Your Honor I Call Francine Farkle, or the case of Teenaged Revolt. Note. This Goes After Fanny’s Testimony!

JUDGE JULIA: Counsel you may call your next witness.

FILOMENA FRANCIS: Your Honor I call Ms. Francine Farkle.

Fred and Fanny’s daughter, Francine, takes the stand and is sworn in.

FILOMENA: Francine, you are my client’s and Dr. Farkle’s daughter?

FRANCINE: Yah, sure.

JUDGE JULIA: Ms. Farkle, you aren’t chewing gum in my court are you?

Francine looks sheepish. Takes out the gum almost puts it on the rail in front of her before she encounters Judge Julia’s glare. She gives it to the clerk.

FRANCINE: Sorry Judge.

JUDGE JULIA: Ms. Francis please proceed.

FILOMENA: And you are 15 years old? A sophomore at East High School?

FRANCINE: I’m almost 16 and I am a junior actually.

FILOMENA: Tell us about your family vacations to the Most Magical Place on Earth.

FRANCINE: Magical? You are kidding aren’t you?

FILOMENA: I ask the questions and you answer them. And I am not kidding.

FRANCINE: Sorry again. I guess I think this is so obvious that I feel silly about talking about it. If you really want to get evidence call my boyfriend and my other friends to testify.

FILOMENA: Suppose you tell the court what they say to you.

FRANCINE: They tell me how lame my dad is. They make all sorts of jokes about me and  these trips. My dad has a picture of my brother and me for every year we have gone to Walt Disney World. He makes me wear Mickey Mouse ears! There they are, all these pictures on the foyer wall when my friends come over! I could just die!

FILOMENA: Surely this is a father who just gets a kick out of seeing how his children have grown?

FRANCINE: If that is a question all I can say is that I am ok with my dad showing his love for my brother and me but he has taken it to a point where it has just been twisted and turned into something that has made me feel sooooo embarrassed!

FILOMENA: Yes, of course embarrassed. But so far I have only heard about your pictures in the foyer.

FRANCINE: Well how about the time when it was the Fourth of July. It was wall to wall people. I mean like you couldn’t even dive into the pool because it was Standing Room Only ! We go to the Magic Kingdom. Of course he has his line calculator, his iPhone programmed to beep when we should go left, go right, use the bathroom, you name it. We’re standing on line for Big Thunder Rail Road. It’s a million degrees. It’s a million per cent humidity. The line moves like six inches a minute if that. We get to the entrance where we all know there’s only maybe another hour to wait to get on a ride we have already ridden maybe 10 times. At least we know there will be air conditioning from this point and we won’t pass out from sun stroke, notwithstanding that we all have to the bathroom because he has made us all drink Gatorade by the bottle.

But THEN, the iPhone beeps. Oh no! He’s made lunch reservations in EPCOT in a half hour! We have to LEAVE the line AND the Magic Kingdom to grab the monorail to keep our ADR in Le Cellier! I mean like I don’t even eat meat! It’s gross.

FILOMENA:  Anything else you’d like to share?

FRANCINE: How much time do I have? How about one more? We all know that teenagers need to sleep late. Their body clock is built that way. It’s detrimental to our health to get up before 11:00 A.M.! And you know, I’m a teenaged girl I have to take my showers and get ready to go out. My dad doesn’t want to hear it! He has the Mickey Mouse hotel service wake us up at 6:30 AM! so we can all be showered, dressed, and ready for a frontal assault on the theme park of the day, especially the one that has Early Magic Hours. This is terrible!

JUDGE JULIA: Counsel do you have more questions for the witness. I think we can see that Mr. Farkle’s actions are perceived as seriously negative by his daughter.

FILOMENA: I couldn’t have said it better myself Your Honor. I welcome Mr. Philpot’s attempts to refute such testimony.

PHILPOT rises.

PHILPOT: Oh I am only too anxious to put the young lady’s testimony into perspective.

JUDGE JULIA: Good. We will do that tomorrow.

All rise as Judge pounds gavel and exits.


Your Honor Is Being Absorbed in the Mouse a Crime? Note! This Goes After the Prosecutor’s Opening Remarks! Sorry!

Fred’s lawyer does not immediately rise to his feet on Judge Julia’s direction to deliver his opening remarks. He shrugs his shoulders, shakes his head, sends disapproving but also hurt glances at the plaintiffs. He turns to Fred whose head is buried in his hands. He pats Fred’s shoulder and gives him a reassuring glance as if to show that he feels very sorry for his client.

Judge Julia (having none of this): Mr. Mason, perhaps you have no remarks to offer me or this jury?

Mason: Oh no Your Honor, I do, I certainly do, most certainly do. And I beg some pixie dust for your patience. It’s just that these charges, these complaints, you know, they have really hurt my client, very much so.

Judge Julia: We are not about hurt in this court Mr. Mason. Deliver your remarks please, and quickly.

Mason: Your Honor is being absorbed in Mickey Mouse, in the most magical place on earth a crime? We know that is is not. We submit that Fred’s ardent commitment to family and equally ardent admiration for all of what Walt Disney World can offer a family combined to drive this devoted husband and family man to make decisions and make special plans for them so that they all could wring every last drop out of their magical experience.

Teenage Daughter lets out an audible groan and rolls her eyes in teenaged disdain

Judge Julia (peers over her glasses again, to Daughter) : Young lady we will have none of that. The only person with permission to groan is yours truly.

Judge Julia ( to Defense Lawyer): Are you finished Mr. Mason?

Mason: Yes your honor and at this point we move to drop all charges in this case as it is clearly a frivolous and unnecessary waste of the court’s time.

Judge Julia: I will take that under advisement and report my decision tomorrow. (she pounds gavel, rises and exits the courtroom)

What will Judge Julia’s decision be? Will this case be dismissed?

Wait for the next post!

Counsel You May Cross-Examine Mrs. I Mean Dr. Farkle


PHILPOT: Dr. Farkle, oh come now, D Day, George Patton.


FRANCIS: Your Honor counsel is arguing with the witness.

JUDGE JULIA: I’ll permit the question. Dr. Farkle obviously is an historian, it’s within her expertise to compare her husband to the most massive invasion in history and to one of the great iconoclasts of that war. She’s perfectly capable of defending her comparison.

PHILPOT: Thank you your Honor. Dr. Farkle any other comparisons you’d like to make so that we can deal with them all at once.

FANNY FARKLE: Oh I suppose any military campaign would do. Any zealot would do as well. Rasputin comes to mind.

PHILPOT: Rasputin, the mad monk who captivated and some would say, controlled Czar Nicolas’ family?

FARKLE: You just said it.

PHILPOT: So your husband of 20 odd years is a crazy religious figure?

FANNY: Well, as I said Fred is a loving husband and a good man. He certainly isn’t evil!

PHILPOT: Thank you for clarifying that mistaken notion I had inferred from your testimony! Is it fair to say that if anything, he loves you and his children so much that he merely wants to make the most of any Disney World trip so that everyone has the maximized magical time?

FANNY (hesitates): Well I am not a psychologist but as you said I do know Fred. And as I  said I will let the Judge assess the facts.

PHILPOT: The facts?

FANNY: Well Ok. So you’re standing on the line for Space Mountain. The line is so long that it is outside the building. The sign on the stanchion says something like “90 minutes from this point.” People are falling over from the heat. Children are begging for relief. But we plow on. Fred uses his iPhone to play Disney World trivia games with us and with folks who want nothing to do with the game to make the time pass. We persevere. The line inches forward and as we are perhaps 30 minutes from getting on the ride. Fred keeps looking at his Mickey Mouse watch. Then his iPhone beeps a calendar warning. He looks at me and the kids and says, “We have a reservation at the Crystal Palace for lunch. We have to leave the line.”

The children groan. I think that the people in the line are happy for at least two reasons that we are leaving. One is that there are four LESS people on the line. The other is that they are sick of Fred’s trivia game. And we leave the line!

PHILPOT (rattled, searching to refute): Well had you eaten?

FANNY: Well know we hadn’t had breakfast so we could get to Early Magic Hours and it was about 1:00.

PHILPOT: Were you hungry? The children?

FANNY: Well yes, I was but …

PHILPOT: So your husband had wisely booked an ADR for Crystal Palace for a delicious buffet lunch. He certainly had not anticipated that the Space Mountain wait line would be so long, perhaps because of a ride malfunction no one could have planned for and felt that that the trade off was in everyone’s best interest.

FANNY: I suppose you’d have to ask Fred.

PHILPOT: Thank you. I will. No more questions your honor.

“This Case is Far From Dismissed”

Judge Julia enters the courtroom. Bailiff bids everyone to rise. She sits.

JUDGE JULIA: You may be seated.

JUDGE JULIA: You should both know that there is no way I will dismiss this case. I am not sure if a “crime” has been committed, but I am sure that the issue that is before this court is a legitimate one. Millions of people come to Walt Disney World each year and I have no doubt that a good percentage of them either benefit from or suffer because of the Fred Farkles of the world, of Walt Disney World. So yes, this case will go forward.

(She pounds her gavel). Miss Francis, call your first witness.

PHILOMENA FRANCIS: Your honor the plaintiff calls Ms. Fanny Farkle.

Fanny Farkle, Mrs. Fred Farkle, rises from the plaintiff’s desk, casts a sidewise glance at her husband and walks to the witness stand where she is duly sworn in.


Fanny interrupts

FANNY: That’s Dr. Farkle.

PHILOMENA: Yes I knew that and was about to ask you what your occupation was besides housewife.

FANNY: One thing I am not is a housewife, not that there’s anything wrong with being one if that is what you choose to be. Yes I am a wife, Fred’s wife and he is MY husband, for now anyway. I have a Ph.D. in modern European history with a specialty in World War II.

PHILOMENA: World War II? As an expert in World War II would you say there are any metaphors that apply to this case?

Defense lawyer rises.

PHILPOT: Your honor, objection. This is a serious civil suit, not a literature lesson. Metaphors certainly need not be used in these proceedings!

JUDGE JULIA: I will overrule that objection counsel. Metaphors are meant to help us make sense of the world. If Mrs. Farkle, excuse me Dr. Farkle can offer an apt metaphor we can use it as a baseline for conversation. It will be up to your skills Mr. Philpot, to refute these. Please proceed Ms. Francis.

PHILOMENA: Dr. Farkle, World War II?

FANNY: Well several could apply. But I can give you two. One would be D Day.

PHILOMENA: And the other?

FANNY: General George Patton.

PHILOMENA: Please explain!

FANNY: Even the most casual viewer of the History Channel or high school American History student is familiar with the events leading up to the D Day invasion of France. The detail invested in landing our forces on the most heavily armed and defended beach front in the war was minute and painstaking. General Eisenhower and his planners had every issue accounted for; weather, speed of landing craft; the English Channel tides; positions of enemy men and artillery. Any combination of missteps would have spelled doom for the invasion forces and our defeat there might have changed the course of all history.

My husband Fred treats every vacation to Walt Disney World like a D Day invasion: We are up at 0700, Francine may use the lavatory from 0701 to 0707, Fabio may use the lavatory from 0708 to 0711, since after all my husband reasons, a teenage girl MIGHT need the bathroom a minute more than a younger son.

We of course have prepaid our meals and of course each meal, each snack, each break has been inputted into the mother of all EXCEL spreadsheets so that no time at all is ever wasted!  Oh I could go on and on …

PHILOMENA: Perhaps later Dr. Farkle, and General Patton?

FANNY: Again, I am hoping that Your Honor has read about or at least seen “Patton” with George Scott. Assuming you have, Patton is this bigger than life, straight as an arrow zealot whose singleminded commitment to achieve his military targets is never compromised no matter the human toll.

Well my husband when he is a “civilian”, that is not planning, actually in, or debriefing from our most recent trip to Disney World is a very nice man. He is a loving husband, a devoted and supportive father, and a popular friend and co-worker.

But when he is on his mission it’s as if as Patton has occupied HIM! The only thing he doesn’t have is a swagger stick or a cattle prod to move us all this way and that. He becomes all – consumed with wringing every last drop of what is supposed to be a wonderful magical experience and changing it into a military campaign.

PHILOMENA: And this behavior Dr. Farkle, I take it has soured you and your children not only on your husband but also on Walt Disney World.

FANNY ( Smiles, then frowns, hesitates): Oh it has only soured us on Walt Disney World in the sense of what it has spawned: This man, my husband needs to exorcized of the demons he has created for himself and what it has done to our family vacation time together.

PHILOMENA: Your Honor I’d like the opportunity to recall the witness at a later time.

JUDGE JULIA: Very well I will rule on that when and if you ask. Mr. Philpot would you like to cross examine?

What will Philpot do to refute such strong testimony? Next post…

All Rise for Judge Julia

This was the first order of business in the case of the Farkle Family versus their Father Fred.

Setting: Court room. Various Disney characters and Cast members are already seated.

Entrance rear: Attorneys, both for the Plaintiff and the Defendant enter from rear door. The Plaintiffs, Fanny Farkle, wife; Francine Farkle, teenage daughter; and Fabio Farkle, younger son, enter next and sit beside their attorney, Filomena Francis.

After they are seated, the defendant, Fred Farkle, enters from the rear entrance and sits with his attorney, Frank Philpot. As he seats himself he shoots a friendly glance at his family. They return the glance with a smile.

Court Clerk: All rise for Judge Julia.

The courtroom participants rise in unison. Judge Julia strides in  from stage right, acknowledges her Court Clerk and sits herself. She props glasses at the end of her nose, opens a thick folder, looks over her glasses at the courtroom.

Judge Julia: You may be seated. Court Clerk please read the charges.

Court Clerk: On this day we are hear to judge the complaints of the Farkle Family, Mrs. Fanny Farkle, Francine Farkle, and Fabio Farkle against the defendant, Mr. Fred Farkle. Their complaints are that Mr. Farkle’s so-called Type A obsession with Walt Disney World and particularly with planning every detail about any such trip in fact ruins any enjoyment they may have had from any said trip and indeed becomes a matter of such strain and stress that they suffer from physical and emotional ailments as a result of Mr. Farkle’s behavior.

Courtroom participants begin to murmur.

Judge Julia: (pounds the gavel) Oh we’ll have no such reaction from the visitors.

Very well, we will hear opening arguments from the Plaintiff’s attorney tomorrow.

And that will be on the next post!

Not Another Blog About Walt Disney World

Yep. And I won’t apologize. I guess I should do a search and find out just how many blogs there out there about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Walt Disney, Imagineers, etc.

You know what? I will do that.

I think there may be three kinds of people out there when it comes to websites, blogs,podcasts,  tweets, and the like, when it comes to Disney World:

  • Those who for one reason or another want it all, want to know it all, want to be able to “enlist” others in their mouse-absorption – cult, even perhaps to the detriment of what else may or may not be in their life.
  • Those who feel the need to do their homework in order to make the most of what they would like to take from a trip to Disney World or Disneyland.
  • Those who think the first two groups are out of their Goofy-minds and would probably not be reading this or any other Disney blog in the first place.

On a scale of one to ten, with ten being that I am metaphysically united with the castle, the mouse, the theme parks, the resorts, etc.. and one being that I do what I have to do to enjoy a vacation there, I’d put myself up around a seven.

I used to think I was a ten until I began to read the boards and listen to the podcasts, and read others’ blogs, and the travel guides, and the websites and then realized I was at best in the Double A league, certainly not the major leagues! I am ok with that.

But what I want to do in this blog is actually explore the minds and souls of those of us who really spend their energy on all things related to their pilgrimages to Orlando.

Let’s start with a trial: The Family Farkle, versus Father Farkle, in The Case of the Swat Team Planner: