I like to think of myself as a cultured sort of person. I genuinely love (and worship) Charles Dickens. The Pickwick Papers is the only book where I have physically choked with laughter not once, but twice (hard boiled sweets and laughing do not go well together, it seems). I love Mozart, and I enjoyed essay-writing at school. I get all wound up about politics – especially 1960′s American politics and 1940′s German politics. I have bought, and read, text books about quantum physics, and (many, many) biogrophies about Robert Kennedy just for fun.
And yet, despite all that, the fact of the thing is that it was my birthday last Friday, and one of my favourite presents was this:
That’s right: I love Carry On films. And I ain’t ashamed to say so. Okay, so the humour is crass and the jokes are very often horrendous. But I love these films. And I especially love Kenneth Williams.
I had a huge crush on him when I was in my teens (oh yes, I really was that odd), and I keep expecting to grow out of it. But last night I watched Carry On Abroad and I still fancy the pants off the man. There, I said it. Especially in Carry On Cruising where he’s wearing this sailor uniform for the entire film . . .
I loved Kenneth Williams then, I love him now, and I will probably always love him for as long as I live. Ditto for the Carry On films in general. Sometimes being serious and intellectual and academic can be over-rated. And, at the end of the day, if I was ever forced to choose between serious and silly, I wouldn’t even have to think twice. Silliness is in my soul. For example, the other day I dreamed a little tiny elephant came to me and said it was up to me to save the world. I woke up in a blind panic because my cat, Chloe (the fluffy one) was making this high pitched whining sound she always does right before she’s about to be sick and – to my sleep-muddled brain – it sounded just like a little tiny elephant trumpet . . . Now that’s just silly. It’s the sort of silly dream only silly people have . . .
Anyway, I think I’ve made my point. Er . . . even if I’m not entirely sure what it is anymore.
Tags: Tiny elephant
Today I am thinking about how much I love Slowpoke Rodriguez – lesser known cousin of Speedy Gonzales. I find Speedy a mildly irritating character, and yet he has appeared in a whole series of cartoons, as well as films and video games. Slowpoke, on the other hand, got just two cartoons. Two! What gives?! Slowpoke talks in a lazy monotone, seems completely unafraid (or perhaps unaware) of the dangers around him, carries a gun and, very probably, has a marijuana habit. What’s not to love? I can’t believe Warner Bros didn’t do more with him.
Nowadays, of course, you have the whole “politically incorrect” minefield. The problem is that most cartoons are at least a little bit politically incorrect (if they’re any good). But I far prefer the cartoons from the 1930′s and 40′s to the God-awful modern day creations like the teletubbies. A lot of kids’ TV now seems like bland, sickeningly sugary fluff. I can’t bear to watch modern Winnie the Pooh when the old ones were so much better - sometimes even scary (especially the one where they got sucked under the bed). Some of the stuff I’ve seen my little cousin watch on TV is actually quite horrifying. The animation is cheap, the story is nonexistent, the characterisation is so dire that I almost feel she should be forbidden from watching such tripe on principle. It’s not even clear what species the main character is supposed to be half the time. Is it a bunny? Is it a child? Is it a talking scarecrow? Who can tell? Better to stick with DVDs of the old classics instead. Or, better yet, watch a few episodes of Mr Ed (it’s fun watching how enthralled a seven year old is at the sight of a talking horse).
But even DVD box sets of the old classics aren’t free of political-incorrectness-phobia. The complete Donald Duck box set we have is peppered with constant assurances from a bespectacled, anxious looking Disney spokesman that Disney does not – not - approve or condone the use of guns in the cartoons. Well, duh! Still, I suppose it’s better than editing the gun out altogether, as often happens to Slowpoke in Mexicali Shmoes.
But whether he’s politically correct or not, I love that little stoned mouse. I really, really love him. And I want a soft toy of him to put on my desk. But though I have scoured the internet, I have been unable to find one. Maybe none were ever made. But I’m going to keep checking Ebay at regular intervals – just in case.
Moose is my eight week old Great Dane puppy. She is gorgeous. I have owned her for a week and already I love her like you wouldn’t believe. When we first brought her home she got straight onto Loki’s bed. So he went and sat in the cat bed and looked pathetic:
There may be some things in life more daft than seeing a Doberman trying to squash himself into a cat bed but – trust me – there ain’t many. Later that night, though, they were lying together like this:
And already they’re becoming fast friends – even if Loki isn’t too sure about how to play with something so small (little does he know that she’ll end up being much bigger than he is).
I’ve booked Moose a place in puppy training classes. After all, if you’re going to insist on having a dog the size of a small horse then you probably should learn how to control it. I’m also going to take her to the puppy playgroup starting at the vets this week. I wasn’t going to bother at first because it starts just two weeks before her training classes begin. But then it occurred to me that as these are both organised locally there’s a fair chance that the puppies that go to training will have been to the puppy playgroup first and when Moose starts training I don’t want her to be the only puppy there who’s never met any of the others before. She might end up having no doggy friends. Yes, I know I’m possibly being a little bit batty about this. But she’s going to be quite a bit bigger than the other puppies as it is. And I have a horrible feeling that if the other puppies snub Moose and refuse to play with her then I might become quite irate, and unreasonable, and possibly even vicious. Like an over-protective parent whose child is being bullied at school or something.
I’m not a complete recluse but I won’t deny the fact that I generally prefer animals to people. And now that I finally have a Great Dane to go with the Doberman, and the Siamese, and the rest of the gang, I finally feel that life is complete. I bought Moose with some of the money I’ve made from the books, and she is definitely the best thing to come out of them so far. And to think I might have frittered all that money away on tuition fees for law school. I literally shudder at the very thought.