Things That Make Me Go Errrmmm…? Part One – The One Thing In The World That I Really Really DO NOT GET
That is a Fred Basset cartoon. And it is the one thing in the world that I don’t get in any way shape or form whatsoever. I can just about fumble my way through most things. Quantum Physics. Relativity. What Makes Women Tick. Ok, maybe not What Makes Women Tick, but definitely Quantum Physics and Relativity. But Fred Basset cartoons, absolutely no idea.
It isn’t just that I don’t get them. I just have no reaction to them at all. Press your ear up against mine when I’m reading one and I swear all you’ll hear is the sound of the ocean. Look into my eyes and you’ll be able to see the tumbleweed rolling around behind my retinas. I just draw a complete and utter emotional blank.
Even with really unfunny strip cartoons, there’s at least something for my brain to get a grip on. Take Garfield for instance, probably the least amusing cartoon ever published. He likes lasagne, hates the dog and has no respect for his owner. I get that. Though I have noticed that Garfield only “speaks” in a series of thought bubbles.
So maybe the point is that Garfield and John have some sort of psychic connection, as many people imagine they have with their cats. Or that Garfield is, in fact, just a perfectly normal cat who doesn’t think very much at all and John is not very well in the head and hallucinates everything that Garfield says. Either way, I have a reaction to it. Though that reaction is usually “I can’t believe this man gets paid millions of dollars to come up with this crap.”
But a Fred Basset cartoon is like some sort of hypothetical, perfectly frictionless steel ball. No matter how hard I try to wrap my understanding around it, it just slides off like warm butter off the back of a hot spoon. Perhaps its creator was going for “whimsical”. This writer speak for “I tried to make it funny, but couldn’t quite manage it.
I’m not saying Fred Basset has no validity. I am saying that Garfield has no validity, but not Fred Basset. What I am saying is that I have trouble achieving more than a rudimentary grasp some things. I think I get them, but subsequently find out otherwise. Sex and the City for example. Watched it, enjoyed it – yeah, yeah, I’m out of the Man Club – had no idea it was meant to be a comedy. Only found that out when it was repeated on The Comedy Channel.
So, I have to accept that I’m just wrong about some things. Fred Basset and Garfield and Sex and the City are syndicated world wide. I am not. Fair enough, I’ll take that on the chin. But if anyone can explain Fred Basset to me, I would be eternally grateful.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2013