Archive for October 2018

Tales of the Cat Sith…

October 31, 2018

Let us talk about the Cat Sith this Halloween, who has nothing to do with the Star Wars universe, although he may be feline the Force, ahahahaha!  The Cat Sith (or Cat Sidhe) is a creature from Celtic mythology described as resembling a large black cat with a white spot on his chest.  By some accounts, he is a fairy, while by others the Cat Sith is a witch capable of transforming into a cat and back eight times; should the witch transform a ninth time, they would remain a cat for life.  This gives origin to the notion of a cat having nine lives…

Now the Cat Sith is said to be capable of stealing the soul of the deceased should it pass over it before burial, which led ancient Celtic people to create diversions for the cat like wrestling, jumping games, and riddle-telling in rooms adjacent to where a body was laid out so as to entertain the cat and divert him from soul-stealing. Party animal that he was, the Cat Sith would partake of the fun and forget about stealing any souls…

It was considered prudent to leave out a saucer of milk for the Cat Sith on Samhain as a treat, lest he trick you with a curse, such as causing your cows to dry up and yield no milk; remember, a dry cow is a Milk Dud!  The spectral cat figures primarily in Scottish mythology, where he is said to haunt the Scottish Highlands; references are also made in Irish mythology.  There may also be a link with the King of the Cats tale in British folklore.  In this story, a farmer saw eight black cats (some accounts say nine) carrying a coffin with a royal crown seal on it.  The cats are lamenting the death of their king, and the farmer goes home to tell of his encounter to his wife and cat, Old Tom.  Upon hearing the account, the farmer’s cat cries, “Old Tim is dead?  Then I’m King of the Cats!”  Up the chimney he goes, never to be seen again…a calling was received from on high…  

 So this All Hallow’s Eve, you may want to put out a saucer of milk on your doorstep, lest you hear a whisper in your ear to look behind you…AHAHAHAHA!




“It Happens to All of Us” Laxative Commercial…

October 29, 2018

The world of commercials for toilet paper and, ahem, laxatives is a strange one indeed.  Frankly, it is a place that I prefer not to go for fear of encountering toilet paper-obsessed bears, or perhaps the Phillips woman jumping up on a bus and shouting, “Who suffers from gas?  Bloating?  Constipation?”  In approaching such a personal and delicate topic, however, advertisers have been driven into the realm of the memorably absurd.  Today’s exhibit centers on a Colace commercial entitled, It Happens To All Of Us.

Wisely, the advertisers have chosen the world of animation to deal with this topic.  In bright and cheery pastel tones, we are shown such things as a plump bird straining fruitlessly to poop on a passing car.  A dog being walked by his owner whines in his defecation crouch due to constipation.  And most memorably, an alien waits impatiently outside of the door of some kind of sanitary facility, frowning.  Constipation…It happens to all of us, you see…dum dum DUMM!

Now we are not told why the alien appears to be holding a rolled-up newspaper underneath his arm; I would have thought that an advanced race would have long since transcended such retro technology.  But perhaps this image gives insight into why aliens are reputed to conduct anal probes on abductees…they are researching the constipation problem. Perhaps we will also someday learn the truth behind all of the cattle mutilations, so watch the skies for constipated aliens this Halloween!

(…tip o’ the pen to carycomic!)


Jonesy’s Tale…

October 24, 2018

In the original 1979 classic science fiction movie Alien, officer Ellen Ripley and the ship’s cat, Jonesy, are the soul survivors of the cargo ship Nostromo when it comes under attack by a vicious predatory life form genetically engineered by another race. Jones the cat is left safely behind in the movie sequel Aliens when his mistress goes off to fight xenomorph hordes with space marines, presumably living out a more mundane existence.  

Ellen Ripley’s strong and resourceful character appears in two sequels to the original movie, with her clone appearing in yet another.  Now the enduring cat gets to tell his own story from the feline perspective in an 80-page illustrated book, Jonesy:  Nine Lives on the Nostromo.  More a graphic novel than a children’s book, the beloved fan-favorite cat in Rory Lucey’s book does not actively work with Ripley to defeat the alien but remains true to his species, displaying normal and at times disconcertingly humorous feline behavior throughout.  

In the movie, Jonesy at times perceives danger before his human shipmates do, a key to his survival in the face of an alpha predator.  In one brief although memorable scene, the crated cat and the alien simply regard one another through the carrier screen, each perhaps possessed of a mutual curiosity about the other before Ripley and the creature resume their fight to the death.  Ripley’s formidable protectiveness extends to the cat in the same way that it would later extend to the child Newt in the movie sequel.

Published earlier this year by Titan Books, Jonesy is a purr-fect find for fans of the series, and cat lovers in general…



Animals of Michael Jackson’s “Halloween”

October 22, 2018

Michael Jackson’s Halloween, an animated/CGI special which debuted in 2017, was recently dusted off for the season, airing recently.  Following its first presentation, I had posted about Hay Man, a pumpkin-headed scarecrow voiced by Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper), who led a spirited dance of animals to Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, mimicking the King of Pop’s trademark moves to perfection.  For the second airing, I wanted to post about another memorable character, the feline Franklin Stein.

Voiced by Diedrich Bader, Stein is a mad scientist, perhaps with a touch of the Nazi super science thing going on.  He’s got the look, with unkempt hair, a white lab coat, and yellow protective gloves.  Stein even uses a coffee mug labeled, “World’s Greatest Scientist!”  With his slender limbs, fluid moves, and Jacksonian attire Stein is arguably another Michael Jackson variant who works for the villainess Conformity, having devised a machine to (gasp!) destroy music!  But when overcome by the human protagonists, it turns out that Stein isn’t really a bad kitty after all, but just a frustrated musician who plays a mean guitar.  He sends the humans off with his machine, which when hooked up in reverse can summon virtual Michael Jackson, who is able to defeat Conformity in a finale set to the strains of Thriller.

Think what you will of him and his music, but Michael Jackson was someone who liked scary things, and that perhaps makes this oddball family-friendly special appropriate for the season…


The Campbell’s Kids…

October 20, 2018

The Campbell’s Kids, who I have always found vaguely disturbing, were the creation of well-known illustrator Grace Drayton, and were first used in advertising for Campbell’s soups in 1904.  They were quite the rage then until the 1920’s, appearing in streetcar advertising and spawning creation of popular dolls. The Kids fell out of favor from the 1920’s through 1940’s, but were brought back with a passion by Campbell’s in 1954 to commemorate their 50th anniversary.  Again, Campbell’s Kids dolls were rampant, and were even sold at venues like Montgomery Ward.  They continue to be collectibles, as do images of The Kids.

The Kids even predated Kewpie Dolls, which premiered in 1909. They kind of combined images of cherubs with the early 20th century conceptualization of what constituted a pretty woman. With their round faces, rosy cheeks, and chubby bodies they were considered both cute and an embodiment of good health; thin was not in during the early 20th century. To me, they always looked like they needed a dematological consult for rosacea and a weight reduction program.  In their round faces, we may even see a hint of the Charlie Brown that was later to come…good grief!  

It remains hard to enjoy a cup of soup without thinking of the Campbell’s tag line that it is Mmm-mmm good…part of the “healthful virtues” of soup promotion.  Just keep those Kids away from me, please…they look genetically engineered or cloned, and we all know about the black-eyed children…don’t let such into your house!  And if any Trick-or-Treaters come to my doorstep attired as Campbell’s Kids this Halloween,  I’m gonna freak out…

(tip o’ the pen to carycomic for the idea for this post!)


Golf Course ‘Gator…

October 18, 2018


Looking like an escapee from Jurassic Park on the Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Palmetto, Florida there has repeatedly been seen a large alligator estimated to be 15 feet in length who has been nicknamed “Chubbs.”  This recent image was taken by a golfer from about 50 feet away.  The ‘gator seems to lumber from one water hole to another, pausing to rest along the way.  He doesn’t bother the golfers, who wisely don’t bother him…

The ‘gator has reportedly been good for business.  It is not known if he is considered a hazard of the course, or what percentage of the golfers there are wearing their Izod shirts.  And for those of us who remember Wally Gator, the early 60’s Hanna-Barbera creation, we offer these theme lyrics:                              

 Wally Gator is a swinging alligator in the swamp.

He’s the greatest perculator when he really starts to romp. 

There has never been a greater operator in the swamp. 

See ya later, Wally Gator.



The Myrbetriq Bladder Commercial…

October 16, 2018


I, for one, worry about my internal organs becoming uppity, detaching themselves from the collective of my body, and leading me around by the hand with clear designs of influencing my behavior.  A case in point is the anthropomorphic bladder in a Myrbetriq commercial for overactive bladder depicted as kind of an apple-shaped thing with overly-large and expressive eyes.  It’s a disquieting mixture of creepy and cute, a kind of bizarre but unique pet which is dragging its owner off to the bathroom at frequent and inconvenient intervals.  We all know what to do about the problem; see a doctor, and medicate the little bastard!

Now there are undeniably occasions when it might prove advantageous to have an auxiliary bladder, especially if you could somehow wirelessly transmit surplus urine to it to handle those times of overload, say when you’ve downed several cups of coffee or glasses of cola.  Diuretics can be so inconvenient, and no one wants to traipse off to the bathroom any more often than you have to.  But people might talk if you waltzed about with your internal organs visible, or at least diagnose you with an active mental illness for presuming that such was possible.  “My bladder is giving me fits.  What do you mean, you can’t see him?!”

I suppose that there might be anthropomorphic organ pets even worse than an overactive bladder; a spastic colon, for example.  But for the time being, I’ll just resolve to keep my internal organs all wrapped up in myself, where they properly belong.  I don’t care if they don’t like it…and I don’t want to hear their organ recitals, either…ahahahaha!