Can you guess what's on my television?


I'm in the kitchen, doing dishes, listening to our newest DVD playing in the next room...

Uh! Uhhhnn!

and wondering why my legs are suddenly feeling warm, tingly drunk...

Ohhh, Speeeeeeed!

That's right, here he comes...


Here comes Speed Racer.

In a fit of nostalgia, I bought the first season of Speed Racer on DVD. You remember the first season with such timeless episodes as The Mammoth Car, the story of the No Limit World Race in which a giant 200-yard-long, 3500 horsepower car is entered against the Mach 5.


And The Most Dangerous Race in which Speed is temporarily blinded in a car crash, and the Masked Racer (a.k.a. Racer X) - a strapping gentleman wearing a black, latex bondage mask - doubles-up with Speed to (spoiler alert!) win the race.

Ho! Ha! Ho!

And with all the characters beloved in my youth: Sparky, the pimply, young mechanic with an ever ready set of wrenches; Pops, the dear curmudgeon who doles out no-nonsense discipline with a wink in his eye; Trixie, the saucy, shapely nymphette of the speedway; Spritle, Speed's kid brother who speaks like a 50-year-old chain smoking drag queen; and, Chim Chim the...chim chim.

I bought Speed Racer not only to relive a little 5:00 PM-1972- sitting-in-the-livingroom-eating-gravybread-and-fishsticks-off-avacado-colored-plastic-plates; I also wanted to share what I remembered to be a wholesome, non-violent, non-Whatever-Blah-blah-blah-disaffected-animated-character cartoon with my children. In another fit - this time over our monthly budget - we axed our cable TV. So, no more PBS, no more Daily Show, no more EAR-SHATTERING VOLUME CHANGES AND ULTRA-FASTCUT COMMERCIALS SELLING THE LATEST, GREATEST CRAPOLA TO MY KIDS.

However, we are not complete Luddites here at Chez Halushki. We love T.V. and film, we really do. We even love movies. (Little joke for you arthouse types with extreme eyeglass frames.) And so, I thought I'd add to my daughters' viewing pleasure with a few of my favorite pre-Snot Rats, pre-Vomitting-CatDog favorites.

How about Green Acres for G-rated, non-violent entertainment? Or the Brady Bunch? Or H.R. Pufnstuf?

Or Speed Racer, in which a young man in tight white pants drives at top speeds without a seatbelt on, and in which a car explodes in the opening credits? Speed Racer, which features in the first episode a dark badman in a fedora holding a gun with a silencer to Sparky's head? Speed Racer, which was originally created in Japan and then dubbed into English with what sounds like a leftover soundtrack from some grainy Ron Jeremy porn flic.

Not that I'd know a...well, there was that time at the party when...ahhhhhhh....

Oh No! Speeeeeeeeeeeed! Look out!

By the way, my daughters adore when the car blows up in the opening credits.

Speed Racer. Wholesome, all-American entertainment for children.

And they said Sponge Bob was a deviant.


Unknown said...

There's a lot of blogs out there where people write endless lines about the trivial pap that makes up their sorry lives. Most of the time I skip past pretty quick. Usually there's no humor, no point, no balance and no wit. I feel so sad for them. Ok, not sad, more like
"My life is A-list compared to these people".
I read your blog from end to end.
I skipped nothing.
Please write more.
You've got the right stuff.
Thanks for your perspective.
I used to love Speed Racer.

anne said...

Soooo...if I can't' find Playmobile by birthday-time, a race car set will do just as well? Or maybe just some yellow work gloves and old motorcycle helmets - let them do that rest?

Good for you and your kids getting some quality entertainment. Speaking of which, since we are also cable-free, I am once again trying to compile a list of must-see movies to inflict upon my teens. Last night we watched Airport 1977. I'll add a post to my blog so feel free to add what you think is necessary. We like especially cheesey 70's flicks.

josetteplank.com said...

Mr. Cooper,

Thank you, sincerely for that compliment. I enjoy writing and sharing with my friends and family. I am pleasantly surprised that a passer-by should take the time to read my blog and then give me such kind feedback. Please stop by whenever you'd like. (And feel free to bring some wine, too. *wink*)

Seestor -

Ah, the '70s, and mother of all movie genres, the '70s disaster movie. I'll be looking for your blog and thinkin' up some good ones. And get Amy and Kenneth in on this. They must know lots. Have you started on the original Planet of the Apes?


Jeannine said...

On the movie thing:

Plan 9 from Outer Space (future events like these will affect you in the future).

Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Just a thought. I mean, if you'll make them watch Airport 77, you probably have no boundaries of any kind so they might as well see the real, um, classics.

Jeannine said...

Oh, and just by the way. If you would like to avaid a re-enactment of the scene where Pops gets brained by a pipe wrench while defending the secret plans for the new Mach 5, you might want to avoid that "play all episodes" thingie. Playing one episode at a time at least requires them to come up for air every now and again.

Just, er, a thought. A stray thought, you understand, as my own children Would Never. lol.

Oh, and the presence of the model Mach 5 (die cast, 1:18 scale) resolves a universe of social problems if you, for example, are the parent of a small boy recently moved to a new culture.

The language of the Mach 5 is apparently universal, even for children who have never seen the Mammoth Car and do not know that Racer X is secretly Speed's big brother Rex.

Though this may work only for boys, I don't know how Barbie would feel about the Mach 5. But I expect you would find out pretty quickly if you had one.

Chantelle13 said...

Ok, I so cannot even attempt to write an eloquent response - but I am amazed at your ability, as you know. Keep 'em coming!


josetteplank.com said...

Jeannine -

You know...I think it's actually in that first episode that Pops gets hit over the head, and it was actually Pops who threatened at gun point. But yes, we've just hit obsession level with SR.

I'm not sure whether Barbie would be intersted in the Mach 5 - she currently has a pink convertible and some other sort of Lexus-looking thing - but my daughters do have their own collection of Matchbox cars. So, there may be a Mach 5 in our future. Although, from looking at my hubby's latest blog entry, I'm not sure that it will be the kids who ask for one first. :-)

Seestor -

I hope you don't mind that I put your blog addy up here.


More input on the movie list and all. And don't worry, my readership consist of most of our friends, family and people you know I know and who you probably also know...you know? Oh, and the ocassional wandering oenophile.

Chantelle -

Thanks, deary!


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