Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where’s The Spinach?!

My favorite childhood cartoon was Popeye the Sailor. Part superhero, part crusty old sailor, part leading man, Popeye had it all. I loved his muttering voice, choc-full of hilarious comments of genuine surprise at the world around him and how other people behaved: “Blow me down!” It was awesome to see him suck down that spinach and instantly embody the power of a torpedo, a hammer, a generator, a tank. Loved the songs he would sing, “I Yam What I Yam and that’s all that I Yam, I’m Popeye the Sailor man! Toot! Toot!” (Technically the “Toot! Toot!” is the sound of him blowing his pipe, but oh, well.) Sure there were moments when I wondered what ol Popeye saw in that shrill-voiced, skinny minnie Olive Oyle. It could be grating to listen to her screaming for rescue from Bluto or the Sea Hag or whatever else. But she usually ended up being sweetly affectionate to Popeye in the end. He deserved some TLC after all those mighty Labors. The world of Popeye was filled with danger, excitement, romance, comedy, and thrills, and I for one loved tagging along with that squint eyed, distorted mouth, baldy of a sailor with the balloon forearms. What a mutant! What a hero! Where’s the spinach?!

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