Friday, July 07, 2006

Highlights Of Highlights

A Highlights For Children magazine came to the office today. I remember reading this as a second grader, and maybe a little bit after this, but there was a narrow window of time in which I was interested in it.

When I was looking through it, there were two things I was looking for.

One was Goofus and Gallant. I never "got" Goofus and Gallant. First of all, what kid that you have ever come across has been named Gallant, let alone Goofus. Secondly, if you're a pig, you're a pig. That is to say, if you're a pig, and you read how Goofus and Gallant each behave, chances are you'll still be a pig after reading it. Gallant's gallantry will in no way influence you. And there's no way you see that there is a problem with that Goofus kid. So I don't get the point of the cartoon.

Maybe I can get a grant from the government to study the effectiveness of the "Goofus and Gallant" strip on influencing kid's behavior. My hypothesis is that it does nothing.

And now they look different than they did when I was growing up. Which leads me to the conclusion that the original Goofus and Gallant are all grown up.

Let's see if we can use the imagination God has given us to figure out what the original Goofus and Gallant are up to. I bet Goofus is a biker with a cascade of tattoos covering his drug addicted carcas who has spent more time in jail than rehab. I bet Gallant is an institutionalized psychotic, drummed over the edge by his relentless drive for perfection.

The second running series of Highlights is the Timbertoes. There is nothing in my 42 year old memory banks that seemed to creep me out more at the age of 7 than the Timbertoes. What the heck were these creatures supposed to be? Aliens? Tree People? Insects? How about we just call them Freaks, huh?

They were always scaring the crap out of me from their black and white hell-world. For some reason they all have abdominal swelling, which I would guess is either from cirrhosis of the liver or kwashiorkor. When I ran across a picture of them in the current issue, I physically shuddered. Chills are going down my spine just writing this down. I'm scared folks, and I'm leaving the lights on all night tonight. Whatever those dots are on their torsos seem to multiply as they get older. I won't even get into the hinged hips.

Freakin' Timbertoes. Uuuuuhhhhh.


  1. LOL! The Oompas did the same thing to me the first time I saw Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I think I was 5 or 6 years old.

  2. Aww! I always thought the Timbertoes were like wooden puppets. Like maybe Pinocchio's brother got married and had a family. :)

  3. I think Barb's right; that's why they're the Timbertoes. As for G&G, I agree. Moralism doesn't work — Mark Twain settled that for me years ago.

  4. I agree, The Quipper. Willie Wonka was scary too. That whole movie was out there. You're right about the Oompas. Definitely creatures born in hell.

    Barb,the proposition that they are puppets come alive doesn't comfort me in the least. Things coming alive that shouldn't be alive adds to the fear factor.

    Pastor, the thing that scares me is that I just know G&G have been used in either Sunday School or VBS at some point in history.

  5. So does the movie Pinocchio scare you also? Besides that big nasty whale?

    Willie Wonka was definitely scary; I have never watched it again after the first time I viewed it as a child. I also didn't let my kids see the new version. Johnny Depp - scary!

  6. If Pinocchio has a swollen belly, oily flat hair, and dots that multiply, and if he lives in a colorless universe created by the devil himself, then...yeah, I'm afraid of him, too.

    I didn't watch Willie Wonka from age 8 to age 42. Don't watch it again. It's one sick movie.

  7. Timbertoes...


    You guys all missed the scariest fact of all...


    THE HORROR!!!!

    Sorry... must get off line and call my shrink...

  8. I guess I am "deprived" because I never even got into Highlights for even a minute as a kid! :) It never appealed to me. I agree, Willy Wonka was too "out there" for me too!

    I know that you think I had an eventful and colorful childhood dear Scottius but thankfully Highlights and Willy Wonka never made it more colorful for me! :)

  9. Thanks, DMG. I knew I couldn't be the only one who felt this way. If you've ever heard of having "the willies", looking at the Timbertoes is the very definition of that feeling.

    Lucy, you should be very thankful you didn't have to endure this stuff. Especially with the eventful and colorful childhood you were already responsible for.

  10. I loved Highlights magazine. I had a subscription and always read it. Obviously, it had a great effect on my upbringing because I turned out to be wonderfully perfect person! Just ask anyone...anyone who doesn't really know me, anyway.

  11. Honey, I am glad that I didn't have to "endure" this yucky stuff! And yes, my childhood was exciting enough with all my own little adventures! :) It was never a dull moment around our house! :