Well, what’s up is that I missed the big birthday bash last week of a long-ago childhood friend. No doubt the invitation got lost in the mail, but maybe, just maybe not, since my friend is now really up in years. So it could have been a failing memory problem.
Now as I understand it, the party was pretty much a low key affair — lots of senior citizens with canes, walkers and even an occasional wheelchair. A sad fact of life — all of us will be old some day.
But back to my friend. We grew up together, he spent week-in and week-out entertaining me, made me laugh, always brightening my Saturdays. Oh, did I forget to tell you that my friend is Bugs Bunny (failing memory on my part here), the lovable carrot-chomping rabbit who on July 27, 1940 made his official debut in the Warner Brothers cartoon “A Wild Hare.”
Bugs and I are about the same age, but while I’m still kicking (albeit with the help of a cane) Bugs has faded from the limelight, living in comfortable retirement, collecting residual checks from the Cartoon Channel.
I have many fond memories of those Saturday afternoons, in the “good old days” if you will, with a shiny quarter in my pocket walking down Superior Avenue to the neighborhood movie theater for the 15 cartoon extravaganza. Incidentally, the quarter not only got you into the show, but sprung for a box of popcorn with a nickel left over for a candy bar.
And then you were totally immersed in the antics of Bugs Bunny, his nemesis, the bumbling Elmer Fudd, double-barreled shotgun in hand, mumbling, “where’s that wascally wabbit,” and the rest of the gang.
I was totally fascinated then, just as I am now, by the outrageous, wacky inventions of Wile E. Coyote in his never ending quest to capture the Road Runner. Of course, all the contraptions were doomed to fail, and with a cheerful “beep beep” the Road Runner continued on his merry way.
And then there was one of my all-time favorites, Foghorn Leghorn, the brash rooster, unmercifully pursued by the smitten Widder Hen. I’m not sure when I finally understood Foghorn’s description of Widder Hen: “That gal reminds me of the road in Texas — no curves.”
When I think of poor stuttering Porky Pig, I’m reminded that my wife Marge always told me that she was reluctant to let our son watch Porky Pig out of concern that he would start imitating the stutter. Not a wise move for a future corporate attorney.
Stored memories (now in high definition of course) instantly available with the push of the recall button are just one more benefit of being about the same age as Bugs Bunny. So one more time for old time’s sake, “What’s up doc” and “Tttttt that’s all folks.”