Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: cartoons

The Great Talking Penis Cartoon Scandal of 2007

The trouble began, like most things in the world, in Saskatchewan, Canada.   Some cute female blogger asked me to send her a drawing of my “talking penis character” to include in her scrapbook, or something like that.  At first I said no.  But she wouldn’t give up.

I challenged Neil to send me a watercolour of his talking penis? And then he said he would, but didn’t? And then I twitter taunted him and called him a watercolour c**ck tease? Well, he came through (so to speak), just for me.

Now there is a cartoon of my “talking penis” posted on someone’s blog in Canada (via Savia).

And I feel ashamed.

I can only imagine my upcoming therapy session when I have to admit what I did:

Therapist: “You shouldn’t let a woman sway your emotions one way or another. You need to be YOU.”

Neil: “Right. Right.”

Therapist: “And you need to learn to say “NO” to women. Don’t be a pushover and let them run your life.”

Neil: “Yes, uh… well, I wanted to bring that up…”

Therapist: “Yes?”

Neil: “Well, there is this female blogger in Canada named Savia… well, she’s cute, and she, uh, likes to collect naughty drawings, and asked me to send her a drawing of my talking Penis…”

Therapist: “How immature. Of course you told her that was impossible. You’re an adult who doesn’t do those sorts of things. A college-educated man. Besides, there are no such things as talking Penises.”

Neil: “Yes, of course. Talking Penises don’t really exist, but…”

Therapist: “Oh no…”

Neil: “…but she seemed so disappointed when I said no. And you know how I hate to disappoint a woman.

Therapist: “Neil…”

Neil: “She was crying on Twitter, for godsakes! I didn’t realize that she was actually going to put it on her blog. I thought it was just for her.”

Therapist: “Why? Neil. Why would you do something like that? Why would you send something so personal to a person you hardly know?”

Neil: “I don’t know.”

Neil’s Penis: “I know! I know. Even a Fifth Grader knows the answer to that one. He’s hoping to one day get into her pants!”

Neil: “Shut up, Penis!”

Therapist: “Who ARE you talking to, Neil?”

Popeye Attacked by Anti-Spinach Mob

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The title of this post is misleading.  I was going to write a humor piece about Popeye, but as I sat down to watch an old Popeye cartoon on YouTube, a long-repressed memory was awoken, much as the memories of childhood of Proust’s narrator in “Remembrance of Things Past” was awakened by the aroma and taste of a madeleine dipped in tea.”

As i listened to the final “boop boop” of the Popeye closing credits, I went back to my childhood, when I used to watch reruns of Popeye on a local New York TV channel.  I must have been very young at the time and I was fascinated by the triangle of Popeye, Olive Oyl and the villainous Bluto.

The plot lines in the animated cartoons tended to be simple.

A villain, usually Bluto (later renamed Brutus for a time), makes a move on Popeye’s “sweetie”, Olive Oyl. The bad guy then clobbers Popeye until Popeye eats spinach, which gives him superhuman strength.

I especially liked it when Olive Oyl melted in Popeye’s arms at the end, after he defeated Bluto.

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As an only child, I was competitive with my father for my mother’s attention.  I think Freud would have loved to analyze my childhood obsession with Popeye.

I would ask my mother to cook some frozen spinach.  After they were cooked, I would have her  put the cooked spinach into a used can of Spaghetti-Os so I could make believe that I had a can of spinach like Popeye.  I have no idea why we just didn’t use a can of spinach!   Once I had my can of spinach as my acting prop, I became Popeye — in the same way Sir Laurence Olivier became Hamlet.  My mother was Olive Oyl.  She would go into her bedroom or the kitchen and cry for help.  I would eat some spinach out of the can with a fork, flex my bicep, and rush in to save her from whatever danger she was in.

Jeez, no wonder I repressed this.  How embarrassing!

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I called up my mother tonight.

Neil: Guess what I’m going to write about in my blog tomorrow?  “Popeye and spinach!”

Mom: Really?  Be careful with spinach.  There’s all that bad bagged spinach coming out of California.  Remember to wash it first.

Neil: I’m not calling you about spinach.  Do you remember watching Popeye?

Mom: I never watched Popeye as a child.  I never liked him.   He had this one eye.  And creepy voice.  And weird body.

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Neil: But you watched him with me.  Remember?

Mom: Did we?

Mom: Mom, it was a big deal for me back then.  I would be Popeye and you would be Olive Oyl — and I would rescue you?

Mom: We did that?

Neil: Yes!  Don’t you remember you would cook frozen spinach and put it in a Spaghetti-Os can?

Mom: Wouldn’t it make more sense to just buy a can of spinach?

Neil: I was going to ask you that!  Why did we do that?

Mom: I don’t remember this at all.  Maybe you played it with your friend Robert.

Neil: I played it with YOU.

Mom: I remember playing Scrabble with you.

Neil: Oh my god!  You’ve repressed the memory — just like I did!

Mom: And well… maybe it’s better that way.

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