(AP) Winnie the Pooh, that silly old bear, announced at a news conference in Toon Town that he is gay. The revelation, of course, drew no astonishment from those in attendance. The surprise, however, was reserved for the revelation of his lover when he outed fellow Disney alumni Mickey Mouse. Said Pooh, "Oh bother. I was tired of living a lie. First the three witches from Sleeping Beauty came out, then Tweety Bird, and now it is our turn."
Speculation has long attached the honey loving bear with several other occupants of the Hundred Acre Wood, including Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, and even the now grown up Christopher Robin. One fellow co-star, speaking off the record, said "I was always afraid to leave me little joey with the bloke. If it hadn't been for all of the cameramen and studio personnel watching over them when they filmed together, we'd have been on the next Quantas flight home. I didn't want him to be mates with me son."
When asked why he was outing his partner, Pooh said that he was tired of taking advantage of the goodwill and friendship of Minnie Mouse. "She has always loved him and covered for him, but she never stood a chance. After we abandoned her drunk at Buzz Lightyear's party after the Oscar's a few months ago so we could sneak off and be together, I knew things had to change in our relationship. I mean, you don't just leave a soused mouse behind.She had to catch a ride home in the pumpkin coach."
When asked how long he had been involved in the gay lifestyle, WInnie replied: "I guess it was when I would meet the other bears for our honey hunts and log rollings. Boo Boo would always share his picnic basket with me. We sort of discovered love and each other and everything together. He's been gone for many years, but I still miss his sweet smile and good nature. Yogi, Cindy, and Mr. Ranger knew about our lifestyle for years and kept everything quiet."
In a prepared statement, Christopher Robin said "I applaude Winnie on this decision to come out. Tigger and I have been happily bouncing together for many years and wish Mickey and Pooh the best of luck."
There was no word if Pooh plans on taking his significant other to a state that allows gay marriage, or even if the mouse would consent to this.
In addition to the other residents of the Hundred Acre Wood, other cartoon characters that have come out of the closet are: Wilbur from "Charlotte's Web," Daffy Duck, Pikachu, the men from "The Road to El Dorado," and Gingie and Pinocchio from the "Shrek" movies.
Right wing organizations have condemned "The Mickey Mouse Club" and demanded that it never again be shown on television. Pat Buchanan was quoted as saying that "he was not the leader of any club that was made for me or any other Christian. I believe that such networks as The Disney Channel and Toon Disney that cater to our children need to re-think their programming and remove this Mouse and Bear and all of their symbols and likenesses from the air."
The Southern Baptist Convention has announced an ears burning bonfire for this Saturday, followed by a pot luck supper at all churches.
Mickey Mouse could not be reached for comment.