Mum turns to Mickey to help son find wife

Elderly woman works at Chinese amusement park

At an age when people tend to sit back and relax, this 75-year-old mother is hard at work.

Not as a labourer or in a factory, but in an amusement park, dressed up as Mickey Mouse.

Difficult to believe?

In normal circumstances, yes, but for visitors to the local park in Luoyang in China's Henan province, Madam Yang Zhiqiao is a regular fixture, the Mail Online reported.

She wants to raise enough money to find a partner for her son Yang Guan.

His age? Forty.

Mr Yang thought his mum was joking when she said she would use his Disney costume to pose with the visitors.

"My son is over 40, still unmarried. I can't become his burden," Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post quoted her as saying.

"I have to make more money to find my son a wife."

She said she wears the costume from early morning to sunset, but has to take a break every 10 minutes.

"The costume is too heavy, there is little air inside," she was quoted as saying. "If I wear it for a long time I cannot breathe."

Children visiting the attraction call her the "Mickey Mouse Grandma".

She charges 10 yuan (S$2) to have a picture taken with her, the report said.

But many people have been paying her much more when they see her struggling in a heavy costume. Sometimes they even take turns to wear the costume.

Said park visitor Fen Ts'ui, 37: "It really hurts to see her dressed like that. She is so old and should live a much easier life now."

Madam Yang said she wanted to help her son but at her age found it difficult to get a job.

She said: "Then I saw some pictures of people who had gone to Disneyland and been photographed with some of the characters.

"I thought to myself that not everybody would be able to afford to go to Disneyland to be seen with Mickey Mouse.

"So I decided to bring Mickey Mouse to them."

Madam Yang said she and her husband divorced in 1996 and that she has not been able to get back on her feet since.

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