It has been a while since I shared an article from my high school newspaper, the Viking Voice. When I think back to that time I find myself feeling grateful for being able to write in a number of different styles – investigative reporting, commentary, features, satire, and just plain madcap comedy. I was lucky enough to have a supportive instructor (Mr. Van Natta) that let me occasionally cross the line into wackyland. This article was once such instance…
While everyone prepares for the big step into adulthood, many fond memories can be called upon as we recall the past. There are memories of Christmas, of sandboxes in the summer, and of Saturday morning cartoons. Let us travel back into the past to see what we left behind on Saturday morning. It wasn’t really that long ago, and surely those good memories can’t be beyond recollection.
It is a Saturday morning sometime in the early to mid 1970’s. A young child is climbing out of bed and getting dressed quietly (so as not to awaken mom and dad). The child then creeps downstairs and turns on the television, knowing that is time for the color test patterns. The child soon becomes impatient, runs upstairs, and forgetting why he was quiet in the first place, screams, “Mom! Make me breakfast please! The boring rainbows are on right now!”
“I can’t believe it,” the mother says. “It’s after six in the morning. This is far better than last Saturday’s 5:30 wake-up.”
The somewhat exhausted mother then pulls herself from bed and tells her child to go back to the television. This is just the beginning of another animated Saturday morning.
It is now sometime after a hot cereal breakfast courtesy of mom. Yes, it’s back to the wonderful 19” color television for the youngster. He’s now off in fantasy land for the next five hours.
“Oh goodeee,” he exclaims. “The Jetsons are coming on!”
The Jestsons’ theme song blares: “Meet George Jetson…his boy Elroy…daughter Judy…Jane, his wife…”
Da, da, da, dah.
The youngster soon becomes involved with the simple plot of Elroy having a bad dream. The story is still interesting enough to keep his eyes glued to the screen. Suddenly, he is brought back to reality by a catch phrase muttered by the Jetsons’ family dog, Astro – “Rake up, Relroy!” The child feels powerful as he learns to mimic the dog and runs away from the TV screaming “Rake up, Relroy! Rake up, Relroy!”
After a calm has once again fallen over the house, our young viewer silently watches such classic cartoons as “Speed Buggy” and “The Flintstones.”
Soon it is time, however, for the ever popular (and extremely violent) “Bugs Bunny-Road Runner Show.” Leading off the show is one of those wild and wacky Road Runner cartoons with the basic premise of Wile E. Coyote chasing his favorite dish, the tender, juicy and speedy Road Runner. As his mother wanders into the room, the child poses a very important question: “Why doesn’t the coyote ever catch the road runner?”
“It’s a long story story, son,” she answers. “I have a feeling when you grow up and find out, you’ll stop watching cartoons.”
As teenagers, we all have our outlets; some students listen to loud music. Some put their fists through walls. But one group still reverts to cartoons, Saturday morning or otherwise, to escape from hum drum, everyday life.
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