The Silliest of the Symphonies
Continuing my hiatus from all things shoed, I usher you towards schlepping through stories featuring the life and disciplines of Me…
The childhood my Brother and I shared was definitely screwed up. I’m not retreating to that closet of painful darkness in which everyone’s childhood was screwed up, I’m referring to a condition of a childhood which was so deliciously screwed up that one couldn’t pull better stories out of an opium injection.
At the age of nine, a couple members of the Ku Klux Klan showed up on my parent’s doorstep whilst I was sitting for my Brother. Our Mum was in the shower and had given me instructions to tell anyone who rang that she was busy and would get back to them. KKK #1 asked to speak with my Mother and I, presumably freaked out by the tall scary men donning white sheets before me, alerted #1 that ‘I had no Mother and had better be getting my Brother down for his afternoon nap before preparing dinner’. What kills me is that these men looked at each other with a ‘Well, that makes sense’ sort of glance and moved on. What really chagrins me is directly after the KKK exit, Mummy appeared in our foyer, a bath towel upon her head, took in the story I relayed, carried her 5’5” & 102 lb. frame down our driveway, and told these characters to get the bleepity-bleeperson off our property or she’d basically take them down. (Here’s the kicker, our home never even contained a fly swatter because my Mother couldn’t bring herself to harm anyone or anything. Fortunately, White Supremacy was an entirely different issue altogether….’it’s an entirely different issue altogether’).
The beauty of growing up in an upper-class version of the Roseanne show was the constant sarcasm and ironic humour my family displayed throughout my childhood. My Brother and I were not allowed to watch more than three or four hours of television a week, Dr. Seuss was a no-no (my Father was an illustrator and couldn’t stand Seuss’ style), Barbie was forbidden because the 1980 versions weren’t ‘as good as the 1950 models’, etc.
However, we kiddies were employed in cooking adventures, incredibly difficult Pirated scavenger hunts, encouraged to create our own games which our parents gleefully took part in (this included Monopoly style My Little Pony races, anything Playmobil, and ‘who holds the fastest time in transforming their transformer’), along with reading Archie & Disney Comics in conjunction with Charles Dickens, Washington Irving, and The Lonely Doll. In short, if you’ve ever heard or read anything about Janis Joplin’s life, it was kinda like growing up over to her pad. Which, I suppose, predetermines that my Brother and I should be headed towards bright futures showcasing Rock Stardom and early deaths.
Recently, my Brother reminded me of the television we were allowed to view and clued me in on rediscovering these gems via the Internetz. When I think about the deprivation of MAD magazines, SNL, The Tonight Show, and various other stuffings all is forgiven by the integrations of Disney’s animated shorts Mum & Pop doled out for us kids. If you wanna kick it with screwed up, Disney’s Silly Symphonies are quality opium injections.
My personal best of the Symphonies is the musical stylings of ‘Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom’ from 1953 (see below). Seriously, what better way to understand and appreciate how music came about than through the classroom teachings of an animated quasi-British Owl? For realz, the downfalls of taboo racism, stereotypes, and politically incorrect presumptions had obviously not been incorporated into our daily lives at this point which makes screwed up-dom all the more deliriously delicious. When I remember the numerous teenaged holidays in which reintroducing these animated shorts could have saved my tail from tears, booze, WHO CAN ABSOLUTELY YELL THE LOUDEST, breakdowns, and hospitals…man, I cannot wait for Christmas this year.