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One-Eighth of a Tank by Gene Myers





One-Eighth of a Tank by
Article Posted: 07/11/2016
Article Views: 2845
Articles Written: 209
Word Count: 791
Article Votes: 3
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One-Eighth of a Tank


 
Elmer Fudd answered, "Simple, Bugs, when I put on my right shoe, the other one is left." WHA...??? I crumpled the small, waxed-paper comic strip and threw it toward a nearby trash bin.

I didn't "get" the joke; and something else was off: mainly, in that comic strip, Elmer Fudd didn't substitute w's for r's like he did on the screen when Mel Blanc gave him voice for the Warner Brothers animated shorts.

I was six-years-old sitting on a wooden pallet behind McBroom's Grocery Store. I had purchased, for a penny, a wad of bubblegum. I think it was Double Bubble because of the Bugs Bunny three-panel cartoon. Sometimes I opted for Fleer's, but their "funnies" featured a rotund kid wearing a horizontally-striped red-and-white shirt with a matching beany. His name, Tubby, would probably drive the limp-wristed, sissified, politically-correct weasels berserk today.

Anyway, I thought I had been conned because the so-called punchline was stupid, and definitely NOT funny. Fudd's answer was in response to the wascal wabbit's query of, "Hey, Fuddsy, how come you always put on your left shoe last?" I immediately ran home to get my Mom's opinion. She tried to explain it, but I still thought the quip was corny and stupid. She finally said, "Well, it's not a very good joke." BIG DUH!

Fast forward many decades... Every time I put on any type of footwear in the morning--that's right, every freaking time!--that irritating cartoon surfaces. It won't go away. It's like an annoying song that runs through one's head involuntarily--only worse. Conjure up the most annoying song you've ever heard, and imagine it played on an accordion with accompaniment by bagpipes and banjo; say like, "Lady of Spain." As I put on my left shoe, I even say aloud, "Simple, Bugs, when I put on my right shoe, the other one is left." Maddening! Easy, you say, just put on your left shoe first. The problem is that I'm so obsessive-compulsive that I feel the need to play my part in this comic opera. I'm a prisoner--no a victim--of my own particular brand of idiocy. Another example of my lunacy: Whenever I hear a certain song from the musical "Hair", as the word "Aquarius" is sung, my mind substitutes, "A hairy ass".

On the plus side, it's a memory of my late mother. I have other pleasant and unpleasant memories pop-up, as we all do, but none with the irritating regularity of that long-ago comic strip. Why do some things become hardwired into one's brain? Why isn't my first kiss popping up at random intervals? (BTW, it was Cathy Miller. She had what artist's call "kissing lips", that is, her top lip was a bit larger than the bottom, and it protruded slightly.) OR...how about the first romantic foray in the backseat of a Buick? On second thought, scratch that one. Come to think of it, I recall heat, sweat, and humidity with the windows up; and mosquitos with the windows down. We reluctantly had to "call off the jam" (a metaphor related to roller derby, which also pretty much described our romantic "technique").

See, what's going on is that I have another birthday fast approaching, not that the event is a bad thing; I mean, I don't want them to cease. However, the occasion gives me pause to remember past celebrations with parents, brothers; and later, wife and children. How many more memories, pleasing or otherwise, can I cram into my aging bean? If I observe my life as a motorist would his fuel gage, I have about an eighth of a tank left. My sunrises are definitely numbered. In fact, I recently received a letter from the National Cremation Society suggesting I may want to prepay for my disposal after an upcoming, unavoidable biological event that typically involves a dirt sandwich. I sent a letter back telling I plan to do business with the Casket Carnival, maybe pick up a scratch-and-dent special; get a free balloon from Enbalmo the Clown.

Other than irritating memories, there are some that are just plain unpleasant; ones you wish would go away. While I can't give you any advice about the former, here's some good advice about "unpleasant" memories; advice I need to heed: LET THEM GO! This applies to only those recollections about which you feel guilty... Perhaps yelling at your spouse or children for little or no reason; or stupid decisions you made. It is not value-added for the remainder of one's life to be anchored by bad memories from the past. Learn from them, and let them go.

Copyright by Gene Myers and the gang of idiots running amok through his head.

Related Articles - Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, bubblegum, irritating memories,

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