Working for the Mouse

Who fucked Dick Tracey on the Matterhorn? Find out in this sad, sordid Disneyland memoir.

When he was young, for some reason, local playwright Trevor Allen wanted to be Peter Pan. He got a little older and realized that the best way to be Peter Pan was to work as a dress-up character at Disneyland. So he rented a sad, roach-ridden apartment and started as a lowly breakfast-shift character outside the park, graduated to Pluto (inside the park), then tried out for Peter Pan but fell in love with the slim girl playing Alice and wound up working with her in a figurative Wonderland, as the Mad Hatter. Allen relates the whole story in a perky, Mouseketeer style that contrasts well with his sordid material. Rules at Disney are famously strict, but he gives us the bored drug users in Peter Pan's coterie, the old-school midget in the Donald Duck suit who talks like a boxing promoter, and the slim girl (OK, it was Alice) who gets busted for fucking Dick Tracy in "partial costume" on the Matterhorn. Allen's glittery-eyed manner keeps the stories from degrading into a stale disillusionment-with-Disney routine, but it also keeps a few of his punch lines from landing: Sometimes you wish for a little more bite. Still, he has strong solo-performer chops and a keen sense of the pathos underlying the Happiest Place on Earth. What do you do, for example, when a hairless 7-year-old wearing a Make-A-Wish Foundation T-shirt hugs you through the hot felt armor of your dog costume and says, "Bye, Pluto! Don't forget my birthday!" -- and you don't have authorization to speak? Good God.

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