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Posts Tagged ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

I was faced with an etiquette dilemma a few months back when I received a text announcing the birth of a baby. Unfortunately, the number wasn’t stored in my phone and there were no details in the text itself that gave away the identity of the parents. 

I mean, what would you have done? At the risk of sounding like a quiz out of Dolly magazine, would you:

a) write back “Congratulations!” and hope you work out who the kid belongs to some time before their 18th birthday;
b) write back “Look, I’m really happy for you and all but who the fuck ARE you?”; OR 
c) do nothing in the hope the news will come via other channels, such as email, pamphlet drop or some kind of reality TV special.

In the end, I was so paralyzed by uncertainty I ended up going with c). And a few days later, I received an email from long-serving friend (and erstwhile reader of this blog) Madame Zap that revealed not only that she was the mysterious texter (and now newly-mother-of-three) but that the text had in fact been sent from the delivery bed. 

I felt terrible. And not just because her mobile number details had obviously dropped out of my phone’s address book in one of three recent phone changes. Mostly I felt terrible because if had been me texting from the delivery bed, I’d like to think people could be bothered texting back. It doesn’t take that much effort to punch out a few words on your phone, you know. Unlike, say, pushing something the size of a small planet, for example, through your watoosy. Just sayin’. 

Of course I immediately set about making amends and went out and bought a card and a present for the baby. Which then sat unsent on my desk for four long months. Etiquette failure number two.

And so, in the end, I had no choice but to drive across town to Madame Zap’s house with The Pixie and Tiddles McGee to hand-deliver both card and present. It was the only way to sort out this whole mess. 

Now, I should point out here that Madame Zap had moved to a rather ritzy suburb since we’d last met. I had some trepidation about going there because the last time I’d driven ’round those parts I’d been with the whole family in the Love Bus and it was a little like the Beverly Hill Billies rolling into town. I think some local residents actually had to wash out their eyes after seeing us driving down their immaculate hedge-lined streets and, had they known where their gardeners stored the pitchforks, they probably would have tried to chase us out.  

This time, however, I was driving the Star Wagon and therefore cloaked in the power of the Light Commercial Vehicle. Thus, I could easily pass myself off as a courier delivering a package. And since I was actually delivering a present or card, my story was water-tight – you know, just in case a member of the Local Citizen Action Group challenged me as I tried to enter the suburb. Which, somewhat disappointingly, they didn’t.  

Anyway, it was lovely to catch up with Madame Zap, to meet the latest addition to her family and to see her beautiful new house. And it was a blessed relief to finally hand over the card and present. 

And that might have been the happy end to this story, EXCEPT for some further breaches of etiquette I committed while there that have been weighing on my mind ever since, including:

1) managing to stretch a morning-tea invitation til well past lunchtime (not acceptable when there is a small baby in the house);
2) bringing a teenage mutant ninja turtle figure into a house previously untouched by the TMNT franchise and then leaving it there; and
3) changing Tiddles McGee’s shit-packed nappy in the back of the Star Wagon and in full view of the neighbourhood. 

Lord knows how you even start making amends for that lot. Any suggestions? Anyone?

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Every idea, even the bad and the exceedingly strange ones, had to have had a moment of conception. I mean, someone somewhere had to have come up with the initial idea for Hooked on Classics (“Let’s breathe new life into the musical medley format by adding an infectious disco beat!”) or for a flopster film like Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! (“Sly Stallone really should do more comedy…”) or even the Bratz franchise (“We’re bringing sexy back… to the pre-teen market!”).

I personally have always wished I could have been there when they came up with the concept for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I like to think the conversation went a little something like this:

PERSON A: Hey, let’s do a cartoon series about a bunch of teenagers who fight crime… 

PERSON B: Uh, I think Scooby Doo covered that. 

A: Okay, okay. But what if these kids were trained in the deadly martial arts of the Exotic Far East?

B: Nah, too Karate Kid

A: What if.. what if… they’re wise-crackin’ crime-fightin’ ninja-trained TURTLES!

B: Meh…

A: MUTANT turtles!

B: Now you’re talking…

A: And their ninja master is a giant anthropomorphic rat!

B: Keep it coming!

A: And they say stuff like “Cowabunga!” and “What the shell?” and… and.. and “Let’s turtlize them!”

B: Aw, yeah… Bring it home, baby!

A: And they’re named after Renaissance artists!

[Pause]

B: Aw, now you’ve gone and blown your ride… and yet… it’s so crazy, it might just work…

Yep, I was pretty sure that’s how it would have gone. Except I’ve now since read on Wikipedia that the TMNT concept “arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Kevin Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming with his friend Peter Laird”, which is quite possibly a polite way of saying they were on mind-enhancing drugs at the time.

Anyway, to save dear Mr Eastman and Mr Laird from further damage to their brain-cells, I came up with some possible “Joanie loves Chachi”-style spin-offs for a variety of different age groups:

FKLTL: Freakish Kabuki-Loving Toddling Lizards

TRLGG: Tweenie Reptilomorph Labyrinthodontic Geisha Girls

MLCASW: Mid-Life-Critical Amphisbaenian Sumo Wrestlers

OAPDTS: Old Age Pensioner Deviant Trouser Snakes

And that’s just for starters. How many times do I have to spell it out for you people? IDEAS. PERSON.

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I. 

Imagine my complete and utter delight when I read the following on a sign at the petrol pump:

To avoid police investigation, please pay for petrol before you leave. 

Before I knew it, I’d been whisked away to an undisclosed holiday location in my mind where I found myself thinking about how shady underworld figures must feel immensely cheered by this sign.

“Why, it must be some kind of Petrol Pump Amnesty!” I imagined they’d say to themselves. “Simply by paying for my petrol, the police will instantly drop all ongoing investigations into my immensely illegal activities. And it doesn’t matter what crimes I commit in the future as long as I keep paying for my petrol. Sorted!”

I can only imagine how disappointed they’d feel when they then got busted the very next day.

II. 

Having pulled the Love Bus into a difficult spot with surprising ease, I was feeling pretty damn chuffed with myself and wished I had someone to share my moment of Parking Glory with. 

And then a woman touched me on the arm at the entrance of the supermarket and said: “Is that your van?”

“Yes,” I said, bursting with pride and almost adding “You’re admiring the kick-arse parking job I did, aren’t you?”

Luckily I didn’t, because she said “Uh, you’ve left your lights on.”

Shit. 

III.  

You  may not know it but every day in our household a bitter battle between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Star Wars Teddies is being waged by my oldest two children. Those Star Wars teddies are mean-ass mo’fos from what I can gather and the TMNTs are often more interested in going shopping than they are in carrying out complex military strategies. So it wasn’t that surprising when the Pixie, who was leading the TMNT charge, suddenly exclaimed “Ooooh Here comes Santa! He’s saying ‘Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!'”

Still, I thought to myself, “Wow. You know, I haven’t done too bad a job with parenting that little girl. She’s introduced a benign, neutral character to diffuse a dangerous situation with Christmas Cheer. Awww…. ”

And then she went and said “Yay!!! Santa’s going to give us guns!!!”. 

Remind me to get her to pay for the petrol next time we fill up, just as a pre-emptive thing, just in case the Petrol Pump Amnesty turns out to be real.

IV. 

“This isn’t a real post?” I can hear people muttering to themselves. “It’s just some random moments hastily cobbled together to vaguely resemble a post.”

No, it’s not a real post, I say to those people. Deal with it. 

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