Monday, December 14, 2009

Pop Culture Musings: Sexually Inappropriate Children's Fiction

Let's admit it. We all watch TV shows from our childhood and snicker at the stuff that looks bizarre by today's standards. We especially like the stuff that looks sexually perverse. There's a little Chris Hansen in all of us (no, not like THAT!). So here's my list of unintentionally creepy characters.


Kids, if a gruff and hairy, deep voiced guy who wears more fake eyelashes than Alex DeLarge comes up to you and talks to you but only when you're alone, run. Run fast. Especially if no one believes you when you tell them about him.

And no, I don't buy that retcon crap about Snuffy really being Big Bird's age. His name is Mister Snuffleuppagus. Sending him to Snufflegarten and giving him an adorable little sister don't make him a cute little kid. Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining, Jim Henson.

The Man in the Yellow Hat.

The Man in the Yellow Hat takes George away from Africa and puts him in a feces encrusted zoo enclosure with some hostile orangutans. Later he relents and lets George sleep in a small room under the stairs in his house. George repays him by developing Stockholm Syndrome. In Curious George Learns About Stranger Danger, George is told that going off with strangers who aren't the Man in the Yellow Hat is bad but going off with strangers who are the Man in the Yellow Hat is good. About eight well worn copies of this book were found strewn across Jaycee Duggard's dungeon.

The Generous Old Lady in Babar.

Babar thought he was out of the jungle when he left the wilds of Africa for the streets of Paris as a supple young orphaned elephant. He was wrong. The nice old lady who gave you your own car and some nice clothes? The word is cougar, Babar, and those gifts are going to dry up when you introduce her to Celeste. And one more thing. A is for Arthur, B is for Babar, C is for Celeste, Z is for Zephir, and G is for gigolo.

Uncle Jesse.

"I'd love to get married and start a family with you, Becky. But the thought of spending a night apart from my five year old niece gives me hives. Let's move into a windowless attic, so I can gyrate and pout like the King to her every night, let her comb my glorious mullet when I'm stressed, and continue to give her kisses on the mouth long after it's appropriate."


One count of getting a minor plastered (which resulted in said minor sexually harassing another minor). Two counts of encouraging kids to fly bicycles helmet-less. One count of cross dressing. Over a thousand counts of exhibitionism. (Does this guy have a cultural aversion to pants?) By leaving her kids unsupervised with E.T., Elliott's mom exhibits the worst parenting I've seen since Janet Arvizo put "Jesus Juice" and Peter Pan themed condoms on her grocery list.

I can't believe Spielberg thought that making E.T. more PC meant turning the guns into walkie talkies. Steve, you so much as think of making an E.T. sequel, and Gloria Allred will slap you with so much litigation that your grandkids are going to need attorneys.

To Catch a Predator!

Mr. Mortman.


Short of being Brian Peppers, you can't look more like the dictionary definition of Pedophile than Mr. Mortman. He's a librarian who transforms into a monster in the Goosebumps book and episode, The Girl Who Cried Monster. After Lucy figures out his dirty little secret, he follows her home and tries to get her to let him in when no one's home. He also fulfills most of the fictional pedo criteria on my list: he's bald, wears sweater-vests, owns pet tarantulas, and has sweaty little hands. The only thing that could make Mr. Mortman more skeevy would be a big white van, a mucous problem, and a penchant for watching frilly panties. Hey Aqualung!

Whipping Father.

File:Hans Trapp.jpeg

I just found out that in the old days, old Saint Nick wasn't as warm and fuzzy as he seemed. Good kids got presents and bad kids got a paddlin'. Santa farmed out the whippings to someone called Le Pere Fouettard in France, or the Whipping Father, who accompanied him on his yearly Christmas ride. There would never be such a well paid perv--well, not until James Spader, Esquire hired Maggie Gyellenhaal for some secretarial work.

The Coppertone Dog.

The Coppertone dog spent a year in prison for sexual abuse of a minor and has since been adopted out. He registers every time he and his new family move. Though he knows what he did was wrong, from time to time he slips up--mostly when he steals g-strings and bikini bottoms from the laundry basket to chew on. He's taking it one day at a time.