When Alphabet Games Go Bad

Psst… Happy Birthday, Aunt Sooz!

Setting: My car, last night
Subject: Cartoon characters

“JESSICA” (who else?): Y… um… Yogi Bear.
ME: “Heya, Boo boo!”
J: “Let’s get that pic-a-nic bas-ket!”
ME: (very slowly) “I don’t think the Ranger’s gonna like that, Yogi.”
J: Booboo was such a killjoy.
ME: Did you ever get the sense that Booboo really hated Yogi? Like, he was late to sidekick sign-up and everybody else was taken?
J: And he’s all “Great. I get to follow around a fat, greedy bear.”
ME: All his lines are delivered like, “I fucking hate my life.”
J: He sounds stoned.
ME: He is stoned.
J: He never stopped Yogi from stealing, he just stood there all, “No. Stop. Don’t.”
ME: Well, if Yogi didn’t get into trouble, there’d be no show. He must’ve pissed off either Hanna or Barbara for that shitty contract.
J: “I’ve got a great idea, Barb!”
ME: “I told you never to call me that, Hanna.”
J: “Let’s make a show about a gluttonous bear that eats people’s picnic baskets as they vacation in a national park!”
ME: “Sounds awful.”
J: “So was Jabberjaw.”
ME: “Point taken. We can model them after the Honeymooners!”
J: “Yeah! And give them ties to make them seem human!”
ME: “And stupid hats!”
J: Wait. They didn’t have hats.
ME: Yogi did. A flat hat.
J: Where would he get a hat?
ME: Same place he got his tie—he ate a guy.
J: Yogi totally ate people. He was too damn fat to live on the occasional sandwich and apple.
ME: The dark side of Yogi Bear: Carnivore, homosexual—
J: He was doing Booboo, too? I thought Booboo hated Yogi!
ME: Booboo’s a nihilist; he lets Yogi have sex with him so he can feel something.
J: Booboo didn’t eat people, though. He’s too big a pansy.
ME: If Yogi took all his victims’ clothing, why does he wear the same dumb outfit all the time?
J: Maybe he just ate one guy. With a green hat and tie.
ME: Who would wear a suit in Yellowstone?
J: It was ‘Jellystone’. Don’t rangers have green hats and ties?
ME: No wonder Ranger Smith has his eye on Yogi.
J: Sure it wasn’t a big yellow hat?
ME: Hee. Curious George would be an orphan. No, it was green, like the tie.
J: I remember the tie, but I can’t see the hat.
ME: It’s green. And flat.
J: Yeah, but I can’t picture it. Like a flat straw hat?
ME: No, like a fedora somebody sat on. Like Buster Keaton’s hat.
J: Like the ones that old people wear on vacation.
J: You know, the ones—
ME: I know the ones you mean. No. Like a flat green hat.
J: I don’t remember.
ME: Just trust me then. It’s a flat green hat.

“JESSICA”: I can’t think of a carton character that starts with Z.
ME: C’mon, there’s gotta be one.
J: There must be like, a Dr. Seuss one, like a ‘Zezzarefforus Zinch’ or something.
ME: Wait—there is!
J: Really?
ME: No, I mean a Dr. Seuss one.
J: What?
ME: It’s on the Sneeches tape.
J: Oh—the Zax?
ME: Yup.
J: I like mine better.
ME: It’s not real.
J: Yeah, but I’d get double points.
ME: You made it up!
J: Naw, I think there is one called something like Zoobler-Zellie Zonk, or something.
ME: Which would be even more points.
J: Well, yeah.
ME: You just don’t want to use mine.
J: Yours isn’t as long.
ME: It may be only three letters, but has the advantage of actually being a real character.
J: Three? Zax has four letters.
ME: Um, no… z-a-x. Zax.
J: Nooo… z-a-c-k-s. Zacks.
ME: There’s no ‘k’, it’s an ‘x’.
J: No it isn’t.
ME: YES, it is, because there’s a northgoing Zax and a southgoing Zax, and the story is called ‘The Zax’.
J: Yeaaah…?
ME: So if it were spelled with a c-k-s, the singular would be ‘Zack’, not Zax.
J: No, it’s like ‘moose’ where the singular and the plural are the same word.
ME: YES, but that word is spelled z-a-x!
J: No it isn’t!
ME: Yes it is!
J: No, it’s a ‘k’. You’re just trying to get a higher Scrabble score.
ME: Oh, you caught me. Look, it’s an ‘x’, like ‘The Lorax’. Dr. Seuss likes ending things in crazy letters.
J: Yes, ‘Lorax’ has an ‘x’.
ME: I know!
J: ‘Zacks’ doesn’t.
ME: Oh my Christ.
J: It doesn’t.
ME: How much you wanna freakin’ bet?
J: All your money.
ME: I’ll bet a million trillion dollars that you’re wrong.
J: Fine.
ME: I only bet when I know I’m right, dude. I’m Googling it tomorrow.
J: You do that.
ME: I just will. And then I’ll spend the day making an invoice.
J: You’d go to all that trouble just to pay me money?
ME: You’re payin’ me, wiseass. It’s gonna be orange, with Z-A-X all over it.
J: Orange like Yogi’s fictitious hat?
ME: Jesus Marie.

Also, while out to dinner for Sooz’ birthday, I recounted the Evil Elevator Harpy tale. My mother asked me “Why didn’t you just press all the elevator buttons on your way out?” My mother, y’all. My sainted mother would have gotten her sweet revenge on this woman. I didn’t even embellish the story. We were speculating on what EEH could possibly be so damn late for that she needed to lash out so venomously at me, and we decided it must have been the temporal portal back to her own satanic dimension. If that is truly the case, then guys, I’m so sorry. I fucked it up for planet Earth. If I’d have known she was leaving our plane of existence for good I’d have let her have the damn elevator, I’ll tell you what. But we’re stuck with her now. My bad.


Meg said…
All this talk of Yogi Bear has made me hungry for a picnic. I remember watching it, but I don't remember if I enjoyed it.

And 'Z'. You could have used Ziggy. Although there's a lot to say about him too. Who is he? Why does he only have animal friends? How come he never wears pants?

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