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

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TMCG: Taking the Bus

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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