Conflict Resolution in Woody Woodpecker

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?

20 thoughts on “Conflict Resolution in Woody Woodpecker”

    1. Oh they get it all. This big compilation set we have has Popeye, Mighty Mouse, Betty Boop, the works!

      – Joe

  1. Amen….I completely agree. Short of locking them (fruit of my loins) up we have no option but to let them go. I plan to lurk nearby with a shotgun.

    1. What I’ve been told is that if you just shoot the first suitor in the kneecaps, word gets around quickly. That’s whats called “The Kentucky Way”.

      – Joe

  2. While I love me some Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry, The Powerpuff Girls is one of my all-time favorite cartoons. If your girls are getting lengthy conversations out of the classics now, they might be publishing essays on the City of Townsville in a few years. 🙂

    1. Fair enough, Catherine! I admit I’ve never really watched the show. I suppose I should give it a chance. At least the Smurfs are mostly gone now. Whew!

      – Joe

  3. Joe – are you familiar with Raymond Scott? If not you are for sure familiar with his work. Mr. Scott was the leader of the CBS radio orchestra in the 30s and 40s and a jazz composer. He moved on to help design & build synthesizers with Bob Moog. His music is probably the most famous in the world yet most people never heard of him. See if you recognize this ditty:

    1. Oh I’m a BIG Raymond Scott fan…you had me pegged, Frankly! Someone I love who’s heavily influenced by Raymond Scott is John Zorn, a very odd cat from New York who’s taken his music in a somewhat more, shall we say, violent direction. He also did a compilation of Carl Stalling music a while back, excellent stuff. Makes me wonder about those orchestra musicians…how good they had to be to pull this stuff off in a studio!

      Thanks for the great reference, Frankly!


      – Joe

    1. I am in many, many senses. You’re very right Naomi.

      Thank you, hope the weather is good down in NOLA. Some of the girls best friends just moved there as I mentioned. We’re plotting a trip for the fall!

      – Joe

      1. Well, I hope when you get here, you allow us to take ya’ll out for a drink – or a snack.

  4. *singing* Speed of lightning, roar of thunder, fighting all who rob or plunder…

    Having several little ones running around here, I think that the ‘classic era’ generally thumps the 80’s-90’s (Smurfs, et al.), but there’s some good stuff recently. In particular, Phineas and Ferb is one of the best cartoons you’ll ever have the joy to discuss with your kids. 🙂

    1. Oh you’re speaking my language, Roger. I love Phineas and Ferb. I’m also a big fan of the first few seasons of Spongebob. Fairly Odd Parents will also do in a pinch! 😉

      – Joe

  5. Holy moly…Your girl is way smarter than I ever was. I never gave any of the Bugs/Elmer, Roadrunner/Wiley, Tom/Jerry antics a thought while watching cartoons as a kid; I just watched and laughed! My poor Mom had nothing to be proud about. Sorry, Mom.

    1. I never did that either, Susan. I worry the extent to which they’ll be able outsmart me as teenagers. Oy.

      – Joe

  6. When I was a kid, if an old American cartoon didn’t have Tex Avery’s name on the titles, it was still probably going to be funny, just not really funny.

    Just to say also something on-topic, Joe, if you wanted to make a strawberry marmalade – the type you can cut into cubes and frost with sugar and eat away – from fresh strawberries and gel it with only pectin and nothing else (no agar or gelatin), how much of the stuff would you need to create a thick enough texture? I know it depends on other variables like sugar/berry ratio and water content in the berries and so on, but can you maybe generally share light on the use of pectin as a gelling agent?

    I’m talking about this kind of marmalade:

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