Tag Archives: Annette Funicello


Truthfully… for a fiction writer, a humorist, a former school teacher of junior-high-aged kids, telling the truth is hard.  But in this post I intend to try it, and I will see if I can stand the castor-oil flavor of it on my tongue.


  • The simple truth is, I rarely tell the unvarnished truth.  And I firmly believe I am not alone in this.
  • Yesterday I battled pirates.  (While this is not literally true, it is metaphorically true.)  They were the scurvy scum o’ the Bank-o’-Merricka Pirates who are suing me for over ten thousand dollars despite my efforts of the last two years to settle 40 thousand dollars worth of credit card debt.
  • I hired a lawyer, but in spite of what he told me, I expect to lose the lawsuit and be wiped out financially.  I also believe Donald Trump will win as President.
  • I am a pessimist.  And it helps me through life.  I am always prepared for the worst, and I can only be surprised by happy and pleasant surprises.
  • My son in the Marines has developed an interest in survivalist gear and chaos-contingency plans.  We are now apparently preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse.
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  • I like to draw nudes.  I have drawn them from real-life models who were paid for their participation.  But no bad things happened.  It was all done with professional integrity even though I am an amateur artist.  Chaperones were a part of every session.
  • In high school I identified as a Republican like my father.  In college I became a Democrat (Thanks, Richard Nixon) and voted for Jimmy Carter.  I argued with my father for eight years of Ronald Reagan and four years of George H.W. Bush.
  • My father has now voted for Barack Obama twice and will vote for Hillary this fall if he is still able.  We spent most of our conversations this summer exchanging “Can you believe its?” about Donald Trump.
  • Blue Dawn
  • I have been collecting pictures of sunrises for three years now.  I stole the idea from my childhood friend who now lives in Florida and takes beautiful ocean sunrise pictures over the Atlantic.  But I do it because I know I don’t have many more sunrises to go.  I have six incurable diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, and COPD.  I could go “BOOM! …dead” at any given moment.  I believe in savoring it while I have it.
  • I was sexually assaulted when I was ten years old.  I can only tell you this particular truth because the man who assaulted me and inflicted physical and emotional pain on me is now dead.  It is liberating to be able to say that.  But I regret forty years’ worth of treating it is a terrible secret that I could never tell anyone.
  • Telling that last truth made me cry.  Now you know why telling the truth is not easy.

  • I really do love and admire all things having to do with Disney.  And when I was young, I really did want to find a picture of Annette naked.  There was no internet back then.  That quest helped me learn to draw the human form.  I know how bad that sounds… but, hey, I was a normal boy in many ways.  And I don’t draw her naked any more.
  • Finally, I have to say… in all honesty… I don’t know for sure that everything I have told you today is absolutely true.  Truth is a perception, even an opinion.  And I may be wrong about the facts as I know them.  The human mind works in mysterious ways.  I sometimes think I may simply be bedbug crazy.
  • (P.S.) Bedbugs are insects with very limited intelligence.  They cannot, in fact, be crazy or insane.  Their little brains are not complicated enough for that.  But it is a metaphor, and metaphors can be more truthful than literal statements.

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Filed under commentary, Disney, drawing, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, healing, humor, mental health, nudes, Paffooney, pen and ink paffoonies, pessimism, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Internet Lies About Mickey


The truth is sometimes Mickey tells lies.  For instance, the title of this post is intended to lure you in with expectations of a juicy something that doesn’t actually exist.  There is no controversy on the internet over this particular Mickey.  He hasn’t done a very good job of keeping it secret that he tells a lot of lies.  In fact, most of the most embarrassing and terrible secret things that he had been keeping secret for going on sixty years are now published in this blog.  Talk about a life being an open book!


Of course, being a lover of internet conspiracies and ufo’s and junk, there is always that other Mickey to talk about.  Yes, Disney has generated its share of conspiracy theories.

Everyone on the internet knows, for instance, that when Walt Disney died, he had his body frozen cryogenically  so that he could be re-animated once a cure for his lung cancer was found.  Of course, Snopes.com already did the investigation on it and brought out the fact that not only was Disney cremated with full documentation of the process, the first cryogenic freezing of a human being didn’t occur until a year after his death.  This lie about Mickey’s dad, then is easily debunked.  See, the internet lies about Mickey!

Of course, the notion that Disney was a racist and a Nazi and worked with the CIA are much harder to disprove.


A character from the original version of Fantasia that doesn’t help Mickey’s image.

Most heads of super-wealthy corporations are by nature fascists.  The dictatorial style and oppressive oligarchic command structures of fascism organically grew out of business practices.  Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan were also Nazis.  And, of course, no one believes me when I start in on the Disney/alien connection.  After all, what’s with alien beings in Escape from Witch Mountain, Lilo and Stitch, and even Chicken Little?  I may have some more conspiracy-theory investigating to do.


So, let me assure you that lies about Mickey are actually lies.  The thing about Mickey’s dream in the 1960’s of seeing Annette Funicello naked is a lie… er, probably.  The notion that Mickey trained himself to be a cartoonist by copying Disney characters like Carl Barks’ ducks are… err… um… lies… maybe.  Well, anyway, the point is… don’t spread lies on the internet about Mickey.  That’s my job.


Filed under cartoons, conspiracy theory, Disney, humor, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Remembering Puppy Love

Annette in DLandn

Yes, I admit it, I had some serious crushes when I was but a boy.  Mickey (himself) always said that he hated girls.  He said that repeatedly until he was fourteen and that lie could be twisted into some kind of “you-must-be-gay” sort of insult.  Couldn’t have that, could we?  Especially since my only experience of sex was violent and with another boy.  But how could I ever admit the truth about the girls I loved?  It was all too silly for words.

All pictures of Annette that I didn't draw are from her Facebook page, borrowed (or stolen) with love.

All pictures of Annette that I didn’t draw are from her Facebook page, borrowed (or stolen) with love.

Annette Funicello was someone I only saw in Disney movies.  And she was quite a bit older than I was.  She was born in 1942, and when I was a lovesick puppy of twelve, she was already an old woman of 26 years.  I am thinking about her again now, and she has already preceded me in death.  I was able to reconnect to her through her Facebook page here;  Annette Funicello.  But there was never a chance to meet and pursue her in real life.  So, naturally, she is the one I told my friends about as the woman I loved when I was twelve and wise in the ways of the opposite sex.

I did not draw this.  It is from Facebook.

I did not draw this. It is from Facebook.


But the real, secret truth is… ta, ta, ta, taaaah!  I really loved another.  She was in my class.  She was, as my friends and I all agreed, the most beautiful girl ever born into our little community of Rowan, Iowa.  She was a farm girl named Alicia Stewart (this, of course, is a lie.  I fictionalized the name because we are actually friends on Facebook and she might actually read this post.  It doesn’t bother me if she reads this and figures it out, but I want to provide her with deniability so no one else has to know.  She has a beautiful family complete with grandkids, and I would never embarrass her in front of them.)  To me, she looked like Annette Funicello.  I never admitted my deep and abiding puppy-love crush on her to anyone.  I loved her never-the-less… and probably still do.


There was that night when I was eleven, and snow was falling heavily after choir practice at the Methodist Church.  The walk home was extra difficult.  It was becoming a minor blizzard and I was plastered with snow from walking into the teeth of the wind.  When I got as far as the Library on Main Street, Mrs. Stewart and Mrs. Kellogg called me into the Library to warm up.  They called Mom and Dad to come get me because I really had no business trying to walk home in a snowstorm like that.  Alicia was there.



HOLLYWOOD, FL - SEPTEMBER 14:  Annette Funicello (R) kisses Mickey Mouse 14 September 1993 after she received a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in California. The U.S. actress and singer is best known as a famous mouseketeer on the popular 1960's television show, "The Mickey Mouse Club" as well as the beach movies she made with Frankie Avalon.  (Photo credit should read VINCE BUCCI/AFP/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD, FL – SEPTEMBER 14: Annette Funicello (R) kisses Mickey Mouse 14 September 1993 after she received a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in California. The U.S. actress and singer is best known as a famous mouseketeer on the popular 1960’s television show, “The Mickey Mouse Club” as well as the beach movies she made with Frankie Avalon. (Photo credit should read VINCE BUCCI/AFP/Getty Images)

I had my Russian cap with the ear-flaps on and everything pulled down to protect me from the snow, including the front board which was like the bill of the cap, but could be snapped up out of the way.  Snow was caked even on that little front flap. My eyes were mostly covered by that frozen and snow-encrusted front flap.

I said, “Gee, I think it might be snowing outside.”

Everyone laughed.  Alicia lifted up the front flap and looked me right in the eyes.”Michael, you are so funny!” she said.

I wasn’t really that funny with my stupid little understatement.  But her smile was priceless.  And I keep it in my heart to this very day.  It was the greatest gift any girl ever gave me during my sorry little childhood.


Filed under autobiography, humor, Paffooney

Mickey Mouse Club Music

Today’s essay was inspired by Annette Funicello’s Facebook page.  I was marveling at how a teen idol and Disney child star could have such a large following and leave such large footprints on social media when she is not only all grown out of her child-stardom, but is actually quite dead.   I, however, who am technically still alive, work very very hard at this author-self-promotion-thingy, and I hardly make any headway at all in the ocean of the internet.  So, I did what I always do when faced with the imponderables of this writing life.  I drew a picture.  I drew Annette naked.  Well, that’s not entirely accurate either.  I put clothes on her because, well, young-adult-genre authors don’t always have to think like a teenager.


You see, I am not mad at Annette.  And my hormones no longer control the other things that once made me deeply regret the fact that Disney never let Annette appear in movies in a bikini, even the movies that were not Disney movies.  When you’re twelve, there are different priorities than when you are 58.  Hormones don’t do all of my thinking any more… at least, that’s what I tell my wife.

And part of what I still love most about Annette is the music.  The Mickey Mouse Club was always about talented kids.  They could sing and dance and play the drums, and they were as easily professional quality as many of the adults… and cuter to boot.  Talented children have been a significant portion of my life.  As an English teacher in middle school, I taught kids that were Annette’s MMC age.  I taught them how to write and how to read, and occasionally I had to find other talents to promote and help those kids become winners in the great game of life.  And, it may be cruel to say it bluntly, but some kids are downright ugly.  Not merely ugly in terms of what they looked like, but how they acted and how they thought and how they felt about things.  Racism runs deeply through children who’ve been taught thoroughly by parents before the teacher even meets them.  Sometimes you have to dig around really deeply in the black pits of their personalities to find something bright and shiny enough to put the spotlight on.   But it is always worth it.  ALL CHILDREN HAVE TREASURE BURIED INSIDE THEM.  And it deeply hurts that too many adults in every community can’t be bothered to dig for it.

Annette in DLandnI grafted a background on my picture of Annette to stress the fact that she is not naked in my picture.  She was a very public figure and a good portion of her personal treasure was that screen personality that showed through and sparkled in every role.  My favorite Annette piece is the movie Babes in Toyland which I saw for the first time at Grandma Beyer’s house in Mason City on her color TV.  The songs from that movie still play in my dreams.


Filed under humor, Paffooney, teaching