Monday, August 25, 2008

public service announcements department (with duke the penguin)

Ever have an image or commercial burned in your brain for years and never found a way to prove that your mind isn't playing tricks on you? Until some random browsing on YouTube this weekend, I was almost convinced that Duke the Penguin was a figment of my imagination.

Blame Toledo, Ohio for this brainworm. My suspicion is that I was waiting for other family members to finish trying on clothes at the Woodville Mall branch of Sears and watched a loop tape of a Duke ad several times to kill time. Five minutes is all I needed for this cool-lookin' dude to forever etch himself on my brain cells. These memories surface whenever I see the "Poochie" episode of The Simpsons, as Poochie and Duke share similar delusions of being "cool".

Stevie Wonder utilizes a tune from the soundtrack of The Woman in Red for the public good. Lingering impression from childhood viewings: all the "no"s. Perhaps the drunk driver was driven to overindulgence that night by too many audience requests for "I Just Called To Say I Love You".

Question: what the heck was Timer? A body cell? A glob of partially-digested food? A Corn Pop come to life? A cannibalistic chunk of cheddar? Whatever he/it was, Timer was a staple of the government-mandated educational segments that aired Saturday mornings on ABC, along with Schoolhouse Rock and The Bod Squad.

Unless Kraft underwrote a remake, Timer's wagon wheel would need modifications to satisfy modern views on proper nutrition. Dried apples or pears would be nifty cracker substitutes despite rolling like a flat tire.

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