“Yes, bath! No bath! Yes bath! No bath!”
For those of you who can make a high squeaky voice, say the above in that tone and you will get the gist. My daughter’s loveys – a tiger guy and a bunny guy, affectionately known as the guysies – were about to be put into the washing machine and were arguing with each other and their mom (my daughter) about being washed.
Tiger guy apparently likes the way the washing machine is like a roller coaster; while Bunny guy doesn’t like the way it goes around and around and makes him dizzy.
I could write a whole story about all of the things that the guysies do and say. It would probably help if I could draw them, though. Yesterday on NPR I heard an interview of Ethan Nicolle, co-creator (with his 5 yr old brother) of the comic series, Axe Cop. It was the first I had heard of this hilarious hero and the brothers that created him.
(You can hear the entire interview on CBCRadio here.)
As you read or watch Axe Cop (the comic has now been turned into a cartoon) you can definitely see that it comes directly out of a young child’s imagination. But that is what is so funny about it. It is unedited, a world in which the hero at one moment can be fighting aliens and in the next making lemonade that then turns to frozen ice pellets for shooting the bad guys.
Just like Tiger Guy and Bunny Guy, the hero and his side-kick have real personalities and act accordingly. In my daughter’s world, Tiger Guy is the responsible one (also she is a female, just sayin’) and Bunny Guy is the adventurous one… always trying to fly off to the forest on his super speed scooter. They eat pickle and olive sandwiches and have been part of our family since my daughter was a baby.
In fact, in order to prevent the disaster of losing one of them, we bought a back-up pair which we switched out every few weeks. It wasn’t until my daughter was five that we finally gave in and told her the truth. That there were two sets of guysies. This was accepted easily, and ended up being used to explain why they sometimes got into trouble (turns out the ‘bad’ pair were the trouble-makers.)
This good vs. bad scenario is at the core of most imaginative play, as children try to make sense of a world that, to them at least, appears random. In Axe Cop, these good and bad events occur so fluidly and often that it makes the reader or viewer dizzy. But it is also what makes it funny. Because, I think, on a gut level, we all continue to struggle with a world out of our control. Someone can seem like a normal person and then plant a bomb at the end of the Boston Marathon. In one part of the world our children can be going back to school while, in another part they flee chemical weapons and war.
Bunny Guy and Tiger Guy show us that, even though we may argue about being dumped in that washing machine, ultimately it is out of our control. Our only choice is in whether we see it as a roller coaster or a trial.
Have you seen Axe Cop or do you have another favorite kids cartoon? Do your kids make up creative stories with their stuffed animals? I love hearing from my readers. And to prove it I’m giving away a copy of BETTING JESSICA to
one lucky commenter during the month of September.
Leave a comment for any of my blog posts and at the end of each month I will randomly select one visitor/commenter to receive a free download of my book. (Note: winner will be notified by a reply linked to their original comment…. Check back at the end of the month for directions on how to claim your prize!)
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