TMCG: $101

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S6EP1-5SEP2011-Auctioneer George

 

I guess I just don’t understand auctions. I’ve managed to stay alive on this useless-*ss mudball for forty years without truly recognizing what this most capitalist of activities truly entails. And I’ve been to a lot of auctions. I’m from South Alabama, an admission that I realize is like coming out as Cletus Spuckler, and rest assured I’m about as proud of my heritage as Roy Moore is of his browser history, but it is the truth. Everyone with crippling depression and chihuahua-tier anxiety has to have an origin story, so there you are.

But I have attended auctions. I have listened to JD Swearingen sell third-hand tractors, and I’ve seen old men pull on their earlobes when some cow or other piques their interest. I even got a participation trophy from a dating auction once.

And I have read my Horkheimer. There is money to be made—lots of money—from the various insecurities of both the very rich and very poor. It is simple. If one wishes to acquire a rich man’s money, convince him that other rich people have better stuff, and then put him into a situation in which he can make eye contact with his enemies and defeat them by spending one more dollar than they do on some ridiculous play-pretty. If one wishes to acquire a poor man’s money, convince him that spending enough of it will eventually make him rich. Auctions destroy hope by providing metric *ssloads of it.  My own ancestors are perhaps most famous for the most capitalistic and insidious of all auctions, taking piles of Grandaddy’s money from semi-literate fops in exchange for the production potential of subjugated human beings. Entire city blocks in my homeland were once dedicated to the proposition that the most enviable position in society was reserved for the guy who could buy the whitest-looking concubine.

Gee that’s fun to think about. Maybe instead of ruminating on the deep evil of this useless-*ss mudball I should instead wax eloquent about a cartoon monkey. If only I could separate the two.

But I can’t, because in this latest episode Curious George learns all about auctions. The local elementary school library was holding an auction of things the librarian had apparently found in an attic so that more books could be purchased. Curious George’s little Mexican friend Marco wouldn’t shut up about what a good cause this was. Imagine how many books they will buy, he said over and over. Just imagine.

On a table full of potential MacGuffins, George finds a pair of red mittens with elephants on them.

Roll Tide

George wants the mittens. Has to have them. Were the happenings in Curious George’s universe in any way logical or consistent, the Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) would have bought them then and there. MYH could have bought the whole damn auction, like the time Rory’s father ruined the Star’s Hollow knitting bee. MYH has more than one house. He once bought George a robot that was aware of its own existence. MYH has no doubt paid for literally millions of dollars in damage caused by his Mayan Apocalypse of a pet. But not this time; this time he wants to teach George about auctions and the value of a dollar because why the hell not.

In they go, and MYH gets one of those little yellow paddles with numbers on them. As proof of concept, he spends ten dollars on what they SAID was a bright yellow traffic cone, and MYH SAID it would make a great mute for his tuba.

wtf.jpg

Okay, first off, I ain’t never seen an all-yellow traffic cone in my whole life, nor would a guy who owns his own tuba—even a sh*tty one costs more than my car—buy some piece of plastic bullcrap for a mute. It kind of looked like his hat, though, so maybe that was it.

So then MYH leaves to go pay for the damn traffic cone, leaving George and Marco in possession of an auction paddle and sitting in the same row as Mr. Glass, stereotypical plutocrat. I’ve seen this guy before—one time George destroyed one of his skyscrapers and he was happy about it. He looks like a Dick Tracy villain hate-f*cked Rich Uncle Pennybags and somehow produced a child with fewer redeeming qualities than either of them. Which means he might be the best, most likable character in the show.

Mr. Glass wants the mittens. Curious George wants the mittens. Curious George has a dollar he earned by washing a giant pig twice. Mr. Glass was born on third base.

In the real world we know how this story ends. Mr. Glass buys the mittens for $1.01 and then lets George watch him light one of his cigars with the burning mittens. Then he forces Marco into making ten pairs of similar mittens a day by threatening to deport his parents. George, in a blind rage, attacks Mr. Glass and eats part of his face before being killed by the police. The resulting lawsuit makes MYH utterly destitute, and his subsequent methamphetamine addiction ensures that he lives just long enough to see his beloved yellow apartment building blasted into dust by the Glass Construction Company with the Doorman and Hundley still trapped inside.

lifeisbeautiful

But this is not the real world; this is the world in which a cartoon monkey gets whatever the f*ck he wants and never suffers any repercussions. Mr. Glass says he has “auction elbow,” no doubt exacerbated by decades of buying tenements to gentrify, and thus he cannot match the frantic paddle-waving of Curious George. And so it comes to pass that Curious George wins the mittens with a bid price of one hundred dollars. Mr. Glass doesn’t even care—he just f*cks off to Pisghetti’s to eat dinner.

There is a lesson in here somewhere. Sometimes buying can cause more misery than not buying. The poor need to learn their place. Marco knows what’s up—he says “That’s a lot of money, George” with the wisdom and certainty of a boy whose parents probably floated over here on a beer cooler. No problem, thinks George, we’ll just go see MYH. Surely this is the smallest amount of money George has made MYH pay in the history of their relationship.

Richuncleyellowhat

But not this time. This time, MYH is exasperated and says one hundred dollars is a lot of money. He even demonstrates this fact by counting out one hundred pieces of popcorn in a perfect square on a table. Amazingly, George understands. He imagines having to wash one hundred pigs in order to pay for some busted-*ss mittens. Marco is optimistic, infuriatingly so. I want to snap his little pollyannaish neck. “You could just explain that you made a mistake,” he says, “Ms. Nguyen is nice; she will understand.” Then he gets that dreamy look on his face like the Elevator-Epsilon in Brave New World.

Snaphisneck

“But…what about the books?” says Marco suddenly, “how can we buy books?”

Snaphisg*ddamneck

“Oh, I know!” says the Mexican kid with an unsnapped neck,”Let’s auction the mittens again, and Mr. Glass can buy them for $101!”

SnaphisneckandeathisfaceGeorge

I want to kill MYH too, because he could have ended this whole stupid charade at the beginning just by opening his checkbook. Money solves every problem George has ever had. But WHY spend the MONEY when you can get onstage and embarrass yourself for a half-hour trying to beg people at an elementary school auction to spend $101 on some elephant mittens?

I could see the faces in the audience. They saw right through MYH’s bullshit. Here was a guy trying to pawn off some stupid mittens ON THEM when everybody KNEW the guy could have bought them himself at any point and still have enough money left over to buy two used space shuttles. So they just stare at him and wait for 5:00, at which point the auction would end and MYH would be stuck with the mittens. To make the whole situation even more cringy, MYH brings Marco’s grandmother onstage and declares her the creator of the mittens.

Of course she is. The analogy runs deep.

Marco’s grandmother tells everyone she made them out of yarn like Feynman telling gradeschoolers what protons are.

So where is Mr. Glass? I done said he was at Pisghetti’s. Marco gets on his bike and goes to fetch him. Gotta get him before 5:00 or George will have to wash a bunch of pigs.

Capitalistpigs

Mr. Glass is eating pisghetti at Pisghetti’s. Marco runs up yelling and scares the hell out of him. Mr. Glass’s yelp of shock when he sees how close a brown kid has gotten to his pisghetti has echoed down through the ages. Patricians of Rome made such noises when commoners dared to brush against their togas. Francisco Franco made such a noise when he was told Barcelona was being resupplied by sea. Czar Nicholas II made such a noise when the first Bolshevik soldier through the palace doors did not have the cup of tea he had specifically requested. But when Marco explains the situation, Mr. Glass agrees to go back. But the clock says 4:59. How could Mr.Glass get from Pisghetti’s back to the elementary school in time to prove the day-saving power of disposable income?

If you answered “by magically producing a bicycle helmet and riding tandem on Marco’s bicycle at the kind of breakneck speed Lance Armstrong could not have produced even after injecting ten years’ worth of saved-up red blood cells” you win the prize. Pick your favorite useless crap from the auction table.

Mr. Glass wins in the end. $101 buys a pair of hecho a mano mittens con elefantes. Inexplicably, George is butthurt about this, but Marco’s grandmother says not to worry, because she’ll make George a new pair of mittens with giraffes on them.

Good Lord. There is no point to anything.

 

 

-Professor Zac Showers

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TMCG: Wiseman, Watchman II

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S5EP6-23Feb2011-George-O-Matic

In which Curious George buildeth a cyborg

Many of the events that transpire around Curious George seem bafflingly random, that is, until a cunning and insidious master plan is revealed. George does not evolve—he is being crafted. It is known.

What say you, Polonius?

Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.

What say you, Gloucester?

As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods.

They kill us for their sport.

What say you, Alyssa Edwards?

Get a grip, get a life, and get over it.

Alas, mama, if only I could. But I must know what George will become, and why Wiseman is building him. Yorbo was just the beginning.

The very next episode starts with that guy from Jurassic Park III telling us that Curious George loves the museum. Thanks, Academy-Award-winning shoveler. Sky is blue, water is wet, the monkey loves the museum.

Half the episodes involve the f*cking museum. It’s like saying Peter Parker loves science. Gee I wonder if Spider-Man is gonna have to fight some guy who did science. Will he himself do science to stop the science-doing guy? Bated dadgum breath I tells ya.

But George learns lessons in the museum. Museum lessons? Sometimes, but it’s always serving some sort of future plot-point. He saw polar bears. He saw penguins. He saw vending machines.

seethemonkey ain’thekeen allthingsserve thef*ckinbeam

Penguins and polar bears frolicking together is as ubiquitous in advertising as anthropomorphic pigs smiling and serving us their barbecued brethren. Thus, it is necessary to repeat, as often as necessary, that in real life

isthisreallife

in real life penguins and polar bears never meet. They live on opposite ends of the Earth. Ground-based predators would make penguins go extinct. But Curious George knows this. In fact, he is more interested in the museum’s vending machines.

As am I. They are weird. Not one of them dispenses a carbonated beverage or a candy bar. They dispense soup, sandwiches, and apples. Never in my life have I seen an apple vending machine. The very idea is obscene and erroneous. They would rot or get stuck in the gears or come out all nasty. Just dadgum ridiculous. George imagines that the apple-dispensing machine has a farmer in it that sleeps until he is called upon to throw an apple down a pipe.

no

Professor Wiseman appears out of nowhere and sets her plan in motion. The Watcher knows. She knows what will transpire. She has already glued together polar bears, penguins and vending machines. She is playing 4D chess while the rest of us are playing checkers with rocks and bottlecaps. She tells George to have an apple, hands him a coin and says “on me!”

The Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) tries to make conversation. He does not know the role he will play. She will not send him on a quest to cure his grayscale. Wiseman will own him, body and soul. She spins a ridiculous tale.

She was about to go on an expedition to the North and South Poles, she says, but Operation Snow-Go is Operation No-Go

kekkity kek kek

because the Arctic and Antarctic Clubs can’t seem to get along. Could MYH possibly host a dinner—at his apartment—for these two groups of feuding scientists? And MYH be all “oh, sure I can do that well gee golly and so forth.” Meanwhile, Curious George watches a guy replenish the apples in the apple vending machine. He discovers that the machine’s innards are made of wheels and ramps and there is no sleeping farmer. So why did the vending-machine guy show up right then?

allpartoftheplan

Cut to MYH and George cooking dinner. MYH burns it in the oven because of course he does, and then leaves George alone so he can go buy an actual meal from Chef Pisghetti.

Y’all. We’ve seen this before. MYH leaves Curious George alone, Curious George trashes the apartment or floods the building or otherwise causes destruction and misery, only to be magically rescued from any sort of punishment or repercussion. But all these previous shenanigans were not specifically orchestrated by Professor Wiseman.

MYH has tasked George with using Wiseman’s dinner instructions to make a specific dessert.

It is a stupid dessert. I’ve never heard of it before. It is called Snow on the Mountain, which sounds more like Nicholas Sparks’s next novel, or the newest strain of that loud. There is no cooking, no flour, no sugar—none of the things that would normally cover every square inch of the apartment when George was done with them.

She knows

George does the logical thing—he builds a cyborg out of Gnocchi, Chef Pisghetti’s cat.

wat

Don’t tell me about no definitions. A cyborg is a machine made of both mechanical and biological parts. So when a monkey that has until recently been too stupid to count suddenly designs and assembles a vending machine out of toys, wooden spoons, butterflies, a refrigerator box and a dadgum cat, it’s a cyborg.

Where did this monkey get such advanced mechanical training? MYH didn’t teach him; that mouth-breather burnt dinner because he thought turning up the oven’s heat would make it cook faster. And a monkey, a monkey who until recently thought clocks were time machines, all of a sudden can build a cat-powered Snow on the Mountain dispenser.

The Watcher did this. Wiseman did this. And then she tests it.

When the Arctic and Antarctic clubs arrive, they look like distinguished scientists in the same way a bicycle looks like a sperm whale. They’re all wearing snowsuits over businesswear in the middle of a city in the middle of the damn summer. They divide up at MYH’s house like Sharks and Jets at the dance party. The North Pole crew are all wearing polar bear hats and are led by a dumpy guy that looks like pre-weightloss Al Roker. Meanwhile, South Pole Squad got them penguin snapbacks, son, and their leader is a high-chinned lady whose first words had to have been “Well, I never!” His name is Dewey Freezem, and her name is Chilla DeWinter.

Totally not made-up names. Totally not henchmen of the Wiseman.

One time I read this article about a psychological experiment. They put all the participants into a waiting room and said the experiment would start shortly. But the waiting room WAS the experiment. I think they just slowly raised the temperature in the room until everybody killed each other or something like that.

notreal scientists theyain’treal

I’m saying, we don’t even get to watch them eat dinner. MYH has opened the balcony doors and turned on the fan, because it’s so hot in his apartment that his ten guests are all wearing giant coats.

Wiseman says it is time for the entertainment. MYH says he forgot all about the entertainment. Wiseman isn’t worried.

She knows

Here comes George with his vending machine. He puts a butterfly into a coinslot cut into the side of the box. Inside, Gnocchi chases the butterfly, which turns a wheel, which scoops blueberries into a bowl and sprinkles coconut shavings on top of it. No human engineer on the planet has ever conceived of nor built such a machine, but a monkey did it with garbage and a cat.

Everybody gets Snow on the Mountain. Chilla DeWinter and Dewey Freezem bond over childhood memories of the dessert.

I just met a girl named Maria

Suddenly Gnocchi goes berserk inside the machine and wrecks it. Coconut shavings and blueberries go everywhere and destroy the apartment. Nobody cares—the Arctic/Antarctic street gangs laugh and cheer. Freezem says he loves the snow in the Arctic. DeWinter says she loves the snow in the Antarctic. But they’re friends now, because, as they say, “Snow is snow.”

Hold up now wait a minute

But that’s bullsh*t. None of this is true. It’s not snow; it’s coconut. It doesn’t snow in the Antarctic; Antarctica is the world’s driest desert—it makes the Sahara seem like Waikiki. She a lie.

She a damn lie

So what was the point? Why in the name of all that is holy would Professor Wiseman have a fake dinner for fake scientists and destroy MYH’s apartment?

Just to see George build a vending machine.

Imagine me as the butter-robot on Rick and Morty:

Oh My God

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: Wiseman, Watchman I

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S5EP5-22Feb2011-Metal Detective

 

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
I wonder if there is a long con afoot in the Curious George universe. I no longer have any idea who is watching whom, who is the subject and who is the observer. To keep what remains of my sanity, I must believe that someone is in charge, that there is some sort of grand experiment being conducted, and that a Watcher in some sort of Foucaultian Panopticon is gleefully f*cking with his prisoners.
Is this God?
Am I God? Am I the Watcher? The nature of television seems to dictate that this is so, that I myself am the all-powerful, He Who Can End Misery With the Holy Clicker.
But I cannot end it. As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. A god would be able to stay away, and I am therefore a toad. I will therefore be a toad. Stoned like Stephen, still hanging onto ideology, so soaked with misguided belief that it would take a Crane to get it out. I am the prisoner, not the watcher.
So is there a simpler explanation? Is there an in-universe puppeteer who controls the destinies of all involved, so that my delusions of control and omnipotence are akin to someone reading about an experiment in a scientific journal and irrationally declaring his own hand in the results? If I am not around to hear Curious George chortle and shriek, does he make a sound?
Consider Yorbo. Yorbo is a robot, an ephemeral robot that exists for one episode only. He is dubbed George’s favorite toy by both the Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) and George himself. If Yorbo has not achieved AI self-awareness, he is very close—Yorbo can understand George’s grunts and chitters as if they were a language, he follows complex commands, and he coherently answers questions. In my own universe, such a robot would be worth many thousands of dollars and exist either in the robotics lab of an American university or the lobby of a Tokyo car dealership.
Curious George takes Yorbo to the beach. When a storm rolls in, George and MYH rush into the house and leave Yorbo in the sand. When George suggests they need to get Yorbo, MYH says it is raining too hard. In fact, Yorbo the sentient robot is not even worth searching for until the storm is over, and by that time he has either been buried in the sand or washed out to sea.
MYH and George go out to look for Yorbo. MYH and George rake up all the seaweed and then just randomly dig holes. A passing beachcomber offers the use of her metal detector, but it soon runs out of batteries. What to do?

 

Deus ex machina. The Watcher, the Prime Experimenter, appears on MYH’s laptop screen. It is Professor Wiseman. She knows all. Wiseman has been watching. She knows there was a storm. She knows all about Yorbo, bewails his disappearance, and then instructs George on how to build his own metal detector by taping a calculator to an AM radio (I Googled this. It is not bullshit). Wiseman knows what drawer the calculator and tape are in; she knows what shelf upon which the radio can be found.
Wiseman is the panopticon. Her name is neither random nor ironic.

 

With the help of this gadget, Yorbo is unearthed. He is no worse for the wear, which is a stick in the eye for MYH, who had suggested earlier that water would rust a metal robot. MYH a damn fool. Yorbo jumps with glee at being found and hugs George; together, monkey and robot disappear over a sand dune, playing and living joyfully.
No one ever sees or discusses Yorbo again. Yorbo is Richie Cunningham’s older brother. Yorbo existed for George to love and lose, so that Wiseman might teach a lesson about electronics and engineering.

 

How do I know? Because friendships and robots and bit players are as impermanent as storms, but George does not forget a lesson. By the very next episode, Curious George is building his own machines.

 

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: Bill

51pozDE4VAL

S3EP11-22April2009-Animal Trackers

 

I hate Bill. He is a garbage person. He thinks he knows everything. I think he calls Curious George a “city kid” in every episode he frequents.

“Hey, city kid, you don’t know how to ride a jetski?”

“Boy, you’re pretty good at cookin’ meth for a city kid!”

“I bet I’m better at choppin’ cotton than some city kid!”

Jeesus. He may not have ever said any of that, but it was kind of like that.

F*ckin Bill. Thinks he knows everything.

Curious George is not a kid, Bill, you sanctimonious know-it-all turd. I always thought he was some sort of chimpanzee, but even if he ain’t, even if he really is some sort of tailless monkey, he is still at least four times stronger than you, Bill. He could eat your face. I know he does that “aw shucks” little squeak every time you tell him how dumb city kids are, but you better believe that if that monkey ever snaps, if he ever REALLY snaps, you better sure as sh*t not be alone with him and gunless out in the wilderness.

One time I saw a fifteen-year-old female orangutan LAY DOWN, grab a tug-of-war rope with only one hand, stick the other hand two knuckles deep up her own ass, and pull a three-hundred-fifty-pound sumo wrestler right into a dadgum RAVINE, Bill. Youtube it—I ain’t lying.

If she did that, you better believe Curious George could break every bone in your body while eating a banana through a fence, Bill. MYH realizes that—I know he does—because never once has he insulted George, threatened him, or even spoke to him harshly. Can you imagine? The Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) knows Curious George could skin him and fight off the cops at the same time.

And he wouldn’t go to jail for it. He’s a monkey, Bill. It would be your fault.

This last time, Curious George went hiking to photograph some wildlife. MYH told him the pictures he took—he, a monkey who never says a coherent word—would be part of a new nature exhibit at the museum. So off he went, snapping pictures of possums and snakes and whatever.

And oh boy lookee here, here the f*ck comes Bill. “Whatcha doin, city kid, betchu don’t know about this and that and etc. You really oughta take a picture of that fawn I saw but I can’t go with you, see, because I gotta fix this trail for the Nature Scouts. They trust me to do it, and then I’m gonna go swimming.”

Bill immediately whips out a hoe and begins to attack the middle of the nature trail. I have no idea what he is accomplishing; he’s randomly scraping the leaves like they’re part of a Zen garden.

George goes off looking for animal tracks to photograph. He does fairly well, too (for a city kid) until he stumbles upon some giant footprints that look like swim fins.

That’s because they ARE swim fins, but Curious George doesn’t know that, and he thinks he’s found a dinosaur.

Also—and this is the best part—there is a small, unbroken ditch running between the swim fins.

What could it be, Curious George? We will never know what he thought, because he ignores the ditch entirely. Does not even mention it. But there’s the ditch, running between the footprints the whole time Curious George is tracking his dinosaur.

Surprise—it’s Bill, who was wearing swim fins because “[he] had new boots and they were hurting his feet.” But the ditch? What about the ditch?

It was Bill’s hoe. He dragged it behind him while wearing swim fins through a forest.

F*ckin Bill.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: MYH is KHV

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S4EP7-16Feb2010-Relax

 

I am not sure if the latest episode of Curious George is empowering for women, or humiliating for men.

Porque no los dos?

I fully expect to see MYH posting on /r9k/ this very evening, two-fisting Code Reds and weeping into a bag of spicy Cheetos. Normies beware—there is a deep sadness in the Man in the Yellow Hat, a higher loneliness, the kind of desperate self-loathing that accelerates the emergence of the Reticulated American Douchebag, compels him to join with his kind in the friendzone, and there recite together a kaddish for the pisghetti that flowed from their pockets.

The Yellow Hat is not a fedora, but it is close enough.

Bless Dr. Wiseman. She has no idea what has been wrought. She is a good, kind, intelligent woman who no doubt finds MYH both capable and charming in a dorky sort of way. He is helpful. He is kind to animals. He has the patience of Garrison Keillor munching Quaaludes while attempting to translate the Voynich Manuscript into Yankee Lutheran.

But he is not her type, alas.

MYH and Curious George visited Dr. Wiseman at the museum. She was answering phones and stacking papers and basically being a whirling dervish of a competent professor. MYH saw his chance. He screwed his courage to the sticking place and said, “Dr. Wiseman, you need to relax. Wanna come with George and me and do something relaxing on Saturday?”

Perfect opening gambit. It’s a group thing, no weird “just you and me” schtick. I could see it in his eyes. He had been hoping for this moment for months.

She accepted! Oh frabjous day! Caillou! Callay!

MYH and Curious George went back to the apartment to plan the…date? Was it a date? Why, yes, I do believe it might be a date! No George, she won’t want to jumprope.

A picnic seems like a great idea, despite the horrible fake etymology the internet has bestowed on the word.

And so it came to pass that MYH, Dr. Wiseman and Curious George had a picnic in the park. Dr. Wiseman was wearing jeans. She said she had been practicing reclining at a 45 degree angle, which was the most relaxing angle. In short, she made herself absolutely nerd-adorable without even trying. Just so awkwardly cute. Waifu material. They shared a brief, giggly moment.

Then the day imploded. MYH cannot be trusted with himself. As an aside, I know this feel. I know how it is to love with pock-marked teenage ardor the achingly desirable girl who does not even know how desirable she is. I also know how it feels to f*ck it up in a way I had heretofore believed to be unpossible, by out-dorking even the dorkiest of dorks.

“Dr. Wiseman, you want a pickle? They are very relaxing.”

(Freud)

Dr. Wiseman DID want a pickle, one of the big ones, but MYH could not get the jar open. Neither could Curious George, though I suspect he was only pretending he couldn’t open it in order to be a good wingman to MYH and not embarrass him. Wiseman helps George open the jar, and he accidentally dumps all the pickles all over MYH.

“Well,” MYH says, “maybe pickles aren’t THAT relaxing.”

MYH’s next attempt is a hammock. Yes, a hammock strung between two trees in the park. He suggests that she should lay in it. But he doesn’t want to be creepy, so he doesn’t say they should lie in it together. He does not tell George to go away. Again I see the gears turning—how to convince Dr. Wiseman to lay in the hammock without sounding geeky, weird, or desperate.

But then he says—I sh*t you not—

“What could be more relaxing than hanging from a tree?”

ohshitoshitdudewhatareyouDOING?

Yes. He did that. George scrambles up the tree and hangs by his feet to show Dr. Wiseman what MYH was TRYING to say and oh my God I didn’t mean it like that dear Lord just let the ground swallow me up.

The hammock swallows him up instead, and then Dr. Wiseman picks up a baseball bat. She says she will help get him out of the hammock. MYH laughs nervously and asks if she will get him out like she gets candy out of a piñata.

For that is what he deserves.

But no, she uses the bat to lever the strings apart. Dare MYH hope that things will now improve?

No. The damage is done. Dr. Wiseman says she has to go soon.

MYH panics. He starts blubbering about how she needs to relax and they’ve been there all day and she’s had to do stuff for them and has not been RELAXING. Um, let’s feed the ducks, Dr. Wiseman, wanna feed the ducks?

George does, but somehow, in the midst of duck-feeding, MYH’s yellow hat ends up in the middle of the pond.

His essence. That which makes him, him. Dr. Wiseman fashions a hook and line out of a paperclip and some yarn, but cannot retrieve the hat.

“We need more weight,” says Dr. Wiseman. This phrase destroyed MYH as easily as it did Giles Corey, but in this case a little more Freudian symbolism was called for.

Dr. Wiseman looks around for something with which to weight the makeshift hook. She discovers a small pickle in MYH’s pocket, pulls it out, snaps it in half, and uses one half to weight the hook.

The hat is now retrieved.

Dr. Wiseman says not to worry—the day was relaxing after all. MYH says he’s going home to take a nap.

But he won’t be napping.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: Vacuum

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S4EP2-9Sep2009-George Cleans Up

 

I’m not sure how much longer I can do this. I daydream about breaking a cartoon monkey upon the wheel.

Curious George is become Death, destroyer of worlds.

This time he was left at home by himself all day.

He made a mess. He dumped out the potted plant. He chopped up all the magazines in the house in order to make chains of paper monkeys. There was confetti and potting soil and garbage everywhere. The Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) came home from a long day of drawing stupid pictures or giving speeches or torturing dogs or whatever.

He brought with him five valuable stamps, and patiently explained to George that there were indeed five of them, and he had to give them to Mr. Stamp. Then he notices the mess, and decides today is a perfect day to teach George to use a vacuum.

Three guesses as to wtf Curious George will do with this newfound knowledge.

But the makers of Curious George won’t let us off this easily. It is no fun snatching hope from the hopeless. For one brief moment, we are led to believe Curious George WON’T do what we all know he will do.

Curious George is too short to operate the vacuum. He cannot clean up the mess. He cannot destroy Mr. Stamps’s stamps. Dare we hope for peace? Will MYH finally take responsibility and clean up after his pet?

No. Right before he leaves on some meaningless errand, MYH gives Curious George a Dustbuster, which he calls a “monkey-sized vacuum.”

Good Lord.

The stamps are the first to go, after which Curious George ingests LSD.

Maybe not, but I can think of no other reason why Curious George begins to vividly hallucinate and run out into traffic. Wearing a cape, and calling himself a superhero.

George thinks he will save the city by vacuuming things. He sucks up the birdseed a lady is scattering for the pigeons. The pigeons swear revenge.

MYH, meanwhile, learns that the stamps are gone. His frantic search for George and the Dustbuster leads to the best dialogue I have yet discovered:

MYH: Hey lady, have you seen a monkey with a vacuum?
Lady: Was he wearing a cape?

Ponder this, my faithful readers. The lady seeks clarification. Was it the cape-wearing monkey, or was it one of the other monkeys with vacuums she saw today?

Then a random guy shows up and yells “Help! A monkey just sucked up my winning lottery ticket!”

Winning lottery ticket. Sucked up by a monkey.

Words cannot adequately express the horrible shit I would do to a monkey that sucked up my winning lottery ticket. I would keep him alive for weeks, doing things that, translated into cuneiform, would make even the ancient Persians vomit on their sandals. I would know every noise a monkey’s shattered vocal cords could whimper, and I would replay them all through Peavey speakers every Christmas.

But I do not have a winning lottery ticket. And I do not exist in the Curious George universe.

And so, just as George is about to empty the vacuum bag in a construction site dumpster, MYH catches him. Stamps, birdseed and lottery ticket are saved.

No one knows what happens next. By the next episode, none of it ever happened.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

If you’re reading this…

I am somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in an airplane. You betcha I am uncomfortable and pissed off. I hate flying. I realize there hasn’t been many blogs go up lately, sorry. It has been a busy couple of months. I have been planning a wedding, working a lot, trying to fix up an old truck, buying a house and getting ready for this trip. I am currently flying to Hawaii, specifically the island of Oahu. It will be my first trip to Hawaii even though for my entire life, up until this past July, I thought that the reason I was brown-skinned was because I was Hawaiian. It’s a long story, filled with ironic commonalities and the kind but formidable passing of time. This blog will mark the beginning of my story (title pending) about how – at the age of 27 – I came to know and meet my biological father and grandfather and my true ethnicity. I have a camcorder and I’m going to film a bunch and edit it down into 5 parts maybe, with some writing for explanation and some video. So, stay tuned and subscribe to the blog via email so you don’t miss anything.