Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How much is that hankey in the window?

It may be an indication of both my level of commitment to the Weisenheimer and of the quality of its content that the first post in nearly five months is obliquely scatological. But it cannot be helped. Exposure to great art has creativity coursing through my veins, and has thrust me unwillingly into the holiday spirit.

Window painting at a West
Seattle fast-food joint.
On my walk to breakfast this morning it struck me that this Christmas spud, painted in the window of a local fast-food restaurant, bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo. Maybe the dominant part of my brain is that of the 12-year-old, and perhaps I've watched too much South Park, but the window took me right to that spot.

I hesitated a bit before making this post. I didn't name the restaurant because this revelation might create trouble for the window painter. But I decided he (and let's face it, gender-neutral pronouns aside, if this window is a take-off on Mr. Hankey it was probably done by a guy) has a plausible defense: The thing in the window is a Christmas potato, and anyone who would see something else there is a true sicko. Plus, the creators of Mr. Hankey, Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park, were originally accused of stealing the character from an episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show. Later everyone agreed that singing and dancing poo was just a creative coincidence. Thus could it be with this painting.
Mr. Hankey, borrowed from the
South Park website.

I learned that last bit from a Wikipedia entry about the Mr. Hankey episode of South Park. This entry, about one episode of a 1997 cartoon, runs more than 4,500 words. That level of rigor is in itself an indication of the popularity and influence of the episode and of the immense power of the Internet to waste time, just as this blog post is an indication of the power of procrastination to put off doing real, productive work. Well, a little goofing off once every five months can't hurt!

Today's newfound creativity already has led me to two Groucho moments. The first, a reaction to my maturity level, recalls a Groucho insult: "You've got the brain of a 12-year-old, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it." (In the movie it was a four-year-old, a better insult.) The second was a comment to my sister-in-law, who posted on Facebook this morning that she's "teaching gym to preschoolers in my pj's today and tomorrow." You Grouchophiles wait for it: I couldn't help but respond, "How the preschoolers got into your pj's I don't know." Hooray for Captain Spaulding!

OK, back to work, except for those of you who go watch the episode, which clearly was influenced by A Charlie Brown Christmas. Howdy-ho!