Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, May 6, 2023

The Mouse That Roared, Part III

 Next Mosaic Moments - Saturday, May 20, 2023


 A clever meme from Facebook (if you ignore "baited" instead of "bated"). And, yes, it's amazing how much a playwright, from four hundred years ago, no matter how talented, contributed to modern-day English.


Now, back to the nitty-gritty of our crazy, mixed-up world . . .

I had no intention of writing a Part III to the story of DisneyWorld vs. Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, but Scott Maxwell's column in this Thursday's edition of the Orlando Sentinel simply could not be ignored. Maxwell, as you may recall from Part II, is an outstanding columnist for the newspaper and someone well aware that Disney has stretched its special privileges to the limit—and past it—for the fifty years of its reign as Florida's most well-known business enterprise, as well as its biggest single-site employer. But Maxwell, unable to ignore the ludicrous shenanigans currently being enacted in the Disney-DeSantis feud, has once again addressed the absurdity of the Problem-That-Should-Never-Have-Happened.

But first, a short update:

Since I wrote Part II of "The Mouse That Roared," Disney has sued DeSantis, and the new DeSantis-appointed board has filed a countersuit against Disney. Bye-bye tax dollars for years to come, while lawyers become even fatter cats than they already are. And still more . . .

The Orlando Sentinel's front-page headline on Thursday, May 4, 2023:

Monorail Inspections approved

Grace's summary of this article:

In what the newspaper calls "the latest salvo between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the theme park giant," DeSantis has vowed to use the Florida legislature to strip DisneyWorld of its power to self-inspect the Monorail. Just the Disney Monorail, please note, not the hundreds of rides in the other theme parks in the area or the rides downtown along International Drive. (It was just a year ago on I-Drive that a 15-year-old boy lost his life in a plunge from a "thrill" tower. A tower that has just been demolished down to the last nut and bolt, but was anything said about state inspection of more than Disney's Monorail? Not a peep.) 

And in the same edition of the newspaper, Scott Maxwell offers some revelations about members of the DeSantis-appointed board:

. . . . As Exhibit A [of Florida's weird ways], I give you a story from this week where Gov. Ron DeSantis' appointees to the new DisneyWorld takeover board announced they were suing the theme park empire.

That's not the weird part. At least not by Florida's basic bonkers bar. No, the weird part was near the end of Sentinel reporter Skyler Swisher's story where he casually mentioned that one of the governor's appointees spent some of Monday's meeting stressing that he doesn't really believe tap water turns you gay.

I'm sorry ... what?

A moment ago, we were talking about the the normal Florida craziness—you know, where the governor of America's third largest state creates a new political board to hamstring a private company's business plans as punishment for saying something he didn't like. That kind of thing is our baseline.

So how did we get gay tap water?

Well, after DeSantis hand-selected five people to muck around with Disney's roads and permitting processes, media groups naturally started doing research to find out what kind of experience these five people had in government operations. That's when they learned that one of the appointees was [name deleted] a founder of the book-banning Moms for Liberty activists. [Which also railed against transgender athletes and Covid mask-wearing.] . . . . Because when you're looking for someone to be in charge of building permits and public utilities, what you really need is someone well-versed in taking on face masks and Black Lives Matter.

Summary of next section by Grace: As the national media was doing some basic background checks on the new members of the creatively named "Central Florida Tourism Oversight District" [formerly Reedy Creek], CNN discovered that another member of the board had declared homosexuality "shameful" and "evil." He had also been known to quote conspiracy theorists who alleged that estrogen in our tap water (from birth control pills) was turning people gay. This person, a pastor, insists that all that he and his fellow appointees are trying to do is pursue an "eminently sensible" agenda. (And yet, among his remarks, Maxwell quotes a conspiracist who declared there was enough estrogen in tap water to turn "the friggin' frogs gay.")

Final paragraphs of Scott Maxwell's column:

The last time the governor came to one of these board meetings, DeSantis floated the possibility of using state powers to set up competing theme parks [we already have four others in the area] or maybe a prison near Disney. So eminently sensible indeed.

Anyway, that's the long story of how we got a storyline that involves gay tap water, gay frogs, Black Lives Mater, general evil, and theme-park prisons. Maybe that all makes sense to you. If so, consider yourself an official Floridian. Because stories like these simply aren't making the daily news roundups in Wisconsin.

~ * ~

This week I'm promoting my longest book—the very first book I wrote, way back in the mid 90s. It's all of 140,000 words, and through the years I have steadfastly refused to shorten it. In fact, the only revision I did after its first incarnation (in 2000) was to make it longer by adding a Prologue! 


A very young bride finds herself married to an enigmatic British spy "for her safety." And is plunged into a seven-year, highly personal view of the Peninsular War—ending, after years of blind devotion, in discovering a betrayal of her trust so immense she can only wonder: Is she the sometime bride of a man who never existed? A discarded mistress? Or a beloved wife whose only rival is her husband's expediency in a time of war?

Author's Note: In addition to being a saga of young lovers caught up in a war, The Sometime Bride is the history of the Peninsular War, Britain's fight against Napoleon in Portugal and Spain. The story moves from France's invasion of Portugal and British troops being driven into the sea at La Coruña to the return of British troops under General Sir Arthur Wellesley, the fortified lines at Torres Vedras, and the gradual push of French troops across Spain and back to France. Plus the chaotic times in Paris after Napoleon's surrender and the Emperor's triumph as he gathers up his old troops, only to be stopped in one of the most famous and bloody battles in history—Waterloo.


Reviewers Choice Award. "Sometimes a reviewer gets a book so powerful, it's hard to know where to begin to tell about it. The Sometime Bride is such a book. . . . Bride passes every criterion for a successful book that I was given as a reviewer. Ms Bancroft weaves a most unusual love story in among the threads of history that cover eight years. . . . I highly recommend both Tarleton's Wife and The Sometime Bride as companion books. They are totally independent, but together give a vastly enlightening and entertaining view of the period through use of wonderful characters and page-turner plots—definite keepers, both." Jane Bowers, Romance Communications

"The writing talent displayed by the author is wonderful . . . Ms. Bancroft's detail for historical events is phenomenal. . . ."
April Redmon, Romantic Times

Five Stars. "Set against the bloody Napoleonic wars, The Sometime Bride is ambitious, engrossing and absolutely wonderful."
Rickey R. Mallory, Affaire de Coeur

Five Stars. "The Sometime Bride by Blair Bancroft is a riveting and well-written story. . . . The tension between the hero and heroine sizzles. . . ." Janet Lane Walters, Scribes World

 ~ * ~

For a link to Blair's website, click here.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)

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