A family squabble in New York this week got animated in a whole new way. Mazen Dayem, a 36-year-old man from Staten Island, says he has a lifelong fear of the Looney Tunes character The Tasmanian Devil, and that his father-in-law, 62-year-old supermarket mogul Yunes Doleh, has been trolling him with a wig that brings back memories of the character. Julia Marsh of The New York Post has more details on the family feud, which led to Doleh being arrested in November for violating a restraining order:
“He walked in as I was already there,” Dayem told The Post. “He removed his wig, made hand gestures. It’s just a very large fear of mine, his damn wig. Him and his hair reminds me of the Tasmanian Devil hair. I truly and genuinely have a large fear of wigs now. It’s a genuine fear. I have nightmares.”
Dayem says he’s had a debilitating fear of the wild Warner Bros. character for as long as he can remember.
“It always made me very anxious,” he said.
Court papers say the situation — which has been going on at least since 2013 — came to a head at the funeral in Brooklyn last month, when Doleh “stood in [Dayem’s] direct line of sight and proceeded to grimace, snarl, gurn and gesticulate, which was made all the more menacing by the forward rake of [the father-in-law’s] toupee.”
Dayem’s attorney, Robert Garson, confirmed his client’s unusual phobia by comparing the hairpiece to an actual animal.
“Mazen is very scared of this guy who looks like he has a rabid badger on his head. It troubles him greatly,” Garson said.
The restraining order was issued in September after Doleh allegedly kicked Dayem’s vehicle in an altercation outside a restaurant. But it’s the Tasmanian Devil stuff here that’s particularly odd. Who could possibly be scared of a lovable cartoon character? Well…
Okay, I’m starting to see Dayem’s point. If your father-in-law ties you up and grabs the salt and pepper, you might be in trouble…