Happy Belated Martin Luther King Day!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 10:19 am.

When my cousins, Sara and Emily, and I, were kids, we used to pretend we were characters on TV sitcoms that didn’t exist, that we  invented, ourselves. We performed these sitcoms in my grandparents’ basement (We were weird ),  and in the 80’s and 90’s, every single sitcom had a Christmas message at the end of their Christmas episode, where the cast said something like, “From our family to yours, have a merry Christmas!” So, we would do that that for our pretend sitcoms too. Only we would come up with our own holidays to do the greeting with.

My personal favorite was “From our family to yours, have a happy belated Martin Luther King Day! ”

Now, do not mistake me, Moosefriends. We did not do this to mock the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We just thought the “belated” part was funny, and, because of this, I still celebrate Martin Luther King Day a day after Martin Luther King Day

I also celebrate Martin Luther King Week. Because, once, back when I was in elementary school, it started snowing on Martin Luther King Day and, then, it never stopped.

Now, Moosefriends, as an adult, I’m not such a big fan of snow, because, now, I have to drive a car in it, to go and buy beer, and Slim Jims, and Sour Patch Kids, and excessive amounts of snow can sometimes make that difficult.  But, as a kid, I loved it because it meant they might call off school.

I don’t even know if kids actually GO to school anymore. Maybe they do, and  they sit there, suffocating, in masks, with desks six feet apart, or if they just watch it on their computers.

Those who get to watch it on their computer are the lucky ones.  My whole damn childhood was one long nightmarish going to school situation after another.

Although, I will admit, actually GOING to elementary school, physically, with all the bullies and mean teachers, will toughen you up, and get you ready for the harsh, cruel world you’ll have to deal with for the rest of your life. (And physically going to college will teach you how to drink, and be rejected by countless girls, most of whom are named Lindsay, for some reason. ) Although, I guess, the internet teaches you about how much the world can suck too (Just go and look at Reddit if you want a quick tutorial on that.)

But let us not look upon the darker things about elementary school, my friends, because, if I wrote about that, this column would be five million words long, and have the word “fuck” in it a thousand times.  Instead, let us focus on the good parts of elementary school, like the days when you didn’t have to go to it.

There were days off of elementary school for holidays, but we didn’t get Dr. King Day off, back in the day.  (We also never had off on National Cheese Lovers Day, which is coming up later this week  BTW , and you bet your ass I’ll be writing a column about it.)

Except for that one time, when we did get off school, and we didn’t just get a day off, we got an entire fucking week off!!

It started snowing on MLK Day and then, kept on snowing for the rest of the week!  So, I think, MLK blessed us from beyond, with the best snow day ever! Because it wasn’t a snow day, it was a snow FIVE DAYS!  We just got to stay home and watch cartoons, instead of getting our asses kicked by jocks, because we read comic books! It was glorious!

And speaking of comics, it was recently the 20th anniversary of the “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip, which is another event we should be celebrating.  All this talking about snow reminded me of that “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip series wherein they imagined killer mutant snowmen attacking them.  And, in turn, that reminded me of the slasher movies about Jack Frost, the killer mutant snowman, who murders women in bathtubs, which you should never watch, under any circumstances, even though I did. (As I’ve said, many times, follow what I say, ot what I’ve done.)

I own them both on DVD, but nobody else should pay money for them. (Don’t make the same mistakes with your life that I made, kids! Be smart, and think twice before you go to college, and get drunk, and decide to go to the mall with your friends, and spend money on killer snowman movies, because you thought it would be funny! The snowman movies aren’t going to be funny and it’s not worth the money!)

But I also own every “Calvin and Hobbes” collection ever published, and you should totally buy those.

I have a cat who looks uncannily like Hobbes! (I think I mentioned him in a previous column, but I will never stop mentioning him, so, don’t even hold your breath, if you are hoping for me to), and I think I also mentioned he was a rescue cat. (Even though  I think he might actually be a rescue tiger.)

I am also mentioning that I adopted a rescue animal so I could seem like I’m a better person than I actually am, and how I’m all altruistic and stuff.  I just donated money (I don’t have any money but I somehow donated it anyway, using a credit card) to an organization I heard about from my favorite actress, Tala Ashe, who, I’m sure, I’ve mentioned thousands of times in my columns.

It’s called Choose Love, and I’m pretty sure they give colored pencils to Iranian immigrant children, or something. (I don’t know, for a fact,  if that’s what they actually do,  because I only glanced at the website, but I will instantly  donate to anything she asks me to, because I like her, and so should you.)

Anyway, in the final “Calvin and Hobbes” strip, they go sledding, which is probably what many of us did on Martin Luther King Week.  I didn’t because I suck at sledding, and rarely even attempted to do it, until I was like 18 years old, and that was only because I was doing it with a hot girl who liked sledding, and she asked me to. We went down this absurdly gigantic hill and we both almost died. But, she was hot and it has always been my policy to do unnecessarily stupid things for pretty girls. So, I did it, even though I calculated there was a 90% chance doing it would kill the both of us. We didn’t die, though! But I guess you already know that because, if  we had, I wouldn’t be writing this. So, hooray for us for not dying!

Now the ironic thing about this column is that MLK stood up for Black people, and I’ve been talking about snow the entire time, and snow is white. But I believe in everything the man stood for.  I just happen to have this weird association with him and snowy weather, because of those glorious five days of no school.

So, God bless you, Dr. King, for all the things you did for the Black community, and for, somehow, magically getting me an entire week off from school!

And I’m gonna say this in honor of my beloved cousins: From all of us (Or, I guess it would be all of me) to all of you out there in Mooseland, have a Happy Belated Martin Luther King Day!!

Graffiti on a Manatee is not OK with me.

Saturday, January 16th, 2021 3:37 am.

Hunker down, Mooseheads, because this is gonna be a serious one.

You know it’s my usual policy to not discuss politics,  because I hate them, but I’m making an exception in this case, because I will also get to be discussing manatees. And if you’ve ever read my column even once, you probably know I like to talk about manatees incessantly. Hell, even if it’s not in my column, like if I’m at Applebees, or something, I’ll bring up the subject of manatees with the waitress.

Speaking of Applebees, one time, when my friend and I were there, a redneck yelled at my friend because he had the word “fuck” on his  shirt. (He also yelled at me even though I was wearing a yellow shirt that said PEZ on it. I don’t know what he found offensive about PEZ. Who doesn’t love PEZ?) Specifically, my friend was wearing a Nine Inch Nails shirt, with the lyrics to the chorus of the song “Closer”, which, and as many of you know, those lyrics are “I wanna fuck you like an animal.”

Now, in hindsight, it was probably a poor choice of a shirt to wear to Applebees. I’ll admit that. But that’s the sort of thing you do when you’re young. You wear super offensive shirts to Applebees, and get into fights with rednecks. I think, this guy slightly overreacted, though, because his girlfriend objected to the shirt. So, then, he threatened to kick my friend’s ass, so he could look more manly than he was, and then (spoiler alert for those who are waiting for the big screen blockbuster hit movie they will inevitably make about this) he pussed out, and did not kick my friend’s ass.  But, speaking of animals, and rednecks, that is a perfect lead in to my actual topic.

Having “fuck” on your shirt is far less horrible than having “Trump” written on your back.  But that’s what rednecks are doing to innocent manatees.

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve ever written, you probably have gleaned that I am absurdly fond of manatees. I saw one at Sea World when I was a kid, and loved it so much that I insisted on buying a plush manatee, which I still have and I was cuddling with it the other night.You probably think I’m joking about the cuddling thing but, sadly, I’m not.

But fun fact, boys and girls: back in the day, pirates wanted to a cuddle with ACTUAL manatees!!

That’s right, kids. A zillion years ago, pirates wanted to have sex with manatees, because they thought they were mermaids. They are not. Believe me. I’ve seen The Little Mermaid. Ariel does not look like anything even remotely resembling a manatee. (Another fun fact. Manatees are also known as sea cows, even though they look absolutely nothing like cows, sort of like how sea monkeys look absolutely nothing like monkeys.)

I learned this fun fact about pirates from a comic book, by the great Steve Purcell, called Sam & Max: Freelance Police. And even though I gained this knowledge from a comic book about a dog and a rabbit who drive around in a car, and pretend to be police officers, I still choose to believe it’s factually accurate, because it’s funny. (Side note: If you’ve never read Sam & Max comics, or played their video games, go and do that right now. You will not regret it.)

Now, while on the topic of comic books,  everyone knows who Captain America is because of the Cap movies and the Avengers movies.  I was a fan of him since I was a kid, (but that was before comic book movies became popular. So, if anyone knew you read them, you would get the shit kicked out of you by jocks. These same jocks now pretend they like comics, to pick up chicks, who pretend they like comic books, because it’s trendy. ) Chris Evans did a fantastic job portraying Captain America in the movies. And, no, that is not a pun about how he was also  in the Fantastic Four movies. (OK, yes it was.)

Cap was created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon back in the 40’s. (Side note: The first thing Stan Lee ever wrote was a story in a Cap book. )

He was, as you all know by now, a wimpy kid who got injected with a serum, to make him super strong, so he could fight in the war. He was a symbol for everything America stood for. He reminded me of my Gramps (R.I.P) who fought in World War II. He was a great guy too, and even though he didn’t wear a star spangly outfit, he and Cap were both really nice people who wanted to punch Nazis in the face.

But a big difference between them was that Cap also punched guys with skull faces in the face, because his main enemy was The Red Skull ( a Nazi wearing a skull mask ) and, now that I think about it, maybe that’s why my Rock ‘N’ Roll Porpoise Man comic book is also about a blue guy, who punches a guy wearing a skull mask, in the face.

Cap even punched HITLER in the face! And, now, I think it’s high time he does that again.

Trump may not look like The Red Skull or Hitler (He looks more like a bloated orange guy who went bald, and then decided to buy the worst toupee ever) and  I probably should not be condoning violence right now, but Cap should punch this guy in the face. I mean, at this point, he’s earned it.

People have DIED because this asshole can’t accept the fact that he lost (Which, news flash, he DID!) And the MANATEES are suffering because of it!!

I’m all for some anarchy. I’ve been into punk rock since I was a kid, but the Sex Pistols and the Clash were actually promoting the polar opposite of this. They wanted to fight, to not be held down by a monarchy. The idiots who are rioting right now are fighting to be controlled by something even WORSE than a monarchy! They want a fucking dictatorship!

And, speaking of punk rock, have you ever heard of the Dead Kennedy’s album “Bed Time for Democracy?”  Probably not, but let me tell you,  it pretty much predicted exactly what’s happening right now.

And these rioting Republicans want their dictator for life to be a guy whose only qualifications to be President are that he’s super rich (which is hilarious, because 98% of the rednecks who voted for him can barely afford the lotto scratchers they spend hours buying, when I have to wait in line behind them for an interminably long time at the gas station), and because he hosted a reality show wherein his whole entire schtick was that he FIRED people from their jobs!

Or, I dunno, maybe they just like guys with bad toupees, who suffered third degree burns in a tanning booth. Either way, none of those things make Trumpy presidential material.  He is just completely unqualified, and I’m honestly surprised he’s lasted as long as he has. He’s like the Energizer Bunny of sucking!

He told everyone not to wear masks. His idiot followers listened to him, and a bunch of people died. Then, he was like, “Oh, wait, maybe we should wear masks!” which is not dissimilar to how  he told everyone to riot, because he was throwing a tantrum, and stamping his feet, saying “I WON, I WON, I WON!” Then they did, and even more people died.  Then he was like, “Oh, maybe you shouldn’t do that.”

Now, Moosefriends, I’m all up for a good riot, if it’s for a good reason. The Rodney King riots, the Black lives matter riots, and the peaceful protests like the May 4th one at my Alma mater, Kent State University, back in the 60’s, I fully understand those. But this has got to be the stupidest reason for a riot ever.

And it’s certainly no excuse to go out and deface an innocent manatee! Which, sounds unreal, but, apparently, someone actually did that.T hey wrote “Trump” on his back. (I call it a Trump Stamp, which is like a Tramp Stamp, only worse.)

This manatee did not approve this message.  Whoever did this had no way of knowing if this manatee was a Republican or not! This manatee could have been a huge Biden supporter!

And, now, this manatee defacer could be going to prison because he just couldn’t resist scrawling graffiti on a hapless sea creature.

Maybe it’s because this was in Florida, and manatees are in Florida, and they are all about oranges there, and Trump is orange.

Trump did NOT deserve to be President, and he CERTAINLY didn’t deserve to be in Home Alone 2 Lost in New York! He has tainted the franchise, and now, I will never be able to watch that movie again! Thanks a lot for ruining Home Alone 2 for me, Trumpy!

So, we need to call in Cap. And, possibly, the rest of the Avengers (Pretty much just because I want to see the Hulk smash these rioting Trump Thumpers.  A Hulk smash would beat a a Trump thump any day of the week.)

In Avengers Endgame, we see that Cap is able to wield Thor’s hammer, even though, in Age of Ultron, he pretended he couldn’t, but he was just being nice, because none of the other Avengers, besides Thor, could lift it, and he didn’t want them to feel bad because they weren’t worthy.

Trumpy is so unworthy that, if he tried to pick up Thor’s Hammer, his arm would probably fall off.

I’ve seen so many comic covers of Captain America punching Nazis in the face.  Maybe that punch would knock some sense into Trump’s thick orange head, and he would realize that he LOST!

So, now that Chris Evans is taking on the Cap role again, maybe he could suit up, and take on another dictator! Do it, Cap! Do it for me and the cows of the sea!

 

 

 

Pizza is Such Sweet Sorrow

Monday, January 11th, 2021 9:33 pm.

Now, this might come as a surprise to you Mooseheads, but I read a lot of Shakespeare.

What won’t come as a surprise to you is that I eat a lot of pizza and drink a lot of beer.

And I promise I’m about to explain how pizza, beer and Shakespeare all tie together; just gimmee a minute to collect my thoughts. This will eventually make sense. (Or, at least, I think it will make sense to me.)

I inherited a collection of the works of Shakespeare from my dad, and Hamlet is my absolute favorite Shakespeare play. And not just because Hamlet is also the name of the pig mascot, wearing a chef hat, who represents the Sugardale Bacon Company. I just think it’s really good.(Almost as good as the bacon.)

But Romeo and Juliet is also really good.

Recently, my favorite TV show, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, did a Romeo and Juliet themed episode. Also, there is a great pop-punk band named Army of Freshman who are a band you’ve never heard of, who had a song called “Juliet” that you’ve never listened to. (You should really listen to it.)

Long story short, the play is about two stupid kids who fall in love, but they aren’t allowed to be in love, because their families despise each other, so (spoiler alert) then, they drink poison and kill themselves.

I drink poison all the time, but my poison is beer and so far it hasn’t killed me, which is good, and which sort of brings me back to what I was talking about.

Today, I was going to get some beer and a pizza.  I got the pizza at an awesome local Ohio establishment called Romeo’s Pizza.

Moosekateers, Romeo’s Pizza is fucking amazing. The sauce is the sweetest you will ever taste, and they have this stuff called “Capone sauce.”

Yes, for some reason, Romeo’s Pizza decided to make a guy who looks like Al Capone be their mascot, instead of a guy who looks like Romeo from Romeo and Juliet.  They must have had a coin toss between whether or not they should have a suicidal teenager or a homicidal gangster as their corporate logo, and ended up with the homicidal gangster.

Now, maybe it isn’t even supposed to be Al Capone, but the character on the box looks like a character who is in the mob, and wants to shoot you in the face.  He dresses in a pin striped suit and a fedora, which is exactly how Al Capone dressed.

And speaking of being killed, if you have too much Capone sauce, you will die.  It tastes amazing, if you like hot sauce, but it has the same affect as being shot in the stomach by Al Capone’s gun (which might be why they named it that.)

The other day, I dropped some on my floor and I think it actually burned a hole in the floor. I’m not even joking about this. Dipping your pizza crust in this sauce is something akin to dipping it into molten lava. (But it tastes good, so, I do it anyway.)

There is another thing that is both sweet and hot at Romeo’s pizza. She’s the blonde girl who always gives me my pizza. And she is another reason I go there constantly. Even though she wearing a mask, you can still tell she’s gorgeous.

And you know what the song says, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore,” even though that doesn’t really make sense in this case, since she isn’t the moon and she never threw a pizza in my face. (At least, not yet, but if I ask her out, she might.) I think that song   has something to do with love and pizza, which is why I’m mentioning it in this column, even though I don’t understand it.  I’m like 50% sure “amore” is an Italian word for love though.

And  I’m in love with this pizza girl.  OK, I’m not really, but I do wanna ask her out. The thing is, if she says no, that might make it awkward the next time I go and get a pizza.

As the saying goes, “Don’t crap where you eat.” And I eat there a lot. And most of my relationships do, in fact, turn to crap.

So, I don’t think I will ask her out, because, even though our love might have been an epic romance, I doubt it would have been as epic as my life long romance with pizza.

I mean, I wrote an entire column about The Noid! I love the Ninja Turtles!  I’ve been eating at Little Caesars since back when they had that weird commercial with the puppets playing in a rock band! My point is, I’ve loved pizza forever and I’m never gonna stop. And I don’t want any girl to come between me and pizza! (But I do hate Pizza Hut. I actually think their pizza may be composed almost entirely of grease, and we used to have to eat it every time we had a funeral for a relative. The reason being, there was a Pizza Hut next to the funeral home. My cousins and I used to say their slogan should be “Get Pizza Hut, it’s your funeral!”)

So, in the great words of William Shakespeare,” Adieu, adieu, pizza is such sweet sorrow.” OK, that isn’t EXACTLY what he said, but it’s close enough. It would probably be a jinx to start a romantic relationship with a girl who works at a restaurant named after the guy whose relationship was a nightmare, and who eventually committed suicide. (There, apparently, is some controversy in the Shakespeare community about exactly what type of poison Romeo and Juliet used to kill themselves. Some say hemlock, some say deadly nightshade. Personally, I think, they just drank a whole bunch of Capone sauce.)

I guess it could be worse. You could go out with a girl who works at Macbeth’s Pizza. (There isn’t a Macbeth’s Pizza, but if there was, I definitely would avoid dating a girl who worked there.)

Now, here’s a picture of the Romeo’s logo. Do you think it looks like Romeo or Al Capone or neither? (I don’t think either of them had a mustache, and I don’t remember Romeo wearing a pin striped suit.)

Dawn Gone.

Sunday, January 10th, 2021 12:08 pm.

Now COVID is really, really,  REALLY starting to piss me off even more than before!

It killed Mary Ann!

If you’ve never watched television ever in your life ( And if you are a millennial Moosekateer, you probably have not, because you watch everything on streaming services) then maybe you don’t know what Gilligan’s Island is.

Similarly,  like I said in my previous column about The Flintstones, Gilligan’s Island was a show that used to be on TV hundreds of thousands of times every day on networks owned by Ted Turner. He owned the rights to Gilligan’s Island, and said “Damn it! I’m gonna show this thing over and over again, ad nauseum ’til I get my moneys worth!” And so he did.

Which is why anyone who grew up in the 90’s, and had basic cable, watched Gilligan’s Island all the time, even though the show was from the 60’s.

The premise was that this bunch of people went on a luxury cruise, on a ship that got fucked up because of the weather getting rough, and they crash landed on an island. (It’s all explained very well in the theme song and Bowling For Soup did an excellent cover of the theme song, which they were hired to do for a shitty reality show remake of Gilligan’s Island, which was like Survivor, but it sucked even worse, and nobody watched it, but the song was good.)

The ship they were on was called the S.S Minnow (And if you’ve ever watched the Bill Murray movie Scrooged, you would already have known that piece of trivia), and it crashed on an island.

They were called the castaways, but unlike Tom Hanks, none of them had volley balls with faces drawn on them.

They did, however, have hot girls who happened to be with them, and I think Tom Hanks, given the choice, would have preferred the hot girls, to a volley ball with a crudely drawn face sketched on it with a magic marker.

Now, the aforementioned girls were Ginger and Mary Ann.

And, if you are familiar with Archie Comics or Riverdale, the TV show, you know that there are Betty people and Veronica people.  (But please don’t be familiar with Riverdale, the TV show, because it sucks, and it ruined Archie Comics, and turned it into some weird-ass mash up of Archie and Twin Peaks.)

But there was a similar situation on Gilligan’s island.

There were two super hot girls on the show. One was named Ginger, and she was this glamorous actress (with red hair, of course, because her name was Ginger), and she was played by an actress named Tina Louise. who was even more self-absorbed than I am, and refused to let any other character be sung about in the theme song, after they sang about her.

So, they sang about Gilligan first, of course, because the show was named after him (He was played by Bob Denver who, previously, played a beatnik named Maynard G. Crebs,  on a show called The Many Loves of Dobie Gilllis, which was also aired thousands of times on basic cable, when I was a kid, back when Nick at Nite didn’t suck. Believe me, it was way more fun to see countless reruns of Dobie Gillis than countless reruns of Rosanne.)

They sang about The Skipper of the boat next (Alan Hale, who went on to star in a bunch of shitty movies that were eventually put on MST3K, and then he opened his own sea food restaurant called “Skippers,” which I really wish I could have gone to while he was still alive.)

Then, the millionaire and his wife. The Millionaire, Thurston Howell, was played by Jim Backus, the same guy who did  the voice of Mr. Magoo, who is an ancient cartoon character, whose whole gimmick was that he was an old blind guy, and that’s why he ended up fucking things up. That concept would probably be considered offensive today.

Side note: I mean no offense to any blind Moosefans! Quite the contrary! I love blind people! Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Daredevil,  and that episode of Happy Days, where the Fonz goes blind, and Richie dismantles his motorcycle, and he has to put it back together, was an inspiration to me! (And, apparently, it was to Seth Mac Farlene too, because he made an entire episode of Family Guy about it. ) Anyway, Mr. Magoo was pretty funny.

I don’t remember the name of the actress who played his wife, so hang on, I’m gonna google it.

OK, her name was Natalie Schafer. The Howells were both super rich,  and that’s pretty much all you need to know about them.

And then there was Ginger, “The Movie Star,” as portrayed by Tina Louise, The Professor (who played by a guy who was previously probably only known for being in a movie called This Island Earth, which had an alien in it with an exposed brain and crab claws. That movie was also made fun of by MST3K, although, personally, I think it’s a masterpiece), and Mary Ann.

Now, in the original theme song, since Tina Louise refused to let anyone be be sung about after her, they just called it “and the rest.”  Eventually, they changed it, and put the actual character names in the theme song. And it’s a good thing they did, because The Professor and Mary Ann were very important to the show.

The Professor was always attempting to make communications devices out of coconuts, to contact someone, to get them off the island, and Mary Ann was just super cute.

Now, as I’ve previously stated, Moosefriends, I am a big fan of every flavor of girl. I had like sixteen girls who edited my column at the Kent Stater, and they were all named Lindsay. Just like Lohan. (Why is it that you are required, by law, to name your daughter Lindsay, just because she has red hair?)

But, I was always a Mary Ann fan. She was a brunette, cute and sweet, and had that girl next door vibe. So, you thought, if you saw her at the mall, and asked her out, she might have actually said yes.

But the actress who portrayed her, Dawn Wells, has passed away. So, I guess all of my childhood fantasies of running into her at the mall are moot now.

And Tina Louise is the last woman standing, because everybody else in the cast is dead, which sucks, because she wanted nothing to do with Giilligan’s Island, and wanted to do more serious work.

She didn’t even come back for the reunion episode, where the castaways met the fucking HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS, who, like Gilligan’s Island, also had a stupid Hanna-Barbera cartoon. I will write columns about both of those cartoons, because one is about the Harlem Globetrotters being superheroes, and the other is about the Gilligan’s Island characters being in outer space.)

Anyway, Dawn seemed like a really nice lady.. She appeared on Space Ghost Coast to Coast,  and the punk band, Squirt Gun, even wrote a song about her! I know you’ve never heard of Squirt Gun, because nobody has, other than me, because I’ve listened to every obscure punk band which has ever existed.

But seek them out, listen to their song, “Mary Ann,” and raise a toast to the cutest castaway!

Dawn Wells, to me, you will never be “and the rest,” but may you rest in peace.

 

 

 

I Crave a Cave Babe. (Even though, according to the Flintstones, Cave Babes Never Lived in Caves.)

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 2:29 pm.

Now, Mooseheads, this column is going to be both fun AND informative! Because I’m going to be telling you about prehistoric history! Even though I’m pretty sure prehistoric history is an oxy moron, so, let’s just forget I said that.

Ya see, ladies and gentleman, the Neanderthal is a topic I know a LOT about, because, as a kid, I used to watch The Flintstones all the time.

Wanna know a fun fact I learned from The Flintstones?  Neanderthals didn’t actually live in caves.

I think, most every human being has watched at least one episode of The Flintstones, because, back in the 90’s, Ted Turner acquired the Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Studios library, and paid an absurd amount of money for it. So, he came up with some kind of  corporate mandate that said The Flintstones had to be aired a thousand times a day, on almost every network he owned.  This was back when he owned  TNT, TBS, and the Cartoon Network (He also owned CNN and I’m surprised he didn’t find a way to put The Flintstones on there.)  But, if, for some reason, you’ve been living in a cave (see what I did there? ) for the last hundred years, they were a “modern stone age family,” who did not live in a cave. They lived in a house made out of rock, and they owned a saber tooth tiger (who was roughly the same size as one of my cats, Minky Boodle, who I feed too much.)

Also, they would get brontosaurus ribs at a drive-through restaurant, which were enormous, and would knock their car over, and they had a pet dinosaur, named Dino, who was, basically, a mash-up of a dinosaur and a dog.

See, if you haven’t ever watched The Flintstones, you wouldn’t know the truth about Neanderthal people.  Historians think they were monkey-like savages, who lived in caves, but this is not historically accurate. Thanks to Hanna-Barbera, I know the truth. They actually lived in houses, and wore clothes, and bought ribs at drive-through restaurants. Geico did a bunch of commercials with “cave men” (And then they made a crappy TV show about them which got instantly cancelled but even though those guys looked like apes, they lived in apartments, not caves.)

Any historian will tell you that “cavemen” ( And I’m gonna put “cavemen” in quotes because, clearly, they did not live in caves), and dinosaurs did exist in the same era. But that is fake news. Watch The Flintstones, and you will know that is just bullshit. There were dinosaurs all over the place on that show! And Hanna-Barbera wouldn’t lie about something like that!

But maybe they would, because, then, they made a show, in the 70’s, called Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, which was an insane attempt to cash in on the popularity of Charlie’s Angels, featuring a superhero caveman in it, who shot pterodactyls out of his club. (And, before you even ask, the answer is yes. I will be writing an entire article about that show, at some point.)

But there is other evidence that “cavemen” and dinosaurs existed at the same time. There was a video game from the 90’s called Bonk’s Adventure, made for the Turbo Grafx-16 video game system. No kid owned a TurboGrafx-16, because everyone already either owned a Super Nintendo or a Sega Genesis.

Those consoles had Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog for mascots, but TurboGrafx had Bonk, who was a kid caveman, who had an abnormally large head that he used to “Bonk” enemy dinosaurs with.  So, his super power was, basically, head banging.  And, since nobody bought the TurboGrafx-16, they eventually just ported all their Bonk games to the Nintendo systems, which is why I first played  Bonk’s Adventure on a tiny little green unseeable Game Boy screen. But, I still learned a lot more from Bonk’s Adventure than I ever did from the Dinosaur issue of Zoobooks (Call back to my previous column!) For example, sometimes, triceratops dress like ballerinas, and ride around on ice skates, and you have to kill them by hitting them in the head with your head. That was DEFINITELY not in the Dinosaur issue of Zoobooks.  They should be ashamed of themselves for leaving out that important piece of information!

Now, the most pre-historically famous of “cave” people is probably Raquel Welch. She was in this movie that none of you millennial Moosekateers will have ever seen, called One Million Years B.C., and she was an inspiration for my comic book character, Prime Eve.  (Because she was a super hot girl and wore a fur bikini, and so is Prime Eve.)

Now, the lovely Raquel and her astounding cleavage were not the only reason to watch One Million Years B.C. . They also had stop motion animated dinosaurs.

Stop motion animation was a process perfected by a genius named Ray Harryhausen, who, apparently, didn’t have an attention span as short as mine, because he, somehow, managed to clay animate lots of dinosaurs. This guy did a version of stop motion animation which he called “Dynamation.”  The guy is an absolute hero to me.

Dynamation was pretty much the same thing as Claymation, which I wrote another thousand word long column about. But, since you probably didn’t read it, I’ll explain that the difference between Claymation and Dynamation  is that, when you do Claymation, you spend thousands of hours animating clay raisins, singing Motown songs, and funny dinosaurs, who host Christmas specials, whereas, in Dynamation, you spend thousands of hours animating fearsome murderous clay dinosaurs (who don’t host Christmas specials),  alien monsters, mythological creatures, and a giant octopus, which only has six tentacles. Here’s another fun fact: In the movie, It came From Beneath the Sea, they couldn’t afford eight tentacles to put on the giant octopus. So, Harryhausen  just said, the hell with it, and gave him six. (It wasn’t zoologically accurate, but it still looked cool.)

Anyway, Ray Harryhausen spent a thousand hours tediously animating a bunch of clay dinosaurs for the movie One Million Years B.C., but nobody cared, or even looked at them, because audiences were too busy looking at Raquel Welch’s cleavage. (You might recall the Raquel poster in Andy Dufresne’s cell, which helps him hide his escape hole, in the Shawshank Redemption. And, if you haven’t seen The Shawshank Redemption, I feel sorry for you.) In fact, I don’t even remember if the “cave” people lived in caves in that movie, because I was also too busy staring at Raquel’s cleavage.  I do remember, they lived in caves, in Ed Wood’s pornographic parody movie called One Million Years AC/DC, but don’t ever watch that, under any circumstances. (Trust me. If you do, you will regret it.)

So, now that you all have been educated, and know that cavemen and dinosaurs lived at the same time, and cave people had cars and didn’t live in caves, and cavewomen wore mascara and fur bikinis, here’s Raquel, rocking her fur bikini!

I

My Issue with the Elephant Issue of Zoobooks.

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 8:52 am.

Now, listen up here, Mooseheads, I’m a fan of elephants. And not because my dad was a staunch Republican, who displayed a multitude of elephant sculptures on the mantle, when I was a kid, but just because they’re awesome.  I loved Dumbo. I saw that Operation Dumbo Drop movie, which starred Danny Glover, when I was a kid, wherein they drop an elephant out of a plane, in a complex effort to save its life. (Although, you would think that would more endanger the elephant’s life instead of saving it, but I was ten when I watched it, so, I don’t even remember what happened. I think the elephant was wearing a parachute.)  And I saw that Larger Than Life elephant movie which had Bill Murray in it, that came out at the same time. But that had less to do with me, loving elephants, and more to do with the fact that I’d watch anything with Bill Murray in it. (Even if it was a documentary glorifying Adolph Hitler, I’d probably still watch it, if Bill Murray was in it.)

So, as you can see, I’m quite the elephant expert, thanks to the cinema. But I didn’t learn all of my info about elephants from movies. Oh, no. Ya see, back in the 90’s, we used to have Zoobooks.

Now, this might be a difficult concept to grasp for some of you millennial Moosekateers, but back in the 90’s, there were these things called “magazines.” They were printed on this stuff called paper.

The 90’s was a crazy time, where people listened to ska-punk music, then went out and purchased, and read, things that were printed on paper. I was there! It happened!

Of course, one of the magazines I read was Playboy, but there was another one which was slightly more educational than that, which was called Zoobooks.  There are big differences between Playboy, and Zoobooks. Playboy featured  just a bunch of hot, naked women, where as,  Zoobooks was about animals, and was slightly more child appropriate. And also, you couldn’t buy Zoobooks at the store. You had to order a subscription.

So, they would air these ads on TV, incessantly, which pissed mothers would have to endure, while their kids were watching Cartoon Network.  Seriously. These ads came on during every commercial break of every single show, and sometimes twice in the same commercial break, until the mother was driven to the edge of madness, and agreed to subscribe to Zoobooks.

And one thing every Zoobook ad had in common was that they said, ” If you subscribe now, you can get the elephant issue for free!”

Now, here’s my issue with the elephant issue, Moosefriends: It’s fine, and elephants are cool, but, I don’t understand why they kept pushing it so hard, as a selling point.

I mean, they could have made a Zoobooks issue about a Spiny Lumpsucker, or a Goblin Shark, or a Raspberry Crazy Ant, and used those species to  entice people to buy the magazine. (Full disclosure, I have no idea about what any of those animals even are. I just did a Google search for animals with funny names.)

But I do know some stuff about elephants, none of which I learned from the elephant issue of Zoobooks.  Because, frankly, I don’t think I ever even read that one. (Maybe that was why it was free. Nobody ever wanted to read it.)

  • There was a Character in He-Man and and the Masters of the Universe named “Snout Spout ,” whose Head looked like a robot Elephant:  He squirted water out of his nose, to put out fires, and I own an action figure of him.
  • King Tusk was an awesome elephant who used to be a part of the Ringling Brother’s and Barnum and Bailey Circus: I used to go to the circus a lot when I was a kid and King Tusk, this MASSIVE beautiful elephant was the best part. (Although the clowns did scare the shit out of me and King Tusk should have stepped on them.)
  • Babar:  Babar was an elephant character who starred in children’s books and a PBS cartoon. I really don’t know much about him, but I know he had toys that came with kids’ meals at Arby’s, and I love Arby’s. So, if you want them, go on my ebay, and  I’ll sell them to you at cost.
  • Manatees are related to elephants for some reason:  As anyone who has ever read this column knows, I love manatees. I don’t understand  how they  could possibly be related  to elephants , but they are. (Since their nickname is the Sea Cow, you would think they’d be related to cows!)

Anyway, I don’t know anyone who ever was a kid in the 90’s who didn’t have  the Elephant issue. And Maybe Zoobooks just had a surplus supply of the issue and just wanted to get rid of them,  but a little bit later on, Zoobooks did wise up and decided to make a dinosaur issue and have that be the free one to bait people to want to subscribe. I don’t think there have ever actually been any dinosaurs in zoos, but I guess they made a Zoobook  about them anyway  because kids like dinosaurs more than elephants. (I mean, I’ve seen a giraffe and an octopus and a gorilla at zoo, but never a T-Rex.) So to close out this column, I’m gonna leave you with a picture of the infamous elephant issue!  Here it is!