By Wrapping Paper of St. Paul, Minnesota! Thanks, Tim!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sleep Your Way to Wackiness

When you're a kid, there's nothing quite as satisfying as getting to pick out your own set of bedsheets. I have vague memories of soldiers and horses decorating my sheets when I was a tiny, tiny child--apparently at four, my parents were hoping I'd evolve into some sort of Civil War buff. Imagine their disappointment when I was finally old enough to pick my own bedding... and I opted for sheets featuring Lifesavers Candies. Sure, my cooler friends were busy sleeping on Star Wars or Spiderman sheets... but I was proud of my stark white sheets featuring giant versions of the orange, red, yellow and green candies.

The very idea that a parent would allow their child to sleep on cavity-inducing sweets seems pretty unbelievable by today's standards; but it was the 80's so all was fair.

What's unfair is the idea that someone, somewhere might have actually purchased these bed sheets for their children:

Wacky Races was a cartoon that premiered in 1968 and ran for two years. Of course, the 30 or so episodes were rerun pretty much up until Saturday Morning Cartoons vanished from the television landscape altogether. (Which, by the way, is the reason television networks are in trouble, as far as I'm concerned.)

As I watched the reruns as a small child, I realized one thing about Wacky Races: It was a terrible, terrible show, even by my standards--and I would watch pretty much anything on television. See for yourself:

The story was simple: Hanna Barbera characters that no one really cared about would race each other in their hilarious vehicles, as illustrated here on the pillowcases:

The characters would, of course, need to overcome obstacles (usually provided by the show's resident villains, Dastardly and his emphysema-ridden dog, Muttley) amid state-of-the-art sound effects such as...


...both of which are, obviously, replicated quite faithfully here on these sheets. The show was pretty much a poor man's animated and painfully narrated version of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." Only with no real end-goal other than to get to an ever-shifting finish line.

The fact that these sheets were pretty much sealed in their packaging up until I tore them apart for the photo session should tell you something: No one wants bedsheets celebrating a forty year old shitty television program. Why not make bedsheets out of another terrible show from 1969, such as prime-time flop "Turn-On." Kids want Tim Conway on their bed at least as much as they crave Professor Pat Pending or Penelope Pitstop. Or Lifesavers.

Oh well... at least my five-flavored sleep-insanity was self-inflicted. Whoever bought their kids "Wacky Races" sheets was clearly engaging in some sort of dastardly abuse... also probably indicated by various bangs and whooshes.


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1 comment:

Ludovica said...

Penelope Pitstop is possibly the most irritating cartoon character of all time, but Oh my goodness, how could anyone NOT want the purple rocket-powered Double Zero on their bedsheets? Having said that it's probably hindsight that tells me this was one of my favourite cartoons. I seem to recall it was pretty widely popular in UK and is still almost as oft-quoted as Monty Python. Of course I saw it when it was new. Maybe that makes a difference?