Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Ragtime Gal (or — How a Cartoon Made Me Sound Like a Crazy Person)

— “I think what needs to happen is that you should show them the side that you show me: the smart, articulate one that you for some reason hide whenever someone imposing is around. It’s like you’re that one Looney Tunes frog.”
— “Come again?”
— “You know, that frog that shows up in some of the old Looney Tunes episodes? It wears… a top hat, I guess.”
— “I don’t remember any frog. I remember the rabbit and the duck and the pig. And Elmer Fudd. And… that yellow bird.”
— “Tweety Bird.”
— “Yes, Tweety Bird. I remember her.”
— “I don’t think Tweety is female, in spite of the eyelashes. But you really don’t remember the frog?”
— “No frog.”
— “Okay, this guy finds a frog who can sing old-timey songs really well. You know, ‘Hello, my baby / Hello, my honey / Hello, my ragtime gal.’”
— “…”
— “But the frog can only sing these songs when he’s around the one guy. Whenever the guy tries to show the frog off, like to anyone who could possibly give him money for the frog, he just sits there and croaks, just like a regular, stupid frog.”
— “This is really insulting.”
— “You really don’t remember the frog?”
— “No, but I’ll remember you comparing me to him.”
— “He was a recurring character. I know they ran the shorts in the Looney Tunes episodes that used to play late on Saturday mornings back when we were kids.”
— “Was he a ‘person’ animal like Bugs? Did he wear clothes?”
— “No. He was just a dumb frog who exhibited amazing superamphibian qualities but strictly when in the presence of his owner. Everyone else only sees him as a regular frog.”
— “Who wears a top hat.”
— “Well, I think the owner puts the top hat on him when he’s trying to book the frog a Broadway show or something. The hat isn’t important.”
— “Is it that the frog’s singing is all in the owner’s head? Is he crazy or something?”
— “No. Wait, maybe yes, now that you mention it.”
— “Maybe you’re the owner, and this whole recollection is a figment of your imagination in the same way that the frog’s owner thought he could sign.”
— “No, and you know how I’m right? The frog was the logo for the WB.”
— “…”
— “The network? That was around when we were teenagers? It’s the network that had Buffy on it.”
— “You mean UPN.”
— “No. Well, yes. But this is getting complicated. Before Buffy was on UPN, it started out on The WB. And the frog was the logo, like how NBC gets a peacock. Oh, and I remember the receptionists at The WB had to answer the phones “Dubba-Dubba-Dubba-Yoo-Bee.”
— “Because that’s how the frog talked?”
— “No, the frog never talked. He just sang. I’m trying to think of a way to explain this.”
— “You got me.”
— “Do you remember how only Big Bird could see Snuffleupagus? And how he’d always be telling people ‘Oh, you just missed Snuffie. He was just here.’ And everyone else on Sesame Street would be all ‘Oh, sure he was, Big Bird.’”
— “No.”
— [throws up hands in frustration]

17 comments:

  1. Was this conversation taking place in 2005 or in a parallel universe where YouTube was never created?

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    1. It actually was a few years ago, and although we had smartphones, we had no signal.

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  2. Your friend lacks culture, it would seem...

    I mean, I recognize every last thing you said there.

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    1. Well, she was born in another country. Her recognition of American childhood stuff is pretty hit-and-miss.

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    2. Oh, well that would explain it, then. I thought Looney Tunes were fairly worldly, though... sort of like Mickey Mouse? Still, I suppose that even he isn't known everywhere...

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  3. You're definitely not the crazy one here.

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    1. No one has ever said this to me. I've gotten "less crazy of the two," but never "not the crazy one."

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  4. Anonymous1:53 AM

    were you talking to a really dumb girl?

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    1. No, just not as pop culturally savvy.

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  5. If someone were to compare me to Michigan J. Frog, I'd pretend not to remember as well.

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    1. Insulting aspect aside, I still think it's a great metaphor for people who rock one-on-one but fade into the wallpeper in group situations.

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    2. I compare that guy I married to Michigan J Frog all the time. And he totally gets why. He's unashamedly a stupid frog in public.

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    3. Plus you make him wear the hat all the time.

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  6. I remember the frog, he had a strange al Jolsen Black face voice, and when he didn;t sing, he looked like George Dubbya.
    How DARE you, I'm only 54.

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    1. He looked like George W. Bush? Hm. I'm trying to see it now...

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  7. I very much enjoyed this story. May the warm glow of that knowledge brighten your day.

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    1. You're only saying this because it was about you.

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