I’m back. Been a while, yada yada.
Arcturo just got his episodes of Mr Rogers Neighborhood in the mail from some sleazy company he found on the internet. So now, every time I leave the house, I make sure I have my credit cards with me – not leaving them laying around the house where any bird can have access to them. Anyways, now Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood is like his favorite show. I remember watching the show as a child, but seeing it now, with adult eyes, it’s not quite the show I remember. I was too young to be creeped out by a mailman with the unfortunate name “Mr. McFeely” back then.
It’s actually quite good, even on an adult level. But I’ll get to that later. Did I ever tell you why I hate Dentists?
When I was a little tyke, in 2nd grade elementary school, I had a dentist that was an evil sadist prison matron monster. My visits with her always were scheduled before lunch time, and after giving me an unnecessary mercury-and-lead-laden tooth filling, she told me “If the filling hurts during lunch, just touch your fork to it.” If you’ve ever had a tooth filling, and touched metal to it, you’ll understand why I fell to the floor screaming thinking I had been struck in the head by a lightning bolt. I should have killed her, but as a 2nd grader, I didn’t have the means and resources at the time.
On one appointment with her, I was sitting in the waiting room; an innocent little boy in his shiny hair and shoes, crisply pressed school clothes, seriously considering various suicide methods to escape the horrors I was sure to experience very soon. I could break that lightbulb and, if I’m careful, successfully choke to death on the glass shards, that sorta thing. I hid my face behind an old dog-eared Highlights Magazine pretending to read the latest one-upmanships of Goofus and Gallant…
The monster from hell prison matron dentist waddles in with a new little boy victim in tow. His name was Timmy. She singles me out to Timmy, saying “Look Timmy – Menubar’s a 2nd grader and he’s afraid of the dentist. You’re one year younger than he is and you’re not afraid, are you? You’re a brave little boy.”
“Yes,” says brave Little Timmy, “Mr. Rogers says the dentist doesn’t hurt at all, it’s like going to the barber and getting your hair cut!”
I said “I think Mr. Rogers lied to you.”
So Little Timmy bravely marches with the evil dental monster into the torture chamber, as she helpfully boosts him into the torture chair and closes the door. I felt fear, sorrow and pity for what Little Timmy was about to be subjected to.
There hung a silence over the waiting room. In a moment, I hear Little Timmy’s voice faintly through the door “Wha… what’s that for?” and then came the horrible screams. No man should be subject to that level of desperate wailing of a poor child at the hands of a sadist. The blood was gurgling in his throat as his pitiful bleats were only met by wrenching physical torment.
“HAAALP! I’M SORRY! I’m SARRRY! GLURRGLBLUURGH!!”, he was confused and in shock, obviously reasoning that he had done something bad to deserve such treatment. “BLAGGGH MOMMMMMY! HELLLLP!” now faced with inevitable pain, he made a pitiable plea to see his loving mother one last time. “LAGGLEBLAAHH! HELP! MENUBAR! HALP MEEEE!” Oh no, now he’s hoping that I, as a much older child, would come in and rescue him from the beast that had his face bones in a pair of pliers!
I panicked. I dropped the Highlights magazine on the table and ran as fast as I could from the waiting room. I saw a bathroom and ran inside. SALVATION! I was free! I sat in the corner crying uncontrollably with my face pressed against the cool wall tiles. I reasoned that I could hide in there until eventually my parents realize that I’m missing and send a search party… BAM! The door burst open and the evil bitch dragged me down the hall back to the torture room screaming all the way “HELLLP! I’M GONNA POOP MYSELF!! WAAH!”
All said and done, I don’t blame Mr. Rogers in the least. You won’t find a finer person than him if you searched the galaxy. His show was actually really quite interesting. Do you remember that one show that was on cable TV called “How It’s Made,” where they showed different factories making all sorts of products? Mr. Rogers invented that genre. In just about every episode, he takes a little field trip to a factory and shows the machines making things. Machine porn.
The very first episode we watched had tits. Yep. Hot, naked human woman breasts. I started the first episode for Arcturo, and sat working at my computer when after a while, I happen to glance up and see a tit on TV. Of course I was instantly distracted from my work, because this is something you don’t expect to suddenly see on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. It turned out the episode was about food, and it was just a segment showing how mothers feed babies. Without even blushing, he goes “Mothers get very much enjoyment from feeding their babies.” Yeah, bro. I was transfixed for the rest of the episode, because, …you never know, …he might get Lady Aberlin to take her shirt off.
In my memories of watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood as a child, I remembered the Land of Make-Believe populated by characters that all loved and supported each other. Watching the show now with Arcturo, I realize that not all was happy/happy, joy/joy in Make-Believe. There’s this witch, Lady Elaine Fairchilde that lives in a creepy carousel style museum. Everybody freakin’ hates her. They’d mob-gang her and frog march her ass outta town if they didn’t fear insane punishments by the lame-brained King Friday.
In one episode a platypus puppet moves into town with a big factory and, for several episodes, the whole town was a hair’s breadth away from rioting his shop with pitchforks and torches until calmer heads somehow prevailed.
It usually ends in a cliff-hanger, and as the Trolley carries us back to the safety and comfort of Mr. Rogers’ living room, I find myself wondering if one of the puppets might murder another while we’re gone, or some unforeseen accident, like a big limb from X The Owl’s tree crushing Henrietta Pussycat’s house and leaving her crippled and destitute. You never know. That retarded Bob Dog is always hurting himself.
Safely at Mr. Rogers’ living room, he never fails to ruin the immersion by showing us that the Trolley isn’t really a trolley, but a toy one that he controls with a button under the track. That kinda sucks, but I guess he’s pitching for our trust in his honesty. He’s such a nice guy and I wish I were more like him. He sings to Arcturo, and Arcturo enjoys that. “It’s such a good feeling, to know you’re alive…”