"Flipping My Lid"


There comes a time in the life of every blogger, and his-or-her blog, when he-or-she decides to post something, not because it’s interesting or funny or will inform people or just piss them off or even because everybody else is blogging it, but just because he-or-she thought of it. I’m not talking about the slow-day posts that are made just to remind people you’re still blogging even though Apple hasn’t announced a new product, YouTube is down and you haven’t gotten the latest email from Karl Rove with your manditory talking points. I’m talking about the post that just tells the world “I don’t give a thefword.png if nobody else gives a thefword.png about what I have to say; here’s what I have to say.” Because every blogger starts out believing they have some purpose in blogging and other people will have a purpose for reading your blog. Even those people on LiveJournal, although they usually reach the “don’t care” point in the first week.

Well, I have reached that point, and what follows is my first absolutely “don’t care” post:

I was reminded recently of the great old Beany & Cecil cartoons, who were serious competition for Rocky & Bullwinkle for about 15 minutes, due to the particiption of ex-Looney Tunes director Bob Clampett and the immortal Stan Freberg doing the voices of Cecil the Sea-Sick Sea Serpent and the regular villain, Dishonest John (aka D.J.). The show was filled with inventive ideas, most of them quite punny like the characters of Tear-Along, the Dotted Lion and the beatnik caveman Vincent Van Go-Go, the heroes’ trusty/rusty boat the Leakin’ Lena and the how’d-they-get-this-past-the-censors-in-1962 location of No-Bikini Atoll. But what I remember most vividly are two things: One, the way Cecil sang the last two lines of the show’s theme song, first ‘signing in’ as “your obedient serpent” (another glorious pun) and finishing off by belting out “a Bob Clampett Cartooo-oooon!” with that last extra syllable jumping up an octave, inspiring the way I have sung “Happy Birthday” every time since (“Happy Birthday to yoooo-ooooo!”), and also, I suspect, inspiring every successful singer on “Star Search” and “American Idol”. Second, I remember the sequence in the opening when everybody in the cast (even Dishonest John) would “flip your lids”, launching the propellor off the top of propellor beanies that are the character Beany’s defining (and namesake) characteristic, not to mention the most successful item ever marketed from the show. Yes, way back then, some of the better cartoons were very “toyetic”. And after all, you couldn’t really enjoy the show unless you were wearing (having gotten your parents to buy you) the Official Beany Beanie, and you launched the propellor inside the TV room while you were watching. (If they’d had warning labels back then, it most certainly would have had one advising wearers to only ‘flip your lid’ while outside. Oh well, your mom never should’ve put that vase on top of the TV anyway.) But then, during the show’s closing, they re-sang a different version of the theme, playing the ‘flip your lids’ sequence backwards (I never could get the propellor to land back on my head like that) and then singing “Wind up your lids, we’ll flip again real soon”, and I – remember I was 7 years old then – wondered if it was a good idea to wind up the propellor beanies, since you weren’t going to officially flip them for another 167-and-a-half hours. Wouldn’t that put unnecessary stress on the spring/rubber band/whatever that made it work? And what if a ‘wound up’ beanie went off accidentally? I didn’t care about my mom’s vase, but in my room I had some cool Revell model cars holding together by the smallest amount of glue possible that it could damage. Yes, I thought that way as a child. And I will never stop singing “Happy Birthday” like Cecil (which I guess is why i don’t get invited to many birthday parties).

1 Comment (so far) about

"Flipping My Lid"

  1. Buddy Butler Says:

    In point of fact, I believe Karl Rove modeled his career not after Cecil the Sea Sick Sea Ser-PENT, but rather after Daffy Duck.

    Which would explain why, whenever Rove confronts Democrats, he is reputed to mutter the inimitable phrase, “You’rrrre des-PICK-able!”

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