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Sat, April 20

Column: Donald, sans-pants, confuses columnist

Until recently I had never given it much thought because it's sort of a touchy subject. But for the good of all concerned, particularly possibly impressionable prepubescent youngsters, I think it would behoove Donald Duck if he would start wearing pants.

After all, his Disney cohorts - for example, Goofy and the much more modest Mickey Mouse - are never depicted sans-pants. (One notable exception is The Little Mermaid, but she has a good excuse because her legs are missing.)

This discrepancy hit home forcefully recently when I was browsing at Michael's in the mall and came across a children's book featuring Donald. In one particular jarring scene, one of his nephews (either Huey, Dewey or Louie, can't say which) accused him of being a sissy because he couldn't swim. But Uncle Donald had this ready comeback: "Who's a sissy? Who says I can't swim?" quacked Donald loudly. "All my family are champion swimmers and I am the champion of my family. Just you wait until I get my swimming suit!"

All of which begs the question: Just what would a swimming suit entail for a pants-less prodigy? A tank top maybe instead of that little sailor weskit? It's a mind-boggler for that dapper dandy daredevil but decidedly decadent and disruptive disestablishmentarian, Donald Duck.

Just out of curiosity, I Googled Donald and discovered that Wikipedia confirmed the strange no-pants phenomenon with this reference: "He usually wears a sailor shirt, cap, and a red or black bowtie, but no pants (except when he goes swimming). Donald's most famous trait is his easily provoked and occasionally explosive temper."

Wikipedia further described Donald as "a white anthropomorphic duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs and feet." (Yeah, I had to look up that long word too, and it is defined as "ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things." That's Donald all over, bless his fast-beating heart.)


Just in case you missed it, that was one fine zinger that Argus Hamilton came up with in last Wednesday's Courier column. "Somali pirates seized a freighter in the Indian Ocean and demanded a ransom of 20 million dollars," he related. "The U.S. Navy has the ship surrounded. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said he will work with Congress to develop a rescue plan for the pirates."

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