Saturday Morning Cartoons

June 30, 2007 at 12:55 pm (Waxing Nostalgic)

In my younger days, Saturday mornings were reserved for Bugs Bunny and the Roadrunner. Looney Tunes were the best, and to see them, all I had to do was hold my bladder.

My mother was one of those folks who knock on your door, trying to show you the light of the Lord’s way. Saturday was my day to show dedication, and if I made a peep before 8:45 AM, we had to go. But if I could manage to pretend to sleep long enough, she would let it slide. (Thank you Lord!) Mom needed an excuse to stay home too.

So, at 8:47 AM, after a mad dash to the potty, I was in front of the 19-inch black and white TV in the living room. The Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Show lasted an hour, sometimes ninety minutes. I even watched the commercials, and considered Frankenberry and Count Chocula my friends. Especially Count Chocula.

My cartoon favorites? Wile E. Coyote. He reminds me of Freewheelin’. Always inventing things. Freewheelin’ claims to have invented the Perpetual Motion Machine- a cat with a piece of buttered toast on its back. In theory, since buttered toast never lands buttered side up, and a cat always lands on its feet, it could never land, but just keep spinning. (Right?) Freewheelin’s take on Wile E.? “Why doesn’t he just stop using Acme products?”

Foghorn Leghorn reminded me of a dearly departed brother-in-law. And a lot of the men in my family, come to think of it.

Henry Hawk has provided a quote I’ve used many times over the years. When I see a friend, usually a male ‘of a certain age’ drooling over a sweet young thing, I chime in with, “I’m a chicken hawk, and I LIKE CHICKENS!” It snaps them back into focus.

Sunday mornings were different. Until age fourteen, I had to go to church. (Technically they were called meetings; we didn’t attend a “church”.) On occasions when I could skip, I would get to watch my other two favorites. One was Underdog. “When Polly’s in trouble I am not slow; it’s hip hip hip and away I go!” I always had a strange urge to violate Polly Purebred. These days? It’s all about Foxy Love from Drawn Together.

My other favorite? The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. The women in my life will be happy to know the source of my love for puns and wordplay. A kid needed to keep a dictionary handy to ‘get’ all the jokes. Eventually I was allowed to stay home alone, and after a few puffs of Upsidasium, I was watching genius in cartoon form.

Alas, I grew up, sorta, and cartoons just don’t do it for me like they used to. I have exceptions, but mostly I abstain. The exceptions? South Park, of course. I don’t really consider that a cartoon, though. It’s too smart for that.

Why am I writing about cartoons? This morning I woke up and had a strange craving. Since local news was a repeat of the previous day, so it seemed, I channel-surfed. WTF? I guess Cartoon Network has taken over. I couldn’t find much.

So I ended up watching Pinky and the Brain on DVD. Now there’s a smart cartoon. I thank Steven Spielberg for creating something that assumes there are at least a few smart kids left out there.

I *still* want a Pinky and the Brain ‘mouse’ pad…

Back then, I watched cartoons until around eleven, at which point my dad would come in from whatever outdoor activity he was involved and comandeer the TV. It was time for Major League Baseball’s Game of the Week. We would spend the next three hours bonding. (Bobby. Not Barry.) My faves were the Oakland A’s and the Cincinnati Reds, the Big Red Machine.

What am I doing now? Watching the Mets and Phillies.

So, if cartoons are the appetizer, and baseball is the main course, what to do for dessert?

I still have that free movie ticket. Matinee anyone?


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