Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Computer Critters / Rubik / The Friendly Giant / McDLT

The final installment in the Computer Critters series, and perhaps the one I remember best. For years, I used to have that 'cut it down to size: you can edit or revise' bit running through my head. I remember singing it to myself as I worked with an old word processor for the Commodore 64. I don't remember when I've ever been so excited about a word processor.

Do you remember this cartoon? The premise was that an amazing magical Rubik's cube dropped out of a gypsy wagon and into these kids' lives. The idea was that when you solved the cube, he could talk and fly, and do all kinds of magic. (I remember thinking at the time that if you could actually solve a Rubik's cube, you didn't need magic: you were already a certified genius.) Trouble was, that at some point in every episode, someone would drop him, and he'd get scrambled, and the kids would get captured, or into some kind of trouble... Oh, the things these cartoon writers would dream up! Plus, you know it's a good thing when Menudo is singing your theme song!

Non-Canadians might not get this one, but if you grew up in Canada during the 80s, I'm sure you knew the Friendly Giant. It was a very calm, quite sensible children's show, the likes of which we'll never see again. There are a couple of things that I don't get, though. If you came to a castle with the words 'Friendly Giant' burned on the front door, wouldn't you think it was a trap? And if that's how big the chairs were in comparison to the giant, doesn't that make one big-ass chicken? The great thing about this show is that most of it seemed to be improvised, sometimes with unexpected results. I know that rooster dropped an F-bomb in one episode!

The McDLT. Back in the days when McDonald's didn't give a damn about the environment. Not only were they still using styrofoam for their packaging, they were using twice as much, to keep the hot side of your burger hot and the cold side cold. This was supposed to be a great gimmick. What they never tell you is that the McDLT was released because McDonald's employees in the 80s were too lazy to assemble your burgers and wanted to make you do it for them. And do you remember when Jason Alexander had hair?!

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