Not being much of a fan of The Powerpuff Girls or My Little Pony (apologies to any bronies in the audience), I feed the girls on a steady diet of classic cartoons come Saturday morning. Looney Tunes primarily, though we also have a few mixed disks containing 20th century Saturday morning staples like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Felix the Cat etc.. If you’re going to watch cartoons, is my thinking, it might as well be the good stuff.
That said I’m amazed at how uninteresting a show like Tom & Jerry really is. The plots are quite strikingly thin. However that doesn’t stop the girls from thinking quite hard about them. I remember young 7-year old Jo Pastry once remarked quite philosophically that the thing that makes Bug Bunny so hard to catch is his unusually good planning skills. Elmer Fudd is forever falling into a hole that Bugs has dug in advance, running into a hollow log he’s has balanced carefully on the edge of a cliff, or charging into a fake tunnel he’s cleverly painted on a rock wall. “I would have no idea how defeat a rabbit like that” she said. I told her not to be too concerned because as far as I knew no one had yet figured it out, except maybe for a large family of tortoises that constantly frustrates him when he challenges one of them to a race.
Little Joan Pastry is now catching up with her sister in terms of her analytical skills. Saturday I breezed down the steps and past the couch as I headed to the kitchen. I asked the girls offhandedly how Woody Woodpecker was doing. “Well there’s a lot of confusion,” Joan said. “There are some important things that haven’t been explained very well to Wally Walrus. If they had been I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be so upset.” She went on to explain that a big part of the problem was that Woody’s brain wasn’t in proper working order because he’d tried to peck some especially hard trees. “He has a funny accent now and he thinks he’s from France.”
I told her that woodpeckers with French accents were a common problem in North America, especially in the winter when all the trees were frozen solid. She nodded solemnly and turned back to watch. Friends, why can they not stay this way forever?