What is the use of Kartoon Kops? I mean, why do we possibly need cartoon policemen with rubber whack-bats, squirting ink guns, and face pies? Why, to control cartoon misbehavior, of course.
If I work on the roof of the house because the shingles are weather-damaged, and then I walk off the end of the roof, and I just stand there in the air because I know better than to look down, I am breaking the law of gravity. I deserve a strawberry pie to the face for that crime. (Not blueberry pie, though. I’m allergic to blueberries.)
If I run in place and my legs go faster and faster until they look like blurred leg-colored circles, and then I take off, faster than a speeding bullet, leaving only poofy clouds behind, I am breaking the law of acceleration and inertia. I deserve a blast of black ink in my face for that.
And if I put an extremely hot towel on my face, and Bugs Bunny is my barber, my face will come off in the towel and leave the space on the front of my head blank. I will be breaking the law of… of… well, keeping my face on in public. Rubber whack-bat bruises are in my future for that.
“But, Mickey!” you say to me, “The real world doesn’t work that way!”
“Well, duh! Didn’t I tell you this was about cartoons from the start?”
**Please note** This is a fiction story. It absolutely did not happen in real life. So, no real-life school administrators should be fired over it. And the author is a RETIRED school teacher, so it is not necessary to hire a hit man to protect future students from evil ideas like the ones presented in this story.
Rudy was miserable as he sat in the counselor’s office staring at the note from his teacher. Miss Nactarine. the sympathetic young counselor, sat behind her desk praying silently that the poor boy would be able to overcome his extreme shyness for long enough to explain what the problem really was.
“Well, um… you see, Miss…. I, uh…”
And then, once again, he simply stopped talking. She waited for several minutes.
“Rudy, just take a deep breath and let it all come out. You were sent here for sleeping in class. Tell me why that happened.”
“Okay, Miss. I been having bad dreams.”
“Oh? They’ve been keeping you from sleeping at night? What are the bad dreams about?”
“Um, well… In my dreams, I keep forgetting to put my clothes on before coming to school. I end up having to give a speech in Miss Burkett’s class standing naked in front of everybody. And the girls were laughing.”
“Oh, I see. Hmm. And what do you suppose is causing these dreams?”
He didn’t hesitate even for a moment. “P.E. Class!”
“Why P.E. Class?”
“Well, because… when it’s over, sixth graders have to take a shower. You have to get naked and go into the shower room where everybody can see.”
“But there are only other boys in there.” She knew as soon as she said it why that didn’t matter to Rudy. Even as she said it, she could see this shrinking-violet child trying to disappear in his chair.
“What do you think we should do about this problem?” She was thinking swim-suit for showers or something.
“Can we cancel P.E. Class?”
“Honey, that’s State-mandated curriculum. You can’t pass to the seventh grade without taking that class.”
“Can we cancel showers?”
“Young men in the sixth grade begin to have body odor. You know how that smell would affect learning?”
Rudy was dissolving in front of her.
“You are a vary brave young man. The best way to overcome this problem is to simply make up your mind not to let it affect you. The next time you have to take a shower, just face your fears head on. Take your clothes off and act like you want everybody to see you naked. Once you have endured the worst that can happen, you won’t have that bad dream anymore. You will know that you can do anything by being brave enough to try.”
Miraculously, Rudy seemed to brighten up, as if he had finally come to terms with the problem.
“Thanks, Miss. That helps a lot.”
As she dismissed him back to class, she couldn’t help but congratulate herself on saying the right thing at the right time.
The next morning, as students who walked to school from the neighborhood gathered in front of the school, Rudy showed up striding purposefully towards the front door wearing only a hat.
Most of the girls squealed in response, and then broke out into laughing conversations.
One of the most popular seventh-grade cheerleaders said loudly enough for everyone to hear, “I think he looks really cute like that! I wish all the boys were brave enough to come to school like that.”
“We would if all the girls did too!” hollored some invisible boy from somewhere in the back of the crowd.
Principal Eirohnee quickly brought both naked Rudy and Counselor Nacterine into her office.
Rudy was very comfortably nude as he stood in front of the principal’s desk and explained.
“It really cured my problem,” Rudy said. “From the time I made up my mind to do this I have felt nothing but confidence. If I can come to school naked, I can do anything!”
“Intend to go to all your classes today naked, do you?” asked the Principal.
“Yes, if you let me. If you don’t, it was still worth it.”
Full of pride for her part in Rudy’s transformation, the Counselor said, “I think we should allow it.”
“Well, isn’t that precious. Why don’t we just change the dress code for the day and have everybody go to school today naked?”
“I’d be willing to try that,” Miss Nacterine said.
**Author’s note** You could argue that the Counselor was fired for not understanding what sarcasm was, but, more likely, it was because of how the majority of the students showed up the following day.
You will have to forgive my terrible poetry at the beginning of this post. I can’t help myself sometimes.
But just because someone is a terrible poet, the way Mickey professes to be, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to them. Mickey has considerable experience with the topic of being bitter. After all, he was a teacher for 31 years, 24 of which were spent in middle school monkey houses.
But nothing is ever made better by being bitter. No matter what was done to you, how you were insulted, or what injustices you suffered, it does not make things better to get revenge or even plot revenge. The fire of hot anger burns while it is inside you, but, in truth, you are the only one who really feels the heat, the only one who really gets burnt.
You can’t even solve the bitterness by reasoning with the one who offended. They will not listen to reason. They will not yield to authority. You cannot make them do or feel anything that you want them to do or feel.
But you can forgive them. You can tell a joke, even if you are telling it on yourself. You can do the one thing that will do the most to make them feel better… listen to their actual concerns.
Barbie’s little sister, Stacy, is an incredible nerd (for a plastic doll from Mickey’s doll collection.) She is constantly using one of the laptops to keep up with the latest news in Science. Lately, she has been thrilled to see pictures start rolling in from the James Webb Space Telescope, the superior imaging system to its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.
You may have noticed that Stacy surfs the internet in the nude. She is not a porn-obsessed pervert or anything. She simply found research online that indicated that nudists are happier in many ways than people who are addicted to always wearing clothes. She joined the AANR (American Association for Nude Recreation,) found a local landed nudist club to join and discovered how lovely it is to play in the sunshiny air totally bare.
If you knew Stacy the way I know Stacy, you would realize she now has a real dilemma. She is very intelligent… but her head is made of plastic, and so it stubbornly resists compromises once an idea has found its way inside.
This is called internal conflict. But never fear. Stacy is highly intelligent, smarter than Skipper, and even smarter than her oldest sister Barbie. This is why she is the only sister so dedicated to nudism.
So, Barbie pointed out to Stacy that, being made of plastic, exposure to outer space will simply freeze her solid. And as long as she avoids getting dropped by a doofus while she’s frozen and brittle, and she gets thawed out slowly enough at the end of the journey, she should be fine. Now, all she has to do is convince Mickey to sell her to an astronaut who is not a doofus but is just goofy enough to take a doll into outer space. So, now Stacy is researching non-doofus goofy astronauts online, further preventing Mickey from writing something dumb.
Well, here we are again at the start of the part of the space opera that begins a new volume, and it is the part after the last intermission where I summarize all the crazy stuff that happened in this somewhat-true-but-also-somewhat-exaggerated history of what, to you, is a history of the far future. And I usually go over only a few main points before launching into a complicated story that you will never be able to follow because you’re not a genius like me, Googol Marou, scientist, historian, and really cool witness to a lot of these events.
And I usually assure you that you can pick this up and read it even without having read the previous four volumes. But, come on! Can you really skip that much wonderfully insightful narrative and historical analysis and still truly understand the masterfully written material of this volume? Don’t you need to at least buy the most expensive copies of all four books you can find and put them under your pillow so that story particles can irradiate your head in the night while you are asleep and make your brain mutate into super-genius levels of intelligence because the books are written so well?
Or you could just go back and read them.
Part One is called Stars and Stones.
In that first wonderfully written part, the two brothers, Ged and Ham Aero are fleeing from civilized space because, although they’ve already had a good career as space hunters, Ged’s Psion ability to change his shape has gotten him persecution from the Orion Spur Empire known as the Imperium. As they flee, they are joined by a criminal boyhood friend, Trav Dalgoda, who is escaping from space pirates that he stole a valuable Ancient artifact from along with a kidnapped Nebulon Princess and her young son.
They escape from known space to a periphery planet called Don’t Go Here. Here they legally lay claim to an entire planetary star system because they are the only people there with a spaceship. But it is not an uninhabited planet. There are millions of marooned spacers on that planet left there by the pirates that stole their spaceships. They have developed a unique civilization there based on ancient holo-cartoons called The Flintstones.
And so, the Aero Brothers liberated the planet by using Trav’s Ancient artifact to build an AI-self-aware starport whom Trav names Frieda and then commands her to design and build new starships.
Of course, the pirates who lost the artifact to Trav have to come to terms with the new power in with the Orion Spur, and so decide to start a rebellion against the Imperium and Grand Admiral Brona Tang.
But then we move into the part of the story that becomes Part Two, Planet of the White Spider. In that part, Ged has to face the fact that a mysterious prophecy about a Psion called the White Spider seems to be directly describing him as the next chosen one to be the White Spider.
Being the White Spider of Prophecy requires Ged to move to the planet Gaijin with a previously marooned Psion Master from Don’t Go Here called Tkriashav. Ged takes the Nebulon Princess’s son, renamed Ham Aero Junior, along with him to establish a new school for Psions. Junior has Psion skills.
Ham Aero decides to go along with Tron Blastarr, the leader of the pirates to fight for the Imperium and hopefully also stop Trav Dalgoda from destroying the entire universe for giggles. The rebels try to conquer some new planets after taking and losing White Palm. They gain allies and more Ancient-artifact troubles and one assassin on the trail of pirate leaders. They settle on the idea that if they win, they will establish a new interplanetary government called the New Star League.
Ged finds allies in the leader of Gaijin, a goofy old Mandarin called Shen Ming, and an immortal from ancient Earth, Dr. Naylund Smith. Dr. Smith’s charming young daughter Sara turns out to be a gifted Psion healer.
And then Ged must defeat the planet’s Black Spider leader in order to establish himself as the new White Spider. This he does in a ninja-battle contest by using his shape-changing ability to turn into a dinosaur and eat the Black Spider, ironically absorbing the ninja skills as he eats his enemy.
Then Ged seriously begins putting together his Psion ninja class from the gifted but outcast children that Tkriashav finds and brings to him.
Part Three, Juggling Planets tells about the rebel pirate bands going from planet to planet, recruiting and invading worlds to add to their new planetary alliance. Tron and Ham Aero add allies and friends to their cause, retrieve some of their captured minions, and learn certain secrets that advance their cause.
Ged and his students hone their skills and learn to work together. The students get to know each other and form relationships.
And then Part Four happens, The Amazing Aero Brothers. More characters come into the story. Some characters die. Some new villains arise and are defeated. I give you even more historical and scientific insight into what happens. And everything gets even more complicated.
What you most need to know is that Grand Admiral Brona Tang is defeated in the Battle of Planet Coventry by a super-powerful Ancient artifact called the Tesserah. And then Trav Dalgoda immediately uses it to commit the worst war crime in the history of the universe. After this battle ends, Ham Aero and everyone aboard his spaceship, including yours truly, are captured and held prisoner by Grand Admiral Brona Tang.
Ged Aero defeats his worst enemy who turns out to be a sort of clone of himself from the future. And then he is handed the evil artifact known as the Tesserah and tasked with destroying it to save the entire universe.
Now, do you have enough information to read Volume Five, It Ain’t Over Yet? Or do you need to do some more reading first?
Have you ever noticed that some celebrities with weird names are recognizable no matter how badly you mess up or mangle their names?
For example, take a name like Justin Timberlake.
If you call him Timber Just-in-the-lake, everyone still knows who you mean.
Yes, I’m talking about Laker Timberjust, that singer who used to be famous when he sang with that group Out O’ Sink. You know, that guy named Joozin Mimbolake who caused Joanie Jackelson’s wardrobe malfunction in the Superbowl. Muffin Limbersnake… you know, that guy.
Well, there’s this other actor named Ving Rhames.
Okay, that’s too scary to contemplate. Well, there’s always Kenderbick Bumbersnatch! He’s always good for a name-mangling good joke.
Very astute literary allusion delivered with Sherlockian poise, Benickle Bumberbatch!
I can think of a number of name mangles that make me laugh. Bumbershoot Bandersnatch, or Bimbleroot Snoodersnatch, or Smogthedragon Paddlebatch. What mangled names can you think of for the Mangled Name Game? You can put your bubbling genius-type answers to that question in the comments. For these guys, or any other mangle-able celebrity names you can think of.
If you are old, forgetful, and retired like Mickey, you may have the same problem Mickey does with remembering what day it is. But he has a solution. At the end of the week, he simply has two Fritterdays. They take the “Fri” from Friday, and the “turday” out of Saturday…. But wait just a gol’ danged minute. We have to get the “turd’ out of there because nobody likes those. And we do that by changing the “u” to an “e” which means we also add a “t” to it to change the long “I” sound to a short “I” sound because “fritter” can mean wasting something, especially time, because that’s what you do when you don’t even know what-the-heck day it is. Fritterday! Fun times for the hopelessly forgetful.
And it is fun to be retired and not have anything to do… but put eye drops in each eye three times a day from three different colored-coded bottles so you don’t go blind from glaucoma… and pick up the package for the Princess at the Post Office because the doorbell is broken and nobody hears the package-delivery guy when he knocks… and go to CVS for more bottles of eye drops because they finally filled the prescription three days after the doctor phoned it in… and the Medicare paperwork needs to be filled in at the pharmacy… and you get 4 free Covid 19 test kits just because you are old… and… phooey! It is hard to make a run-on sentence like that fun. And the grammar-check program hates it in a mixture of blue and red squiggly underlines.
But you found things you didn’t even know you had lost, like paper doll clothes that had fallen off the paper dolls because the little white foldable tabs don’t stay folded and need to be given a little dab of glue. And the rubber bands you use for your ponytail because haircuts give you psoriasis sores and you don’t cut your hair anymore because of them, but they are all back in the same sack again because you found them scattered on the floor while you were cleaning in order to find the lost package-claim slip that you mislaid… apparently under the bed… the one you needed to claim the Princess’s package which contained… a white stuffed tiger toy all the way from a game company in Japan… because it matched the stuffed tigers she had as a child and she won it by playing an online game. Boy, howdy! Another sentence or two the grammar checker hates!
Annette Funicello from the cutout paper doll on the back of a 1960’s Cheerios box looks good in the cowboy getup… err… cowgirl getup you found under the corner of the bookcase. You have liked her since you were a boy. You once had a yearning to see a picture of her naked, but that never panned out. She was a Disney star and not allowed to even think bad thoughts, let alone pose for any nude photos. She was in the Mickey Mouse Club, not the Playboy Magazine Bunny Club. Darn it!
But the mind still works, and you’re still not blind, and you enjoy enraging the grammar-check program, and you cleaned your room without meaning to. You even wrote most of this messy blog post in second-person point-of-view without realizing you were doing it.
Hang-dang! A Fritterday! And there’s probably another one coming tomorrow.
As a general rule, I kinda like stupid people. Being around them makes me feel smarter than I probably really am.
But as a general rule, you should not argue with stupid people.
You cannot win the argument.
If you hire a debate judge to score your argument, and you technically trounce your stupid-person opponent according to the judge’s score card, the stupid opponent will lay a stupid insult based on nothing on you. The stupid people in the audience will cheer and whoop. The stupid person you argued with will declare himself the winner and take a victory lap.
You cannot win the argument. The stupid people outnumber the rest of us.
Stupid people have simple, one-way hearts. If they love you for some stupid reason, or some smart reason that’s simple enough to understand, they will basically love you fiercely for life. But if someone convinces them you are worthy of their stupid hatred, say for being a socialist, a Muslim, an opinionated and educated woman, black or Hispanic, they will definitely hate you until either you die or they die. And some of them will gladly help you die.
So, the secret is, to get them to love you rather than hate you. They can love a black or Hispanic person if they see them as a black or Hispanic friend that proves they are not a racist. They can love a socialist if you never use the word socialist and instead point out that taxpayer money should benefit the good people like them who actually pay the taxes, rather than solely benefitting the wealthy elite. Not being an opinionated and educated independent woman, I cannot tell you how to avoid stupid people hating you for being one. You should ask one how they do it. But not Hillary Clinton. She obviously doesn’t know.
If you try to argue with a stupid person that he or she shouldn’t like Darth Ted because he takes advantage of them, you will only force them to stupidly like him more. But if you point out that Darth Ted has betrayed some other stupid person that the stupid person loves, they will stupidly join you in your stupid hatred of stupid Ted. (Of course, we have already established that stupid Ted is not really stupid, so, to pull it off, you have to lie and pretend… which makes you the same as Stupid Darth Ted, which is a stupid thing for you to do. You really can’t win arguing about evil Darth Ted.)
But there is always the hope that science will invent a cure for being stupid. It will probably be green and bubbly with a hint of lime flavor. It will probably be addictive. And it will probably mechanize your brain with Artificially Intelligent smart-people juice that will make you evolve into something that is no longer human. And that, too, would be a stupid thing for you to do.
Never argue with a stupid person. It is a stupid thing to do. You cannot win. But even though you can’t win an argument with them, stupid people are mostly everyone you know. All people are stupid at least some of the time. Even Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, and Elon Musk. Elon can be especially stupid on Twitter and he’s still alive to demonstrate how stupid he can be. So, don’t give up on stupid people. Just don’t argue with them.
Am I literally able to fortell the future? Of course not. But as an overly-sensitive artistical type one could argue that there is evidence in my art and writings that my reality now was at least partially embedded in my consciousness many years ago.
And truthfully, looking at the truth of things based on empirical evidence is what this point-of-view post is all about. We cannot always rely on the traditional concepts of good and evil as they have been taught to us. Sometimes you have to look at how the evidence stacks up properly, and just plain intuit a new way of seeing the whole picture. Yes, this is a portrait of a fifteen-year-old former student of mine. And she was definitely evil and difficult to deal with. But she went into nursing after high school. She works in the ER where her decisive ways and ferocious insistence on having things work out in her favor because that’s the way the established rules say it must be done turn into positive qualities that are probably saving lives in a Texas hospital as we speak. It is all in how you perceive the truth of a situation and then apply it.
Comedy, of course, depends greatly on rearranging your point of view. If you are going to make a joke about something, you have to re-mix and un-match the details in ways that still make a sort of sense to the reader or the hearer of the joke. I have taught at schools like Dudwhittler’s. If you are a teacher, you recognize that that school bus carries not only that which is funny, but also that which is very true. The teacher driving the bus is a tin man who easily rusts and cries too much, thus rusting further, but you can see he has earned his heart, even if he has to drive the bus on top of teaching so he will have enough money to buy food.
But probably the most anticipated thing from a new perspective that you were expecting since reading the title is a new perspective on the Coronavirus shut-down and economic depression. That alternative take is simply this… the pandemic, though extremely hard and painful, is a good thing that happened at the right time.
I am willing to say this, even though the way the virus has been mishandled in this country is going to very likely be the death of me, because there are benefits that we simply don’t recognize without a thorough punch to the gut and another to loose teeth.
It is a good thing because it will make it harder for Herr Fuhrer Pumpkinhead to win the next election, and he will probably take a number of corrupt Republicans down to the bottom of the sea with him.
It is a good thing because it is proving to us that we can survive on less and still make our way out of the bad situation.
It is a good thing because kids get extra time off from school, and probably also the chance to spend more time with the people who really teach them things we need them to know… like parents, grandparents on Zoom, teachers who don’t fear distance-learning technology, and trolls on the internet (Yes, I know that last one is risky and mainly learning the hard way, but it is also true from before the virus hit).
It is a good thing because the air is cleaner. And we have proven that we can make radical adjustments when it is a matter of life and death. And the environmental crisis is actually a matter of life and death.
So, now I’ve had my twisted say about my pretzel-minded perspective. And so you can now trash it, or possibly learn to like pretzels.