Would have written more about the last 48 hours, except that I drank myself under the table in the process. I had so much Midori that my alien love penis turned green, which brought back some nasty flashbacks to my time as an actual cartoon.
So I drank myself under another table, chewed enough tjbang sticks to kill a horde of Mongolian bison on speed, and played Russian Roulette with live grenades. After losing about ten times I finally got some well-deserved sleep, and sometime in the AM I actually hallucinated myself back into wakefulness.
Is this real or a dream? I can't say for certain, son. All I know is that, for two whole days, I was caught in a surreality effect. And in that time as a victim of "Animation Sickness" I learned more about the meaning of life and hell than I have in almost three-quarters of a century.
The Toon Ghetto, otherwise known as the Breakwater Institute of scenic Hoboken, New Jersey, is a massive reminder of the fact that big government often fails us. It's also the site of one of our less proud moments as a free society.
If I asked you how much you remember of the 70's, and some of the crazy things that happened back then, the Cartoon All Stars might or might not ring a bell. A lot of people chalk up their relatively brief time in the spotlight to crazy-quilt advances in video technology, the animation boom, or way too much LSD.
But they were real. Gods help us all, live cartoons once walked amongst us, fighting crime on the streets of New York City.
How did it happen? Well, there's two stories.
Story number one involves a boy named Tommy, a girl named Suzy, and a large television set that once belonged to their crazy Uncle Kermit, who used to invent weird things. The television was magic, and let them enter their favorite shows and interact with them. It also let their cartoon friends enter our world, though they didn't venture out too far.
But then something evil got out of the set, and broke it slightly on its way out, trapping the kids on that side. Fortunately, their cartoon friends could still come into our world, and set out in search of the bad thing that'd gotten out. Meanwhile, they fought crime in their own, cartoony way.
"And so was a legend born..."
Story number two has it that, in a secret government lab, Doctor Kermit (REDACTED) invented an interactive television. The idea was that our agents could walk into them, and then watch and listen in to our enemies at their homes after the interactive television they'd walked into had been swapped out for the target's. The agents would appear as background characters in the target's favorite shows, and, if necessary, step out of them in order to search the premises, do wetwork, or engage in other top secret superspy business.
The only problem was that the television did not work. Agents who went into it either died the moment they entered fictional reality, were attacked by the television shows they entered like bacteria in the bloodstream, or couldn't get out and starved to death. After wasting about ten good agents in this fashion, the powers that be told Doctor K to shove the Interactive Television up his !@#$, and put him to work on something else.
The television in question got tossed out with the junk by an angry, jilted Doctor K. One of the handymen picked it up, took it home, and let his kids watch it. They liked to watch cartoons, as you might expect, and one magical Saturday morning, while flipping channels, the cartoons came out to play.
"... and so was a legend born."
Which story is true? How about "both" and "neither"? You know how SPYGOD works by now, son.
Whichever way it actually happened, the Cartoon All Stars were !@#$ing real.
They could affect us, and be affected by us. But in full allowance of the cartoon physics they brought along with them they couldn't be seriously hurt or killed, or do any serious hurting or killing of their own. The worst they could do was put someone in an overly-overdone body cast with little, criss-cross bandages all over their bodies, and even that was mostly for show.
So, for a time, the streets of New York City were even more !@#$ surreal than usual. You'd be walking through the park, minding your own business, when a cartoon biplane would come zooming in, shooting at a flying squirrel with what might have been a large moose dangling from its feet. A green van would appear at crime scenes to help solve the mystery, a blue hound dog would try and bum a quarter from you, and a talking shark and his retro-futuristic rock band went on tour with KISS.
So what happened? The eighties happened. You know what Rappin' Ronnie did to Wonderwall, then you can only guess what happened to a bunch of walking cartoons.
(And, yes, SPYGOD is also aware of the cosmic irony in that statement. Let's just move on, shall we?)
The good news is that, in spite of certain corporate interest groups' best attempts, the Supreme Court eventually declared these cartoons persons, rather than corporate property. They also won punitive damages against the government for rounding them up in advance of that attempted corporate takeover, though they had no idea at the time what they were going to do with the millions they received.
The bad news is that, when the television they came from stopped working (as televisions eventually do) their ability to interact with the world around them stopped working. They couldn't affect us, anymore, which meant they couldn't eat our food, drink our water, or operate anything with more than two moving parts.
So what do you do with a bunch of starving heroes who can't go back where they came from, anymore? Get them off the streets and get them into high tech therapy, of course. Fortunately, some scientists (like ones who worked with the aforementioned Doctor K) were able to invent the tooninator, which turned real things into cartoons for a short period of time. Such things included cheeseburgers and water, which kept the All Stars from turning into the All Starved.
But in terms of being able to get them to fully interact with the real world? Not a whole lot, son. There was some talk of interaction fields or fiction suits, but the science just was not there in the early 80's. They couldn't even repair the television they came out of, as Doctor K burned all his notes after the last project he worked on, prior to his mysterious death.
All they could do with these wondrous, funtastic folks was to warehouse them, like coma patients. Keep them fed, entertained, and comfortable. Keep them docile as their minds broke down in the face of what could only be a living hell.
And, the day before yesterday, enter me.
(SPYGOD is listening to Cartoon Heroes (Aqua) and drinking even more Midori.)