"Mickey Mouse"

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Fri Dec 7 17:42:26 UTC 2001

re: Mickey Mouse boots, also known as Bunny Boots in the Tenth Mountain
Division (in WWII), we quickly discarded them. As Mark M. notes, they are
oversized and clumsy. They also charred easily when the GI is crouched over
a fire in the snow. Bunny Boots were not meant for walking, just camp use).
They were a nuisance to carry; wouldn't fold or scrunch into a wad, like
moccasins. The army designers were apparently not aware that when a human
pack mule is already burdened with sleeping gear, rifle, skis, tent, food,
ammo, etc. etc. discarding is top priority. I suppose that the army's
issuance of these items was looked upon as simply more foolish fooling
around, akin to SNAFU, etc.
Martin Murie
Mark Mandel wrote:
>>>From another member of the list where the question arose.
>-- Mark M.
>An observation and a hypothesis:
>US soldiers often refers to both air-pocketed
>extreme cold weather boots, and chemical protective
>boots, as "Mickey Mouse boots".  This, in part,
>because the gear is oversized and distorts the
>natural proportions of the foot: a big bulb of
>a boot on a pipestem leg, like a cartoon character.
>In another part, such boots make movement difficult and
>grace unlikely. One so encumbered in boots is as
>liable to pratfalls as a cartoon character.
>To an extent, the proportions and resulting
>clumsiness of gear for the hands is similar,
>though I have only once heard usage of "Mickey Mouse
>mittens". Ditto the head, but _never_ a "Mickey Mouse
>But I _have_ heard, and often,  "the full
>Mickey Mouse" among green suiters referring
>to donning complete MOPP gear.
>It should be noted that trying to do very simple
>things (like see or move) while wearing the full
>Mickey Mouse is _so_ difficult, and the hazards
>the full Mickey Mouse defends you from (cold and
>_maybe_ gas) are _so) intangible (compared to the
>visceral dangers of falling from a high place
>(or getting SHOT!) ) that the wearer (this one,
>anyway) is (was)  CONSTANTLY fighting the temptation
>to peel the stuff off. One is stuck with the
>dichotomy -- intellectually acceptance /emotional
>rejection  and coping with the dichotomy often involves
>trivializing it. It's "just" Mickey Mouse.  It's
>not important enough to hate.  It's just Mickey
>Mouse.  It's not a source of fear.  It's Mickey Mouse.
>It seems to me to be a reasonable hypothesis that
>the sense of misproportion, awkwardness, cognitive
>dissonance and comic possibility of "the full
>Mickey Mouse" might be lifted from a military
>cold weather or chemical hazard environment and
>applied to military or even civil bureaucracy.
>"They spend the day mowing the grass, polishing
>the brass, and covering their ass -- all that Mickey
>But I won't _insist_ on that interpretation...

A&M Murie
N. Bangor NY
sagehen at westelcom.com

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