library also fills up the upstairs hall and large portion of my bedroom/studio.

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It has been said that my library is as cluttered as my mind is.  But don’t you believe it.  My inner world makes this manifestation in the outer world look Spartan by comparison.

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Stupid Sunday

When you spend most of your time writing and thinking with the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head and the hourglass of your life looking more and more like the sands of time are running out, you are tempted to take the curves too fast and make extremely stupid mistakes that make your brain crash into a brick wall of stupidity.  You are stuck in a stupor of stupidity that must somehow un-stupid you with downtime and do-nothing brainless activity.  I won’t try to explain what I did wrong, because, after all, I am still stupid at the moment and don’t really know what I did wrong.

A Hermione Harry-Potter doll which is my birthday present. 

I bought myself a doll yesterday.  I spent some of my birthday money on it.  My octogenarian mother sends me birthday money every year to remind me how many years beyond sixty I have aged, especially now that, after more than twenty years spent not celebrating birthdays as a nominal Jehovah’s Witness, I am now no longer associated with prohibitions from God due to the arbitrary rules of religion.  It was a stupid act based on the fact that I have been avoiding wasting money on my doll-collecting hoarding disorder for a matter of months.  It could be like an alcoholic taking a drink after months of being sober.  But the doll is pretty in a magical sort of way and provides me with someone else to talk to when I am brooding about being stupid. 

It may seem like, since I am writing this while still stupid, that I am saying that being stupid is, by definition, a bad thing.  If I am saying that, it is only because I am currently stupid.

If you look at the smiles on the faces of the gentleman with the brown cap and Scraggles the mouser, you can easily see that being happy is a simple thing.  And it is the province of simple people, not complicated and extremely smart people.  I can testify from hard experience that being too smart is a barrier to being simply happy.  So, I benefit emotionally from being stupid this Sunday.

As to being stupid today and what caused it, well, it may have something to do with the fact that I am currently editing The Baby Werewolf, the most complex and potentially controversial novel I have ever written.  Horror stories often mine and expose the author’s own traumas and fundamental fears.  And I am trying to publish it as the fourth novel I have published in 2018.  Is that biting off more than I can chew with my old teeth?  I don’t know the answer.  I am currently pretty stupid.

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“Mickey, What’s Wrong With You?”

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Yes, I am trying to answer that old question that old girlfriends used to ask me back when they were young and I was young and too stupid to answer honestly. You know, the question always asked right before they tell you, “Why don’t we just be friends and leave it at that.”

After having spent my Christmas money from Mom on an 18-inch giant gorilla action figure of Kong on Skull Island to terrorize all the dolls on the Barbie Shelf after midnight when all the dolls secretly come to life, I feel more prepared than ever before to answer that particular question.

I am not in my second childhood. I am still in my first one. Yes, I reached the ripe old age of 12 and then Peter Pan Syndrome set in bigtime. On the inside, I will always be 12 years old. I still, at 61, play games and play with toys. I never really grew up.

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I am not a Brony, but I am still buying My Little Pony dolls, and can name all six of the main characters. From left to right, Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, Rainbow Dash, and Twilight Sparkle. And yes, I have watched the cartoon show and like it, but am still not a Brony, okay? There are a lot of things wrong with me, but I am not that bad! My kids, however, are embarrassed to be seen with me when I am shopping for toys at Walmart, Toys-R-Us, or Goodwill.

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I still play with the HO scale model trains that I have owned and collected since the first year I was actually twelve. I would love to get them running again. The Snowflake Special and the Toonerville Trolley seen in the picture both still ran the last time I tested them four years ago. I still love to paint buildings and HO scale people to live in my little train town. I am still working on a set of townspeople that I bought back in 1994. German villagers circa 1880.

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I have always been fascinated by imaginary places and the people who live in them. Especially imaginary places in the fiction of the past. Places like the castle of Minas Tirith in the realm of Gondor in Middle Earth, and like Pellucidar that David Innes and Abner Perry discovered at the Earth’s Core in their boring machine called “the Prospector”as part of the Pellucidar series created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan novels. So, another thing wrong with me is that I live mostly in the past and entirely in the worlds of my imagination. I have very little to do with the so-called “real world”.

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So, to sum up, the things wrong with Mickey are; A. He’s a goofy old child. B. He still plays with toys. C. He likes girly stuff. D. He confuses fantasy with reality. No wonder the girls used to run away screaming. And I haven’t even added the part about Mickey thinking he is a nudist now and walking around the house naked when no one else is home and forced to see the full horror of it.

But maybe you should think on it for a moment more. What if the things that are wrong with Mickey are actually good things? What if he’s found the secret to long life and happiness in spite of a world full of troubles and illnesses and blechy stuff? It could be true…

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