Go Ask Daddy About Prehistoric Kids, Noble Research and the Art of Antagonizing


stortrooper bones
What happens between a Stormtrooper and a green bone shouldn’t be told outside of the stove top.

It took a while before my tenderest-hearted girl ever watched cartoons.

GAD GRAPHICShe saw the PBS stuff – Caillou, Telletubbies, Big Comfy Couch – but not the violent, irreverent stuffs of our childhood. Wile E. Coyote and Sylvester the Cat. The Jetsons and the Flintstones. The Really Rottens. Woody Woodpecker, and most of all, Tom & Jerry.

Elise finally got to see the eternal feud of Tom & Jerry.

Jerry pushed a piano down a staircase after Tom had attacked him with a mallet and butcher’s knife. On this particular episode, Tom actually gave up the ghost. His spirit floated heavenward, where he had to wait in line for St. Peter.

St. Pete opened a soggy sack to reveal a litter of kittens.

I didn’t realize how sick it all was until I looked back to see Elise, standing on the bed, retreated to a corner, her tender psyche bruised and battered by the inhumanity of it all. We watched this stuff, ate cereal with food coloring, and never wore a bike helmet.

I think this is what they call evolution.

Incidentally, this Woody Woodpecker classic might be the worst cartoon ever. I love it.

1. Is The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show the same as The Flintstones?

What is this, toon town?

I loathe shows that capitalize on babies. Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm were the dumbest kids in the world, as far as I was concerned, as a kid. She mumbled baby talk, and couldn’t even walk. His vocabulary lulled behind and contributed to the stereotype of Neolithic man.

The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show spun off from The Flintstones. Some turn to gold, like The Jeffersons, Mork and Mindy, and Frasier. Others become Joanie Loves Chachi. There exist 16 painful episodes, featuring her trademark ripoff of her dad’s catchphrase:

“Yabba Dabba Doosie.”

Did you know this about Pebbles?

  • She wound up having twins with Bamm-Bamm – Chip and Roxy.
  • She didn’t seem to like her father, Fred, much. In one Flintstones episode, she took to Wilma’s cowboy friend and called him dada.
  • Sally Struthers, Megan Mullally and Tress McNeille, all voiced Pebbles over time. McNeille also voiced Wilma Flintstone.

Did you know this about Bamm-Bamm?

  • Although 1 year old, Bamm-Bamm had grey hair and walked upright
  • Barney and Betty Rubble adopted Bamm-Bamm when they found him in a basket on their doorstep
  • Bamm-Bamm became a mechanic, but longed to be a screen writer, and even moved to Hollyrock

2. What’s a memoir?

A memoir is something you write when the notoriety of your spinoff begins to wear thin.

I believed the person in the story had to be the memoir author. Turns out, you need only ‘personal knowledge.’ Hell, National Enquirer has personal knowledge. It’s different from an autobiography. An autobiography covers a person’s life from a historical perspective.

Memoirs specialize.

They relates to a person’s (usually the author’s) personal experience in a time period or event. For instance, I could write a memoir on being Hispanic in post-Taco Bell America. Or, running in 5Ks against those younger and thinner than me. Or, being your dad.

This Girl Dadding Ain’t So Bad (x3): A Memoir, by Eli Pacheco

Accepting submissions for cover art now.

3. Are scientists working on a cure for cancer?

They’re working much harder than I did in week 10 of the Couch to 5K Challenge.

The American Cancer Society has invested more than $4 billion since its inception in 1946 to finding a cure. ACS conducts research and offers grants to researchers. Researchers with ACS backing have won the Nobel Peace Prize 47 times.

My dad died 16 years ago last week of Leukemia. I’ve been lousy at supporting cancer research. My sister and I did the Light the Night Walk for a couple years after dad died. It was so hard. Not the walk – it was seeing so many balloons in memory of loved ones lost.

That stops now. I just signed up as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society. Join me?

4. Why is there a white stripe on the Do Not Enter sign?

I found histories and memoirs in short supply for the Do Not Enter sign.

do not enter
photo credit: Don’t Do it via photopin (license)

It’s an R5 series Exclusionary sign, in the annals of Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (yes, it exists). Do Not Enter happens to be the granddaddy of the R5s. My suspicion: The white stripe between Do No and Enter covers the curse word you’d choose to interject.

Do Not !@#$! Enter drives a bit more gusto, don’t you think?

Every other color means something.

BLUE contains information, such as directions to hospitals or camp sites (they’re interchangeable)

GREEN means go! See these for directions and distances

ORANGE Caution! These are for construction areas

RED means stop or mash on those breaks, at least

YELLOW signs warn against hazards and other notable conditions

5. What does ‘antagonizing’ mean?

It means to cause someone to be hostile.

Watching spinoff shows such as The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm show would do that for me. Tailgate me, and antagonize me. Insist on calling boys and girls “students and scholars” and propose gender-neutral prom attire. Put corn in my burrito and rice in my taco.

Antagonize traces roots back to 1625-35 Greece. It means to contest against, dispute with.

It happens when a little sister picks a wrestling match with a resting big sister. It happens when you guys switch off “Here and Now with Robin Young” for something – anything – by Adele or Flo Rida.

It all brings out the inner Tom & Jerry in me.

antagonism quote

 

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19 thoughts on “Go Ask Daddy About Prehistoric Kids, Noble Research and the Art of Antagonizing

  1. As a huge Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry fan as a kid (still a kid at heart), I introduced the grand-kiddo to my fave toons and was promptly shocked at how violent they are. Who are we to grouse about video game violence when dynamite was blowing off Daffy’s head?

    1. We don’t give it much thought when we’re kids, Cricket. And we turned out just fine, right?

      I think I’d grouse less if Donald Duck was the one behind the wheel in Grand Theft Auto.

  2. Our childhood cartoons were so violent…and we laughed so hard. It was a different time, different generation. The Road Runner met with his near-demise so many times. I was pulling for that coyote, and his Acme gadgets. ☺ This was a fun post to read on a Saturday morning. Thanks.

    1. We did laugh, and mostly we didn’t blow anything up. Growing up was easier then, I’d venture.

      I remember the T-shirt with Wile E Coyote, gripping the Roadrunner by the neck, finally saying, “Beep-beep my ass!”

      Glad the post could accompany you on your Saturday morning reading!

  3. First off, I have that Woody Wood Pecker episode on DVD (with several other episodes). They don’t make cartoons like that any more. The boys love T&J though. Even when they (the cat and mouse) are shooting fireworks at each other! My boys are CONSTANTLY antagonizing each other simply for the sake of starting a screaming match. Sometime I join them and scream, too.

    1. It’s kind of classic, Eric. I think Spongebob partakes in violence, but it’s not the same.

      My girls see Tom & Jerry not unlike what they do to each other. Not with mallets and explosives, mind you, but the same principals.

      i find myself in the middle sometimes, too.

  4. Tom and Jerry rule still in our house today! It is totally a generational thing. Cartoons today simply scare me.

    I love that you are volunteering for the ACS! I do as well 🙂

    1. The Tom & Jerry where Tom wears the bowtie can’t past muster, though, Tiff. Gotta be the original.

      Ever seen Amazing World of Gumball? I think LSD plays a part in some of today’s cartoons.

      Glad to hear you volunteer too! I just picked three areas to help, and am ready for the next step.

  5. You know, the cartoons we watched were intended for adults. There were all kinds of adult themes in them, and some were downright suggestive. The Fleischer cartoons (Betty Boop, Koko the Clown, and Popeye) were especially so. Notice Walter Lantz started making Woody a little cuter the more he realized kids were watching. When Woody first came out (as in the one you’ve shared), he was downright *insane*.

    The Flintstones was never intended as a kids’ cartoon. They were originally sponsored by Winston cigarettes, and there were no plans for Pebbles or Bamm-Bamm. Those two were added when they went for the kiddie market. Really screwed that cartoon up…

    Road Runner is maybe my favorite cartoon. You realize that they could take all the little vignettes in each cartoon, mix them up, recombine them, and have a whole ‘nother cartoon, right? What was so funny about it was you knew exactly what was going to happen, but you still laughed.

    Yeah, I spent a little too much time watching cartoons when I was a kid. Those, and Three Stooges shorts, also never meant for the pre-puberty set…

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