SpongeBob Square Pants - the yellow peril
Ever since I foolishly introduced Zara to SpongeBob Square Pants he seems to have been lingering there in the background of my life with that horrible machine gun rattle laugh of his.
Every morning as I get the kids ready and try to summon up enough concentration to write Jackson's name on his bottle and to get the date correct, he's there on TV. Or it's Patrick with his retarded voice, or Squidward's nasal whine.
I don't pay much attention, but enough to realize I have seen whatever episode is on at any given time, at least six times before. This doesn't faze Zara who patiently informs me what's about to happen next.
Who would have thought this show would have such longevity? Come to think of it who would have thought it would have happened at all?
How did marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg do it? I can't even imagine him trying to sell his idea to film studios. It features a hyperactive sea sponge, that looks like a household sponge in pants. He lives in an err um a pineapple under the sea. He has a pet snail called Gary who, err um miaows like a cat. Actually he speaks in a few episodes where he is portrayed as a librarian with an English accent.
There's Patrick Star, a dimwitted pink sea star who lives under a rock and Squidward Tentacles, a vain octopus who lives in an Easter Island Moai; I hadn't actually realized this even though I have an interest in Easter Island and recently blogged about it. He also plays the clarinet; apparently octopuses are almost as good at this as they are at predicting football results.
When we get to Sandy Cheeks it becomes clear the people over at SpongeBob Central may have been taking something with their burgers. Sandy is a squirrel from Texas who lives in an underwater tree dome and has to wear an astronaut-like suit in the water because she can't breath under water. It goes to show folks will go to any length to escape from Texas.
Eugene Krabs who owns the Krusty Krab restaurant is a miser. He reminds me of a colleague I once knew called Bill who wore short sleeves shirts in the winter because he couldn't afford sleeves and always ate the tiny stale rolls from the work food machine because they were so cheap. The only time I ever saw Bill show anything like emotion was the time his roll failed to drop from the machine and he smashed it so hard tears were rolling down his cheeks.
A recurring plot in SpongeBob Square Pants is the repeated attempts by the vertically challenged Sheldon Plankton to steal the recipe for Krabby Patties. Plankton has delusions of grandeur and world domination that inevitably come undone. He shows all the symptoms of Small Man Syndrome.
I wouldn't be writing about SpongeBob Square Pants if it didn't impact on my life in some way. Sadly I hear his manic laugh in my sleep. I wake up in a cold sweat fearing I live in a pineapple under the sea.
If I'm at country show, there's inevitably some joker dressed up as Spongebob Square Pants who I have to take Zara to at pain of a three-hour stop if I don't.
Maybe one day, and I have been saying this for some time, she may grow out of him the way she has grown out of Dora the Explorer.
Probaby just in time for Jackson to get hooked, giving us another four years of the yellow peril.