'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
NOTHING BETTER THAN SATURDAY MORNING
When I was five years old I realized that Saturday morning is by far the best time of the week. I came to this conclusion based on two important discoveries: first, Monday through Friday had recently become days of obligation for me. My little peaceful world was turned upside down when I was forced to wake up earlier than I wanted, get dressed, and trudge off to the rigorous duties of Kindergarten. Saturday, therefore, suddenly took on a whole new and wonderful meaning. It was the day I could stay in bed late and not worry that someone would force pants and shoes onto my body (sometimes not in that order) while I was still half asleep.
The second important discovery was that Saturday morning was the time of week when the best cartoons were on television. Nothing beats the classic Looney Tunes, with Bugs Bunny anchoring an all-star lineup. The characters were endearing, the dialog witty, and the animation was painstakingly crafted, not farmed out to some cheap sweatshop in Korea. Those were the days.
More than four decades have passed since that time, but I have never wavered in my firm belief that Saturday morning is the best time of the week. I still have a Monday through Friday obligation, of course, my job. It’s not exactly like Kindergarten. Back then I thought going to school and playing with crayons for three whole hours was brutal drudgery. Now, ten and twelve hour workdays are common. But come to think of it, some of the personal interactions at work are very similar to Kindergarten, except with less maturity.
Regrettably, the Saturday morning cartoons these days are very—um, let me see if I can think of a polite word to use here—crappy. (Not polite enough? You should’ve seen the word I was going to use.) Thank goodness Warner Brothers released many of their classics on video. I occasionally pop in a tape and watch a few, for old times’ sake. I think if William Shakespeare himself were alive today, he would wholeheartedly agree the most brilliant piece of dialog ever penned in the English language is the following:
Daffy Duck [to Bugs as Elmer listens]: “It’s wabbit season!”
Bugs Bunny: “Duck season!”
Daffy: “Wabbit season!”
Bugs: “Duck season!”
Daffy: “Wabbit season!”
Bugs [raises eyebrow to camera]: “Wabbit season!”
Daffy: “Duck season!”
Bugs: “Wabbit season!”
Daffy: “I say it’s duck season! And I say fire!!”
Elmer Fudd: “Alwight.”
Elmer’s shotgun: “KABLAM!!”
Daffy [picks up smoldering bill, re-attaches to head; to Bugs]: “Yourrrrrrr’re dithpicable.”
The duties of adulthood do take up a lot of precious Saturday time: mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, raking leaves, trimming the hedges, paying bills, doing tax returns, reading the sports page, etc. Even though I often have a sizeable to-do list on Saturday, it is still a very special day. I think that’s because I can sleep late if I want (as long as my 51-year-old bladder cooperates). Plus, I’m not forced to put on pants and shoes until I feel like it. (I’ve been told some neighbors get upset when I rake leaves in my underwear. Tough noogies. It’s Saturday, for crying out loud.)
Saturday is a much needed respite from the usual grind. It’s a chance to rest and relax and be a kid again, if only for a short while. And Saturday equips me to handle 5:30 a.m. on Monday, when the alarm clock buzzes its jarring reminder that reality and responsibility are once again at hand. As I reach out to press the snooze button, I say to the clock: “Yourrrrrrr’re dithpicable.”
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