Sunday, October 4, 2009

Curious George Redux*

I’ve got a potty training post submitted to The Bump, so I’m not going to talk about that here. You’re welcome. No, instead I’m going to discuss Curious George for the third or fourth time. I realize that Curious George does not demand such deep analysis, but, come on, the people in those stories have some serious problems. TV Bill, for example, has a severe inferiority complex, and the doorman appears to work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I don't even think he gets to go to the bathroom. The Man With The Yellow Hat? Clearly brain damaged. Well, let me clarify. TMWTYH in the books is brain damaged; TMWTYH in the shows is just weird.

See, in the books, TMWTYH regularly takes his monkey to inappropriate places and events and just… lets him loose. Sure, sure, he tells him to “be a good little monkey,” but then he leaves. And here’s the thing: when he comes back to find George, he is always completely oblivious to the havoc George has inevitably wreaked. Take, for example, the time TMWTYH left George at the ski lodge at the top of the mountain to go get hot cocoa. Within seconds of being left alone, George stole a bobsled and crashed it into the ski lift. Then, in an effort to escape the ski patrol who were – justifiably – attempting to catch the rogue, destructive monkey, he climbed up onto the ski lift and headed back to the top of the mountain.

Once there, he thought he saw TMWTYH skiing down the mountain and so grabbed a pizza pan and used it as a sled. Unfortunately for George, he accidentally slid onto a race course. It was even more unfortunate for the racer he crashed into, however. It is when both skier and monkey tumbled to a halt at the finish line that TMWTYH finally showed up with his usual blank, smiling face, totally unconcerned that George has destroyed a very expensive bobsled, imperiled the safety of the ski lift, and nearly killed a man. But, you know, whatever. He was getting cocoa.

There was a happy ending though, because the racer went on to win his next race, and he naturally gave all the credit to George. What’s that, you say? You don’t think that makes sense? Come on, now. Common sense, people. Obviously the racer wouldn’t have won had the crowd not been cheering so hard for him, and they were only cheering so hard for him because he nearly died in the last race when a monkey on a pizza pan came out of nowhere and took him down.

So, yes, I’ve done some serious thinking about TMWTYH. But in my defense, we read a LOT of Curious George ‘round these parts. Next time, I’ll tell you my thoughts on the time George made pancakes for the Children’s Hospital Fundraiser. TMWTYH is not the only brain-damaged person in the George-verse.

*I feel I should note that I don’t actually know what “redux” means, and I am pretty sure I’m using it incorrectly, but it sounds cool.

Hey, it looks like you can nominate me for a Mommy Blog Award over at The Bump. The dignified, reserved, polite part of me thinks that it's probably rude to beg for nominations, but that part of me doesn't do the writing.


sagessa said...

Curious George definitely doesn't make any sense... I even thought that when I was a kid. Of course the monkey gets in trouble... he's a monkey!

I couldn't find your post over at The Bump. The link went to their homepage and I couldn't remember your blog name over there. Could you post a direct link? Thanks!

Salome Ellen said...

The original Curious George stories actually written by H.A. Rey are OK, even if TMITYH is a bit dense. But anything about "H.A. Rey's Curious George" I'd rather leave alone.

AJU5's Mom said...

We have created a Curious George monster in our house. She demands to watch "t" and then demands "George" at least twice a day. Occasionally I can sneak in an episode of Word World instead, but it is a challenge. So, I understand what you are saying about TMITYH. First, can't they give this guy a name? Second, he does have a few lessons to learn in responsible "parenting" for sure!

Sarah said...

My son has recently discovered the CG books. I've decided that TMWTYH is a gigolo. He's always off with some woman. I mean why on earth would be go along with Mrs. Whatshername's kindergarten class unless he and the teacher had something going on. In the train one (I don't know what it's actually called since that's what my son calls it), he's taking a trip with another woman. If you think about it, that would explain his complete obliviousness to George.

Krizzzz said...

I actually really enjoy they way they leave some things undisclosed, and then poke you with them just a little -- like the man just being The Man, or the tantalizing episode in which he and George were looking at photo albums, and The Man said, "And that's when I decided to only wear yellow. OK, how about some lunch?"

Krizzzz said...

I guess I should also disclose that I have a little Thing for the Man in the Yellow Hat. (Never did in the books, though. Always found him a little weird, and standoffish.) I mean, he's an amateur EVERYTHING, and he runs, and sings, does frog calls, and is polite to kids and monkeys alike, and seems to have this really fun life with great friends of all shapes and sizes.

Dr. Maureen said...

I agree that TMWTYH in the books is very different from the one on the show. I like the one on the show. He, at least, seems to recognize that George causes problems; case in point, the time he was wary about Professor Wiseman letting George play with the clock it took her two years to build. But the man in the books has no personality at all AND he doesn't seem to notice George wrecking the place any time they go anywhere.

Krizzz, why do YOU think he always wears yellow?

Krizzzz said...

I wish I knew. My only theory is that it leaves him free to think about other, more important things, like getting ready for the outer space mission. And it's a lot easier to figure out what to pack for things like the trip to the Antarctic.

Swistle said...

Srsly! Curious George books/shows make me SO NERVOUS, because a MONKEY should not be LOOSE---especially when he has such a track record of mischief and damage.