As with most people in my age group, I consumed cartoons in great quantities in my youth. While I won’t pretend that sitting for hours on end in front of a television set was healthy, cartoons had a significant impact during my growing years. Namely, learning English.
At the tender age of 3, my mom decided to totally abandon speaking to me in Tagalog and only speak to me in English. It came after my fully Americanized cousins came to visit and I didn’t understand a lick of they were saying.
But cartoons have affected me in other ways. Such as my oft-times skewed view of the world that sometimes involving food or cooking. Here are a few examples.
Cooking Made Easy
In “Popeye’s Mirthday,” Olive Oyl is cooking a birthday feast for her favorite sailor — Popeye, of course!
A cake is easily decorated with a black and white checkerboard theme by simply putting chocolate and vanilla in a bag and squeezing onto a cake with the design intact. But frying up a batch of donuts presents hazards only Popeye’s nephews would conjure up — using a pop gun indoors to shoot at flying pieces of dough headed for the fryer. No donut cutter needed! And oscillating fans aren’t used just for cooling off a room. It can be used to alternately slice a loaf bread and stick of salami into neat stacks of sandwiches.
This entire episode is also rife with violence due to Olive Oyl’s insistence for the boys to keep Popeye away from the house until she’s ready.
“Follow Your Nose”
Watching any episode involving food has always made me salivate — back then and even now. So when I encounter hunger-inducing aromas, I often imagine myself being seductively lured by smell that takes on the shape of a hand. The smell simply picks me up by the nose and I am lead to the source.
A lot of cartoons have used this imagery and it’s hard to point the originator of this cartoon trope. Bugs Bunny, Yogi Bear and Mickey Mouse have used it. It’s officially called “follow your nose” but I’ve always referred to it as “aroma fingers” for the obvious reasons.
You Are What You Eat
I’ll admit there have been a few times that I’ve consumed something in one mouthful because of hunger. Just one swallow and it’s gone. Lucky for me, none of those times has resulted in me taking on the shape what I ate. Although there’s nothing wrong with resembling a tall, lean banana, I do have problems with having the shape of an orange, like this scene from Tom & Jerry’s “Two Musketeers.”
Tom & Jerry ranks pretty high on my list for cartoons I loved while growing up; the constant fighting between Tom & Jerry always reminds me of play times with my brothers. I blame many of the broken household items on extensive viewings of Tom & Jerry.
You Sure Look Delicious Today
While I’m on the subject of people resembling food, have you ever been so hungry that people start to look like food? No?? Just me?
Well, during my week-long bout of vegetarianism a few years ago, I jokingly told Paul that I craved bacon so bad that I started imagining that he looked and smelled like bacon. Wonderfully delicious, crispy bacon…
Good for Paul because he knew immediately that I was referring to several cartoons, most notably Bugs Bunny’s “Wackiki Wabbit.” It’s not my favorite cartoon by a long shot but gets this imagery right at the get go.
House of Yesterday
Even with all the modern conveniences available to us in 2011, I’m still waiting for some of Tex Avery’s kitchen conveniences he thought up in the 1940s to come to fruition. Although the mother-in-law jokes get tiresome after awhile, it’s entertaining to see what they considered modern.
Your turn. Am I overlooking a something related to food in cartoons? Let me know!