Friday, December 17, 2010
"The Secret Lives of Cartoon Characters"
This happy story is from my never to be published book "The Secret History of Everything". This is one of the chapters on the world of Toons. That immortal race of beings that hides in plain sight.
Our tale so to speak describes the origins of out dear pal Daffy Duck.
Daffy Duck was born or should I say hatched on May 12, 1923. His original destiny was to be guest of honor in a boxed lunch at an annual convention of vacuum cleaner salesmen. However history had other plans for this unique foul.
Daffy's formative years were spent in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of a Harlem oriental noodle shop. This informed him that there was a better world outside the oppressive confines of an American race ghetto.
The blossoming Harlem Renaissance was a cornucopia of wonders for the young Daffy. Naturally this led him to the stage. Daffy Duck performed publicly for the first time at the famed Apollo Theater on amateur night.
He charmed the audience with his kid act. He juggled broken beer bottles while swallowing watermelons. He'd then squat, and lay them while doing the Charleston. True he was a male, but to the audience a duck was a duck.
Anyway it brought the house down.
..hey keep reading it gets better.
Josephine Baker was so impressed by his act that she took him along on her tour of France. "My little Black Duckie" she called him. Josephine while making the rounds of the jazz clubs in the City of Light would introduce Daffy as her nephew.
The sophisticated Parisians didn't blink at this. They took it to be just another bizarre American custom.
Daffy while doing his act at the Cafe 'Celluloid was noticed by a famous American producer. Yep it was the old proto nazi himself,..Walt Disney.
He was seated at a private table with his protégé a young black mouse named Mickey. Walt liked them young, and dark. Also at the table was a very well dressed German gentleman named Goebbels.
After Daffy's performance in which he played Beethoven on a grand piano while juggling several large bottles of nitroglycerin with his butt. He was invited over to Mr. Disney's table for a chat.
Disney who was sipping owls head soup from a Ming Dynasty bowl seemed a pleasant affable sort of fellow. On the other hand his little companion, the mouse, was obnoxious. Indeed he was more than a little vulgar.
The disheveled rodent kept passing wind, giggling, and putting a strange white powder in his nose. The German gentleman just sat there stiffly staring at nothing while slowly sipping calf's blood through a polished platinum straw.
Daffy now a worldly duck quickly sized up the scam. He'd been to a number of parties like this already. Before Mr. Disney could say anything Daffy told him, "..I don't take it up the ass!"
The German's left eye twitched.
The little mouse began laughing like a hissing like a steam pipe. He was also masturbating spilling all the white powder onto the floor as he did.
Walt Disney turned to the crazed rodent, and in a lazy tone said, "Aw Mickey now look what you've done."
"How many times have I told you that stuff is expensive. Now Doctor Goebbels will have to get us more."
Walt confided in Daffy, "You'll have to excuse my young friend."
"He is after all a mouse, and so has a rather limited intellectual, and emotional repertoire."
However as for 'your' lovely black ass please be reassured that back door grease jobs are not something I'm likely to be doing for quite some time."
"Or so my doctors tell me."
"Seems I acquired a rather unfortunate condition while on holiday in the Philippines."
"No, I have something entirely different in mind for you."
Besides his interesting lifestyle Walt Disney was a businessman. One without an once of sentiment so he made Daffy an ironclad offer!
Of course Walt was aware of Daffy. The Toon grapevine was buzzing with his name since his Apollo days. Everyone knew this was a duck to watch, and watch the shark of Hollywood did. Disney had his operatives secretly film all of Daffy's acts.
Walt especially liked the self-immolation routines.
Daffy would blow himself up with a barrel of dynamite. As the smoke cleared his blackened bill would slam to the floor as his eyeballs bounced about the stage,...brilliant thought Disney!
Walt said to Daffy, "I intend to use you, and your colorful Toon colleagues to mold the dreams of America, and then the World!"
Mr. Disney pointed to the German gentleman who seemed to be injecting something into his arm. "Doctor Goebbels here has been invaluable to me in forming the foundations of what I intend to be an Empire of Dreams!"
Clearly this is a gang of fruitcakes thought Daffy,..rich fruitcakes. So Daffy asked a question. A question that has led many a Toon down the road to perdition.
Ahhhh, old Disney smiled like a shark circling an overturned lifeboat full of children.
"How much?" "...why as much as you want my dear lad,..sign here."
...and he did.
Thus began Daffy Duck's adventures in Toon Hell!