“And Me Without A Pro!”
By Mort Laitner and Phil Reichert
Donald looks perplexed. He wears that famous what-do-I-do-now look. His hand strategically raised, thumb-up as he asks the viewer for guidance. “Mate, what should I do?” He finds himself in a quandary. A beautiful, barefoot, blond rests seductively on the grass surrounded by elephant ears. Blondie’s eyes are shut, her arms folded across her stomach, and her sleeveless dress is strategically hiked to her thighs.
Question: So why is Donald Fauntleroy Duck, (yes, that is his middle name) dressed in an Australian soldier’s uniform? Now, I’m perplexed. I remember him wearing a blue sailor’s shirt and cap with an unintelligible American accent.
Answer: Aussie war-time public health propaganda drawn for The Fourth Medical Corps Division. (See initials on bottom right of painting.)
Thanks to Wikipedia, I learned Donald was also drafted and served as a private in the US Army in WWII. However, Walt Disney never authorized an American version of the poster. Walt correctly understood the Freudian-American fear of melding animated childhood with sexual fantasies.
Now back in the jungles of Asia, Donald seems to have forgotten his prophylactics and his love interests Daisy and Donna. I bet you didn’t remember Donna. She was Donald’s-short lived early love interest before Daisy.
Donald is sly and he knows VD is high. This public health message to Aussie soldiers and sailors could not be made any clearer. Wear protection.
Quite a dilemma for a duck; Donald’s normal happy mood fades like drops of dew on elephant ears in the hot jungle sun. Donald’s gleeful mood sours. His day is spoiled. As we get ready for Donald to lose his temper, we learn that artist Cyril Jones never followed-up with Donald’s melt-down nor do we learn of Donald’s final decision.
This leads us to that age-old question, “Why is an anthropomorphic duck interested in a woman?”
Answer: It is World War II and he’s stationed in the jungle.
This leads us to our final question, “Why aren’t more famous cartoon characters doing public service announcements for public health?”
Answer: We don’t know.
The editors of Healthy Stories have written a short suggestion list for the two colossal industries (Hollywood and the Center for Disease Control) consideration:
Ay caramba! Bart Simpson scrubbing his hands in the H1N1 campaign.
Sponge Bob SquarePants announcing from his Bikini Bottom place of employment on the risks of eating fried food and Barracuda contaminated with ciguatera.
The Family Guy’s Peter Griffin preaching as he is crunching down on a granola bar, “Exercise your mouth in a nutritional manner.”
Mickey and Minnie espousing the “benefits of waiting ‘till marriage” in their abstinence campaign. (US Postal service great stamp potential.)
Ruff and Ready (cat and dog cartoon from the 50s)
RUFF: “Hey Ready, are you ready?”
READY: “Yeah, Ruff. Just be sure to use a condom…oh, and don’t be too rough.”
Yogi and Boo Boo Bear
BOO BOO: “Hey Yogi, watchu got in the picnic basket?”
YOGI: “Hey Boo Boo Bear. I still have three days left of my antibiotics to get rid of gonorrhea.”
Scrappie and Scooby Doo
SCRAPPIE: “Hey Scooby! Let’s go check out that hot new girl dog down the street”
SCOOBY (holding on tight to a street lamp pole): “Nooooo! I don’t want to catch another STD.”
Godzilla and Megalon
MEGALON (in an altercation with Godzilla): “Hey! No need to bite my head off just ’cause I got infected with an STD.”
Dudley Doright and Nell
DUDLEY (with a puppy-dog, humiliated look on his face, holding a letter from the health department behind his back that says, “An urgent matter concerning your health has come to our attention…”): “Nell, I’m afraid I have some bad news.”