TMCG: Wiseman, Watchman II

MV5BNDYxMTM0OTUxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzMyMzg0MjE@._V1_UY268_CR87,0,182,268_AL_

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

Advertisements

TMCG: It’s Pronounced “Spaghetti”

MV5BNzA4MzA1MTUyNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQ4Mzk0MjE@._V1_

S3EP5-13Oct2008-The Amazing Maze Race/The Color of Monkey

 

The demeaning Italian stereotype that runs the local restaurant in Curious George’s universe is named Chef Pisghetti.

He too, is certifiably insane.

MYH, Professor Wiseman, and Pisghetti the racist caricature decide to go birdwatching.

They leave the restaurant, Pisghetti’s livelihood and raison d’etre, in the charge of two idiot children, Curious George, and a hyperactive black dog named Charkie because why tf not.

Buckets of paint are in the kitchen. As the birdwatchers stalk their quarry, MYH remarks that he is glad he left George at the restaurant, where he can stay clean.

Foreshadowing.

Curious George paints himself bright orange. Charkie paints himself blue and goes running through the restaurant splashing blue paint everywhere. George chases him, making the restaurant look like Carrie White loved the Gators.

When they return, nobody is mad. Curious George remains unbeaten and unkilled. Pisghetti lets George eat cake. They then have the great idea to paint George red and put him on the cover of a birdwatching magazine.

Because the bird they went looking for is red.

Why can’t I stop this?

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: Mammon

george5

S3EP7-01Dec2008-George Digs Worms/Everything Old Is New Again

 

Today I noticed that the building in which Curious George lives has at least ten stories, and is painted bright yellow.

The Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) is not the only resident. There are perhaps dozens of other tenants, the existence of whom I had not considered before. They flit about offscreen, intangible as shadows, whispering, circling.

I have a new theory. Much like the Rugrats and the three Eddies, everyone in this building is already dead.

In the Hotel season of American Horror Story, the Hotel Cortez was built by a serial killer named James March. It is filled with the restless shades of his victims and the damned souls of his co-conspirators, plus some vampires and the prudish wife from Big Love. It is hell, or at least some aspect of it, and March is its Prince. Perhaps he is Belial, demon of foul desire, and thus the diversions offered in his hotel are nothing but kids playing video games, old people smoking weed, and Lady Gaga having threesomes that sometimes include Rudolph Valentino.

But I digress. There is another hell. For, you see, MYH is Mammon, the Golden One, Bringer of Wealth, Caecodemon of the Purse, and his building is a nexus of avarice. Those who reside there are forever punished for their selfishness.

It was all made clear to me when Curious George discovered recycling.

The Doorman (Charon) and his loyal dachshund Hundley (Cerberus), are taking out the trash. They mention to Curious George that trash must be separated as wheat from chaff, “real trash” from that which may be resurrected and used again. The Doorman says there is to be a contest among the buildings to see who can collect the most recycling, and the winner will receive a fabulous gilded MacGuffin.

George knows good and damn well what recycling is. He knows what trash is. He knows that empty containers and finished meals go in the trash, the old things, not the new. But desire for the gold overwhelms all, and George is determined to fill the bins for the Doorman.

He begins to steal.

MYH’s refrigerator is ransacked. Half-empty containers are melded together with little regard for taste or nourishment. The jar of olives is combined with peanut butter, so that the peanut butter jar may be recycled. Salt is poured in the cereal, and the salt shaker is recycled. From there, George moves throughout the building. All newspapers disappear. Paint buckets are emptied, their contents combined with the groceries of a dozen apartments, so that empty vessels may be placed in the dumpster to be measured, and others may be filled in the unholy union of bubble bath and orange juice, or Windex and hummus.

In short, Curious George befouls the sustenance of every apartment as expertly as a flight of Harpies.

Literally no one suspects George is the culprit. It is as if every day in hell is fresh, and all memory is wiped, so that each torment is without peer and Sisyphus himself cannot remember why the rock keeps rolling back. Curious George has gleefully tortured the inhabitants of this city for three seasons so far, and yet no one remembers.

Instead, they blame the Doorman and accuse him of taking the stuff in order to artificially inflate his recycling count and cheat his way to the MacGuffin. Had they access to a Wicker Man, the angry mob that forms around the Doorman would surely have burnt him alive.

And his little dog too.

But alas! MYH appears at the last moment and tells everyone that George did it. Is George burnt alive? Is he beaten or killed?

No, for who can stand against the power of Hell? Who dares injure the familiar of Mammon? The tortured souls melt away back to their cells. George dances triumphant, because MYH’s power is absolute in the realm of Mammon. We are left with Curious George and the Doorman inspecting their recycling trophy and laughing.

Laughing.
Laughing at what has been wrought.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: Taking the Bus

MV5BMTAyODI3NzY3MjFeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDk3NjQ4NDIx._V1_

S3EP8-16Feb2009-Wheels on the Bus/Seed Trouble

 

Why does the Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) ride the bus?

He has a car–I’ve seen it. He drives out to his country house in it.

He has a country house. He owns a bright yellow apartment building. Why does he not have a limousine on retainer, complete with an angry but deferential driver who bows and scrapes dutifully, but dreams of squandering his dead father’s life insurance on a liquor store scam?

Perhaps he wishes to save the environment. Perhaps he likes to pretend to give a shit about the hoi polloi, to rub elbows with the less fortunate and share with them the savage joy of a monkey who ruins lives with the kind of reckless abandon normally reserved for Ponzi-schemers and East African dictators.

Perhaps.

But today, MYH was late for a very important presentation. He had scribbled some drawings, childish representations of pigs and horses and smiling snakes, of which he was proud and about which Curious George was…curious. Professor Wiseman wanted a distinguished colleague–from Paris–to see these drawings, and so she sent word to MYH to meet them at a swanky restaurant.

MYH had ten minutes–the length of an episode–to make it to this restaurant and show off his art.

This bitch decides to take the dadgum bus. Even better, he gives the route map to Curious George and trusts him to plot their journey.

MYH makes it onto the bus. Curious George does not. At the last second, he drops the map and it blows away, so he goes scampering after it.

Nine minutes until presentation. MYH does not stay on the bus. He does not ask the driver for route information. He panics and gets off, shouting for George.

He leaves his bullshit drawings on the bus and it drives away. Seven minutes.

Curious George catches up with the map. Some kid on a bicycle, who is inexplicably fine with a monkey clutching his head and screaming in his ear, takes him on a quest to find the bus, on which MYH most certainly is not.

It is at this point I meet the most put-upon and pathetic creature in George’s universe, a man who did not expect his day to go this way, a man who is simply trying to make a living, a man who managed to live his entire life without tangling himself up with MYH. He is a taxi driver. Brown, because all taxi drivers are brown, but blessed with the kind of Brooklyn accent that dwells upon phrases like “Hey buddy” and “Listen, Mac” as if they were part of a rosary.

MYH gets in his cab. He demands that the taxi driver follow that bus, find a monkey on a bicycle, find his pictures, and get him to a specific downtown restaurant.

Wat. Hey buddy, five minutes.

Taxi driver is confused. “Where to, Mac?” did not produce the desired answer. Instead, taxi driver now has to listen to a diatribe about monkeys and bicycles from a guy that looks like a pencil.

He asks what we are all thinking, “Hey buddy, you want me to follow a bus? Why didn’t you just ride the bus?”

MYH does not wish to give a coherent answer. Three minutes.

Cutscene to Professor Wiseman, sitting with distinguished guy from France in the restaurant. She remarks that MYH has NEVER been THIS LATE for ANYTHING before.

I now believe Professor Wiseman is not at the restaurant. Such an asinine claim could have only been made by a replicant of Professor Wiseman that was built that very morning and did not know what monkeys were.

One minute.

George finds the pictures. He gleefully brachiates through Central Park with the pictures clutched in his feet. He knows he will beat MYH to the restaurant, and he has a few minutes to kill, so he briefly drops down from the trees into a buggy pulled by two horses. The horses freak out and stampede away through the park. The man in charge of the buggy watches his livelihood thunder away, and no doubt wonders how long he will be in prison when the horses accidentally trample somebody.

George returns to the trees, unbeaten and unkilled. Zero minutes, time is up.

Guy from France says he cannot wait any longer, because he has a plane to catch. He leaves. He runs into Curious George outside on the sidewalk. Curious George shows him the pictures.

He loves them. He praises them effusively, especially the one of a spotted snake which is smiling as it contorts itself into the shape of a staircase. They are brilliant and inspired. Matisse should have chopped his hands off. And etc.

MYH comes running up. Taxi driver probably goes off to an AA meeting or something.

“Oh. So YOU’RE the artist who painted these wonderful pictures? Amazing. Stupendous. I absolutely need these pictures to be displayed in a children’s hospital in Paris. Do you and your monkey want to come to Paris?”

Yes. Yes they do.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: Wiseman’s Hell

MV5BMTQ4NjY0MDQxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDQ4MTk0MjE@._V1_

S3EP1-01Sep2008-Ice Station Monkey/The Perfect Carrot

 

I am not sure what The Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) does for a living.

Perhaps he is independently wealthy, since he has a Fifth Avenue penthouse and a summer house amongst locals who sound like they took elocution lessons from the Donnie Wahlberg school of Downeast Studies.

One of these friendly yokels helped MYH dig a hole in his backyard, the kind of hole Shia LeBeouf would dig to find lipstick.

Curious George filled the hole with water, and MYH said that was a good thing, because he dug the hole to make a pond. Yankee neighbor looked on approvingly, as if the pond would soon be filled with migrating trout.

A pond the size of a trampoline.

A pond that had disappeared entirely by the next episode and was never spoken of again.

Which was fine, because they had to go to Antarctica anyway.

Why does everyone enable MYH’s delusions? Why do they suffer the presence of Curious George?

Do they expect to be included in the will?

Indeed, MYH must be rich enough to have an entirely kissable ass, because the eminent Professor Wiseman lets him bring his monkey along to gleefully destroy whatever scientific project she pursues.

Curious George has been to space twice (so far) and to the bottom of the ocean. In Antarctica, Dr. Wiseman marooned MYH and Curious George on an ice floe, telling them to take pictures of penguins.

MYH was so prepared for Antarctic survival that he had to be reminded that he wouldn’t find any igloos.

I think the check had cleared, and therefore Dr. Wiseman was trying to kill them.

Complete plausible deniability. “They were taking pictures of penguins,” she’d say, wiping away tears, “How was I to know they would get trapped in an ice cave? Nobody expected Curious George to eat his face!”

Cue the madcap dash to the penthouse, where the will would most certainly be found.

But no. Curious George and MYH survived and brought back pictures of penguins, which were vital to science, since absolutely nobody could find pictures of penguins posted on the internet by the millions.

I could sense Wiseman’s disappointment. It was palpable. Her plan had failed, and she could see her life unfold before her, nothing but gratifying the whims of a rich madman and his pet monkey. Forever.

No doubt Professor Wiseman envies the dead.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: Golf

818GR9QdCmL (2)

S3EP9-17Feb2009-Red Sky at Night, Monkeys Delight

 

In the latest episode, George and MYH went golfing with the mayor at the end of the show.

On the 18th green, the mayor holed a twenty-foot putt.

With an iron.

Off a tee.

That’s all I have to say about that.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: Schopenhauer Meets The Man

a92zQZZJrNfDvW2TZFDKTdcp6XE

S2EP12-21Jan2008-Scaredy Dog/Say Goodnight, George.

 

In the latest episode, Curious George wants more playtime, and he notices how important clocks are.

Clocks tell time, and therefore they influence time. George believed his clock to be omnipotent, and by moving back its hands he would be reversing time itself, potentially giving himself an infinity to play ball in the street.

The Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) only had the one clock, so George’s little plan caused him no end of exasperation and torment. He was late; he was early. He was bafflingly gaslighted by Dr. Wiseman as to the nature of his tardiness. He began to question the universe itself. What immortal hand or eye could frame that fearful cruelty? Why him?

It did not occur to MYH that the cause of his misery might be a certain asshole of a monkey.

MYH buys another clock, and a watch. George grabs the watch immediately and begins to fiddle with the knob, in his mind causing time to jump wildly from one moment to another. To come unstuck, as it were.

MYH at last puts two and two together.

He neither beats nor kills the monkey.

He does guilt the monkey, saying that he had been planning to take him on a blimp ride, but his little game with the clock had caused him to miss several meetings with the blimp guy.

MYH fixes the clock, and then takes George to Dr. Wiseman’s office, presumably to learn what other parts of his life were fevered lies. But the blimp guy is there. MYH apologizes to blimp guy and says he is sorry they could not ride in the blimp.

For the most golden of moments, George is about to suffer a consequence.

But then the blimp guy says he didn’t know it was for a monkey, and so he takes them for a blimp ride.

George is so content he sleeps through the blimp ride.

 

-Professor Zac Showers