The Flintstones led impossible lives. They purchased winning lottery tickets. Celebrities visited them. A magical space alien, “The Great Gazoo”, served Fred and Barney for several episodes, as did various well-behaved dinosaurs and related creatures who were trained for roles as vacuum cleaners, can openers, and lawn mowers. Houses were bigger on the inside than the outside.
The conceit of WandaVision, a recent entertainment from Marvel Comics, is that the lives of sit-com characters are the fantasy world, while the antics of the superheroes are real. I think it works because we viewers might pretend or imagine that we live like Fred and Wilma, or Lucy and Ricky, or Dick van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, yet we face everyday problems and pitfalls that just never make into television plots, nor are they resolvable in 25 minutes. Meanwhile the lives of superheroes and supervillains are paraded in front of us, with updates on a daily basis. All those football players, with their absurdly trained and well-conditioned bodies in brightly-colored uniforms; the movie starlets and fashion models with their versions of absurdly trained and well-conditioned bodies; the billionaires with their extraordinary bank accounts that support extraordinary lifestyles—they all could come straight out of the MCU. Who is Donald Trump if not a comic-book villain, now defeated (as all such villains must be) but lurking in the background and plotting a return (as all such villains generally do, to keep up the suspense). Only should Trump suffer a stroke or a heart attack, or when he finally dies, will he return to the realm of the rest of us.
I took a quiz to find out who was my ideal NFL draft pick. After several non-sensical multiple choice questions, the software announced that my match was safety Trevon Moehrig, recently of Texas Christian University. It also announced a fun fact: Houston area native Moehrig collects reptiles and names them after Greek gods. Well, who would have guessed?
My younger son, who is approaching age 4, has been enjoying a story that I made up for him; for the past few days, he keeps asking me to repeat it. The story is about our four household cats building a rocket ship and traveling to the Moon, and the dog joins them as well. Like most oral traditions, I assume, the details change slightly from one telling to the next, but the overall structure remains the same, and I’ve typed it up below. Somehow the boy has grasped onto this absurd domestic fantasy as a reality unto itself, and he’s begun repeating sections to me as they come up. He likes the roar of the working engine; he likes to name the cats one after another.
That’s all I got for today. Enjoy “Cats on the Moon”.
Mewsky the cat wanted to go to the Moon, so he decides to build a rocket ship. He takes a cardboard box to the back yard and lines it with newspaper, and then adds dandelions, grass clippings, cat litter, cat poop, and liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen. He presses the button, and the rocket engine goes “whirf, whirf, whirffffff—splut!” It’s not working. So he goes to Pawlie the cat and asks for help. He says “meow, meow, meow, meow, meow,” which in cat language means “I’m trying to build a rocket ship to get to the Moon, but it’s not working and I need your help.”
Pawlie says (in cat language), “Well, I don’t know. I studied brain surgery in cat school, not rocket science, but I’ll see what I can do.”
So Pawlie takes out a screwdriver and a pocket wrench and he puts in some wiring, and he adds more grass clippings and dandelions, and he puts in some small pebbles from the driveway, and he pees and poops on everything, and then he presses the button. But the rocket engine still goes “whirf, whirf, whirrffff—splut!”
So they ask Katie for help. She says, “I studied ancient civilizations and art history, but sure I’ll give it a try.” So she tries fixing the rocket engine, but it still doesn’t work.
Finally, Waffle the cat comes along. Waffle says, “I can fix the rocket engine. I studied rocketry in cat school and I’ve built many successful engines. I know what to do!” So Waffle adds more wires and some toy cars and old leaves and she pees and poops on the grass clippings. Then she presses the button and the engines go “ROARRRRR!” The rocket engine is working, and all the cats climb inside.
“Does everyone have their seat belts on? Is everyone wearing their cat helmets?” Waffle asks. Everyone is ready, so off they go to the Moon.
When the rocket lands on the Moon, the four cats put on their cat space suits and they go exploring. They look for chipmunks, but there are no chipmunks. They look for cat food, but the pet stores are closed. They do find a lot of moon rocks, and Mewsky collects them to take home. All of the rocks are gray and kind of boring, so Mewsky paints them bright colors. He paints them red, blue, yellow, and green, so now they will make great presents.
Then Mewsky heads north to the north pole of the Moon, and Pawlie heads south to the south pole. Katie heads east and Waffle heads west—and Katie and Waffle run into each other on the other side. And they also run into Bombo the dog! “What are you doing here?” they ask Bombo.
Bombo says “woof, woof, arf, woof, woof!”, which in dog language means, “Well, I saw you cats take off in your rocket ship to the Moon, so I got my dog friends and we built a rocket ship of our own.”
And Waffle says, “I guess the Moon is big enough for all of us.”
So all the animals collected Moon rocks and they made pee and poop on the Moon, and then Mewsky says “You know, it’s fun to visit the Moon, but I think it’s time to head back home.” So they all get back into their rocket ships, and they press the buttons and the ships go “ROARRRR!” and they take off and go back home.