"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Friday, February 3, 2017

Guardians of honesty come in all kinds

I know it's been forever since I've posted. I still adore you all, I'm just rushing down that deadline road, and I don't seem to have any brakes. It's hard to be focused on one manuscript's editing, another manuscript's genesis, and have to stop to write a column. Blog? I need more words for the blog?

So I'm pausing briefly to show you two characters in my office. I was going to give these away (I still might), along with the several (50, maybe?) other stuffed critters in my closet, but I decided I would hang on to these fellas for a little bit longer.

I assume you know Jiminy Cricket. I like him because he reminds me to let my conscience be my guide. But who's his friend on the left?

Eugene the Jeep, from Popeye. When I used to watch the old Popeye cartoons, Eugene was in a few, and always causing chaos. I thought he was the perfect yin to Jiminy's yang. Then I read up on Eugene the Jeep. Here's what Professor Brainstine told Popeye in a 1936 comic strip:

"A Jeep is an animal living in a three dimensional world—in this case our world—but really belonging to a fourth dimensional world. Here's what happened. A number of Jeep life cells were somehow forced through the dimensional barrier into our world. They combined at a favorable time with free life cells of the African Hooey Hound. The electrical vibrations of the Hooey Hound cell and the foreign cell were the same. They were kindred cells. In fact, all things are, to some extent, relative, whether they be of this or some other world, now you see. The extremely favorable conditions of germination in Africa caused a fusion of these life cells. So the uniting of kindred cells caused a transmutation. The result, a mysterious strange animal."

Here's what you need to know about him: 1) He can teleport; and 2) He always tells the truth. The chaos he leaves in his wake is because he's always disappearing and reappearing in places, and he cannot lie, not even to save his friends.

So now I have two little guardian plushies, one to tell me to always be good and honest, and the other to remind me that you can be impish with it. A perfect pair.

Do you have any guardian cartoon characters?

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