Disney reports that it continues to support the struggling Hong Kong Disneyland. Well, now we may know one reason why it's struggling. Just as every Disney movie going back to "Steamboat Willie" probably has been pirated in China, China now has a state-owned amusement park that recently included a mouse character, a woman with black hair surrounded by seven... elves... and pirate music. Not pirated music (well, maybe it was), but pirate music.
However, the Shijingshan Amusement Park swears on a stack of Lost Boys that only a Dumbo would think it's ripping off Disney. The Associated Press reports the park's deputy general manager said, "The characters in our park just look a little bit similar to theirs (Disney's). But the faces, clothes, sizes and appearances are different."
This even as a banner hung over the park entrance earlier this month saying, "Disney is too far, so please come to Shijingshan."
Disney reps reportedly have called. The banner is now down, and the faux Mickey is missing.
More on China -- Well, Sort Of
The Chinese-language rights have been sold to the book "Everything I Know About Dating I Learned in Business School: How to Succeed in Dating by Using Basic Business Practices." Now the book has just been published in Taiwan, which -- depending on with whom you talk, and on what day, and in what political environment -- is or is not part of China.
Publisher TCB CAFE thinks the book, by author A.K. Crump, may sell even better in Asia than in the U.S., where the romantically challenged can learn such tips as these:
Investment Tip #1 - Buy Low, Sell High
Example: Discount Sales = Stock up on Dating Essentials Now
Rationale: Why wait until you're on a date to have the tools that you will need to keep it moving forward? Necessities such as mints, chewing gum, extra toothbrushes, creams and spare socks can be purchased in advance of anyone actually using them. Stash them in easy to get to places for before, during or after your date.
Investment Tip #2 - Promote Customer Loyalty
Example: Buy flowers at least once a month
The book also suggests that you keep your shoes looking nice, and that dating more than three people at one time is "suicide."
Weirdest Story Pitch This Week
PardonMOI is a company that creates unusual greeting cards to inform people humorously of something negative. Like letting someone know in a nice, funny way that his fly is open or that she dresses like a prostitute. I'm not kidding.
But if you're buying a pack of greeting cards that say "I couldn't help but notice your fly is open," you probably have to order in advance and then have them handy when you run across someone whose... fly is open. Kinda like the advice in the dating book mentioned above: stock up now.
In my Inbox today was this from the company: "Just in Time for Allergy Awareness Week..." (Wha-?? Another one of those "Week" thingies?) It goes on to say that PardonMOI is releasing a line of cards you can buy to inform others of your child's allergies before they shove gluten/lactose/peanut treats at Junior. The new card line is called "Don't Make Me Nuts."
Now, while I think that's pretty clever, does one need a card to convey this message? Is it really that awkward to tell the parents of your kid's friends that, "Hey, by the way, she's allergic to milk. I mean, REALLY allergic."
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