Day 6: FOGHORN LEGHORN #atozchallenge

foghorn_leghorn-5227I admit that I struggled with a likely subject for F. I only know a few heroes that start with the mighty 6th letter—I went over the Flash (whose comic I never read. I mean he only ran fast. LAME), then to ol’ Twinkle Toes himself, Fred Flintstone but I was never a Flintstones fan. I even considered Swiper the Fox but he’s only a villain and wouldn’t be appropriate. Then I thought about one character I love but never really talk about: Foghorn Leghorn, the big ass chicken from Looney Tunes.

I think I was in my 20s by the time I realized Foghorn even had a name—for me, he was always the big chicken. Then I had kids and had to distinguish between the big chicken on Bugs Bunny cartoons (because that’s what kids call them) and the Big Red Chicken on Dora. Anyway, I think it’s time to give the chicken his due.

If you don’t know him, just stop, go out to Wal-Mart or Target or freaking YouTube and just watch a couple cartoons with this big MF. His shit is HILARIOUS!! He’s the king of the yard but is disrespected by every other farm animal: the other chickens hate him, the dog keeps trying to kill him, and he’s hunted every other episode by a 3 inch high chicken hawk. He’s full of himself, arrogant, exceptionally proud—I can’t decide if this is his greatest flaw or the fact that he’s stupid!

Let me give you an example: the dog is working with the chicken hawk to fuck up the big ass chicken (I went back and looked at that sentence—grammatical travesties aside, you understood it, didn’t you?). We hear the dog say, “Chickens are naturally curious so…” Next thing we see is the chicken hawk building this huge contraption that has a pumpkin tied on to a catapult. Problem is, the chicken hawk can’t tie down the pumpkin. My man (the big ass chicken) comes by and says, “Now hold on, son, whatcha doin there? Step aside!” He ties down the pumpkin, walks away but has mad commentary: “I don’t know what’s wrong with kids these days, can’t tie down their own punkins. Back in my day, we didn’t need no help tying down our punkins, we just—hey, we never tied down no punkins. Hey Boy,” and WHAM! Face full of pumpkin! Cracks me up every time.

A few years ago, the Boy came strutting through the house, shirtless, like he owned the place and my wife said, “Hey Chicken-Chest, put a shirt on!” That’s what I think about whenever I think about Foghorn Leghorn. He’s both hero and villain, a victim of his own pride and arrogance. You like him because he’s funny, because he genuinely tries to do the right thing, but you cheer when he gets knocked down a peg. Getting his just desserts is what makes him endearing and tolerable.

Next, Carl Grimes from Walking Dead.

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Festival of Fiendishness: WILE E COYOTE

There’s this motivational Successories saying about lions and gazelles—essentially the lion wakes up and knows it must run faster than the fastest gazelle or it’ll starve to death. And there is no greater example of that persistence, that stick-to-it-ness than today’s villain du jour: Wile E Coyote from the Roadrunner cartoons. My man right here is hungry. Like real hungry.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Chris, this isn’t a real villain. He’s no Pennywise or Poltergeist or Gremlin.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. But he’s still awesome, right? How many of you were up at some stupid time on Saturday mornings, watching the Coyote fall off a mountain or get run over by a truck, laughing hard enough to make the milk come out your nose? Too specific?

Until America got soft and decided cartoon characters blowing up or getting hit by trains or plunging off cliffs was too damaging to young minds, the chronicles of this inventive canine and his hunt for a 3-piece wing and thigh dinner made for Must-See TV for kids of all ages. And it wasn’t that we ever thought the Coyote would be successful—his track record is worse than the Trix rabbit—it was that he never gave up.

Saturday after Saturday, toon after toon, Wile E Coyote made a new plan, ordered a new kit from ACME, stockpiled more dynamite, and ventured out the kill the Roadrunner. You did get that part, right? He was adamant about catching, killing and eating the Roadrunner. In this case, he’s no better than Dr. Claw or the Predator, for that matter—he’s a hunter by trade. He’s just a poor one.

Could the Coyote have been more effective? Absolutely. He ran up his own national debt, racking up charges with the ACME Corporation to get supplies in his hunt. He could have just broke down and took the same money and went to Safeway, right? Or at least Old Country Buffet. Would have been a smarter play for someone with a business card that says “Super Genius” on it, wouldn’t it? And, for those of you who said, why didn’t he just pick another target? He did. Not only did he fail (as usual) when he pursued Bugs Bunny, but I had to listen to that long-eared jackass talk about how cagey he was for 6 minutes (If you didn’t know, I am NOT a Bugs Bunny fan; for once I wish Elmer Fudd would get the Duck Season/Rabbit Season thing right and blow that damn bunny’s face off!)

But that’s too far down the rabbit hole (oooh, I’m punny!) and this is about the Wile E Coyote, not a smart ass rabbit that KEEPS getting lost at Albuquerque. The Coyote is awesome because he represents an unwillingness to quit. I’ve talked about Voldemort’s focus and Michael Myers’ unstoppable nature, but a four-eyed nerd with a wand put Voldy down and Mike got toasted in the hospital. Wile E Coyote has fallen thousands of feet, been blown up, launched into space, and run over by every vehicle known to man and still gets up every day to chase that scrawny bird.

That’s the deal, folks. Tune in next time for deadliest lil bastard under 2 feet tall: Chucky!