I love cartoons. I always have. It is one of two things I am proud I never grew out of.
The other thing is my Wonder Woman wristband set.
I know cartoons are still big business for adults today, but all of the big money makers follow a pretty standard formula: eye popping special effects and some slightly off color jokes wrapped around a pretty ordinary storyline. I prefer to seek the cartoons that are really only for adults because they would bore children to tears.
Recently I was sifting through a dollar store DVD bin when I found two DVDs that caught my eye.
One was a bizarre cartoon disc with artwork that looked like it was drawn by a slightly drunker Charles Schultz (I know he's dead, but I can't remember the name of the guy who draws Ziggy.)
The cover of the second DVD had a man with a handlebar mustache wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt. He and two negligee clad women were inside a jar being held prisoner by a giant snake. All the writing on the cover was in Spanish so I am not sure whether they had shrunk or the snake and jar had become enlarged.
With the two DVDs in hand I headed to the checkout counter. Luckily I had a $2 bill in my pocket. Unfortunately as I approached the register I saw something even more amazing than a giant snake and a guy in a handlebar mustache - a BOX of fortune cookies.
Suddenly I realized a dream I never knew I had; I wanted to eat a box of fortune cookies. I also now wanted to see a snake with a handlebar mustache.
Giggling at the thought of an all snake mariachi band I grabbed the fortune cookies, hid the Spanish DVD behind a stack of fridge magnets shaped like soda bottles and raced to the checkout. After a few minutes of negotiations with the checkout girl (I had to explain to her that $2 bills are real currency and NOT as she put it "voodoo money") I was off for a night of entertainment that I would not soon forget.
The DVD actually featured a handful of cartoons, but the only one I planned on watching was "The Clothes That Went to a Party". I must say I was intrigued by the very title and for about 11 minutes of my life I was thoroughly entertained.
The film started with the title which was read aloud by a woman whose voice sounded exactly like Hilary Clinton's, WITHOUT the sex appeal. I shall call her Betty.
Betty reads the title oddly emphasizing the word "to" as if THAT was the unusual part of the title. She also informed me that this film was made in Turkey.
This was such good news I broke open my first fortune cookie.
FORTUNE: Man who thinks slow and smart is better than fast and dim.
LUCKY NUMBERS: 2 23 34 99 82
I was a little confused about what to do about my lucky numbers or fortune. I just read it real fast and thought dim thoughts.
The story centered on a poor farmer. His name was either Nasser or Nester. I am not sure which, and I am pretty sure Betty doesn't know either. In lieu of a consensus I shall call him NASA because I like astronauts.
NASA lives on a farm. Betty says he only has two friends, a rooster and a dog. She is lying. First off, he doesn't seem to be that friendly with the rooster, the rooster just tries to wake him up in the morning. He and the dog are clearly friends, but the ROOSTER? That is like saying I am friends with my alarm clock. Sure, I find my alarm clock USEFUL, but we don't go out drinking together. My alarm clock never helped me move. I never made a pass at my alarm clock's wife. It's safe to say we aren't friends and neither is NASA and his rooster.
But Betty claims they are. Stupid lying Betty. She also claims that these are the ONLY friends he has. This too is a lie and will be proven false later.
NASA doesn't like to wake up. The rooster can't wake him and neither can the dog. It should be noted that NASA sleeps with one leg straight up in the air and a pillow draped across his crotch. It's basically the same pose Drew Barrymore struck in Playboy. I find it strangely erotic.
To calm myself down I open fortune cookie number two half expecting it to read "you should have bought the other movie".
FORTUNE: There is no hill that cannot be challenged.
LEARN CHINESE: It's too late = hen ji shi
I am thrilled to learn that I can challenge any hill. So I call up Tim Hill, the director of Muppets from Space and challenge him to an afternoon of Donkey Kong. I hope he shows up in the early evening. Then I could tell him that I WOULD have played the game with him but "hen ji shi" that is assuming that he knows Chinese... and where I live.
Anyway, NASA's dog drags him out of bed and Betty says "Look, it is hard to tell who the dog is and who is the owner." This is true, but only because the animation is so bad.
So, NASA and the dog work on the farm growing grapes. For lunch they eat grapes, but during lunch NASA confuses the dog’s nose for a grape and bites it. They share nothing with the Rooster. Betty remains eerily silent.
Suddenly a man arrives who Betty calls "The Landowner" and "The Landlord" depending on her feeling at the moment. I wish this film was 12 minutes long because then she may have finally called him the ultra cool name of "The Lord Owner".
The landlord is mean to NASA. So mean that he asks for the rent and invites him to his 50th birthday party. By the way, the landlord looks quite good for his age, kinda like a younger, hairier Danny Devito.
That night one of NASA's friends stops by and asks NASA why he isn't at the party yet. See what I mean about Betty and her lies! Unless the Rooster is some kind of shape-shifter it is clear that he has other friends.
NASA then heads to the party. He isn't able to get changed because he is so late and so he goes in his work clothes.
When he arrives at the party the landlord is so offended by NASA's audacity to show up in work clothes at his party that he whispers to his guests that they should ignore him.
Betty explains that from the landlord "a whisper is like a demand said softly." This bizarre phrase reminds me of the fortune cookies. I bit into the next one rather than breaking it open first and I ate half of the fortune. Oddly enough, this didn't affect the taste.
(Half of the) FORTUNE: -when he is angry.
(Half of the) LUCKY NUMBERS: 7 92
So, NASA is ignored. Not just by the landlord but by the other guests whom Betty tells us "Are his friends, but are too scared to disobey the landowner." Oh what a tangled web you weave, Betty.
When NASA isn't invited to eat with everyone else he leaves the party and goes home.
At home, NASA shaves and puts on his best clothes. He returns to the party and is treated like royalty by all the other guests and the landlord. NASA sits at the head of the table and is offered all of the food.
THIS IS WHERE THE FILM BECOMES AWESOME.
NASA picks up a roast and says "Jacket have you tried the roast?" then he picks up some bread and offers it to his shirt. Then in one of the greatest moments in cartoon history he shoves a hunk of cheese into his pants.
Betty tells us that when he was asked why he told them that obviously they had not invited him, they had invited his clothes since they were so rude before he wore them.
The landlord laughs and laughs at this. "Oh that NASA he pulled a good one on me he says. Then, I think they proceeded to eat the food, even the cheese that was in his pants.
Betty wraps up the story by telling us that "No one ever criticized NASA again for sleeping late because they know it's not the clothes you wear but the person who wears them."
Maybe something was lost in the translation. I learned three things:
1) Betty is a liar
2) Fortune cookies are only good in moderation
3) When in doubt, choose anything involving snakes and handlebar mustaches.