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Dads and Cartoons

Over at his blog, John K. has a hilarious post about his dad, Foghorn Leghorn, and cartoons. You should look at it for the awesome screengrabs from “Crowing Pains,” but stay for the story:

When I was about 10, My Dad decided it was time for me to become mature and start thinking about saving for the future and to forget childish things like cartoons.

He was dumbfounded and frustrated to find me still watching them as a teenager.

… But then like clockwork, after the first cartoon was over, the middle cartoon would come on and it would start with a Foghorn Leghorn title card. All of a sudden I could see my Dad’s eyes focus. Now he’d get excited. He’d sit up and twist around in his chair. “Hey, wait a minute, is that the big chicken??! I love that guy!” I think he thought Foghorn, unlike Bugs and Daffy, was not a cartoon – that he was a real guy because he could totally follow all the gags and action.

… Dad would laugh so hard at this stuff that his glasses flew off his head.

I liked Foghorn a lot too, but watching my Dad lose it made me laugh even harder.

I was lucky; my father was the complete opposite.

I have a very vivid memory of being about four years old when my dad came in one Saturday morning and pulled me, still half-asleep, from my bed, and took me into the living room and turned on our small, cheap black-and-white TV. The Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Show had just started, and he made me watch it. His words, as I remember them, were “I want you to watch these cartoons, because they’re good.” His meaning wasn’t “If you’re going to watch cartoons, watch these,” but the imperative “Make sure you do watch them.”

It was one of those fatherly commands, made gently but firmly, that you can’t help but obey even after thirty years have passed.

John K. ends by wishing his dad a Happy Father’s Day; here are my Father’s Day wishes—and expression of grateful love—to my own

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