Adults with an overactive imagination, like me, should not watch Baby TV. Until my eldest son discovered the OddBods, Blippi, and Brain Candy TV on YouTube, we were all ‘forced’ to watch Baby TV non-stop. It was either that, or get nothing done, period, nay, exclamation mark.
For those of you who don’t know what Baby TV is, it’s a 24-hour tv channel with content for babies to toddlers. The cartoons are short, just long enough for their attention span, and repeat a lot. A LOT! I’d sometimes see the same clip three times a day: morning, noon and night.
Kids don’t mind watching the same thing over and over and over and over. But adults, yours truly in particular, do mind. They mind A LOT. At first, my inner adult fought tooth and nail: I rebelled at having to subject my eyes and ears to such kitsch entertainment. I felt trapped, like the protagonist in Get Out, a prisoner in my own body, slowly feeling my IQ drop and my creative self die little by little, one song at a time.
But as Incubus so eloquently put it in their song … “To resist is to piss in the wind. Everyone who does so winds up smelling.” So assimilation in order to survive was inevitable. After a while I could sing all the songs by heart. I’d be singing them even when the kids were not around. I’d actually get excited when there was a new episode of Hippo this or Butterfly that. I would sometimes work from home, put the tv on as background noise, and realise an hour and a half later that, with no one else home, I could, and should, change the channel to one of the other 40 we pay for but don’t watch.
But a funny thing happened, when I allowed myself to process what I was seeing. I began to notice questionable patterns in some stories and this led me to form conspiracy theories for some of the cartoons. And I think that that is what ‘saved’ me in the end. It put my mushy mommy-brains to use once again, and slowly I pulled myself out of the tar pit into which I had been sucked by Baby TV. If you too have been zombified by Baby TV, keep reading. Free your mind and the rest will follow. #EnVogueReference😉
Poor Hungry Henry. 😔 All he wants is to have a meal at his friend George’s restaurant. Instead, this so-called friend takes advantage of his gullibility time and time again. How, you ask? Here’s the plot.
Henry comes into the restaurant all jolly and hungry. George greets him: “Henry, my good friend, how are you? What can I get you?” Henry thumbs through the menu and picks ‘X’. “Oh, wouldn’t you prefer ‘Y’, or ‘Z’ “. No, Henry has his heart set on X. No matter what Henry orders, George answers: “Oh, Henry, unfortunately we’re out of X. I’m so sorry.” 😔😔Red flag!
Henry, who is a cat b.t.w., is now like a dog with a bone. Come hell or high water, he must…have…X! He takes it upon himself to go get the main ingredient. But then he realises, he doesn’t know where to get it. “Oh, you can get some at the supermarkt. They always have X at the supermarket.” Spoiler alert: no they do not.
So off he goes to what I presume is the only supermarket in town. There he runs into Isabella, the shop-owner I guess, who is semi-deaf; she always misunderstands what he asks for at first…or does she really?!🤔🤔 So, the conversation will go like,
“Oh hi Isabella. Do you have any potatoes?
Oh, potatoes! No, we’re all out.”
Really? Really Isabella?!🤥 She sends poor Henry, who is getting hungrier by the minute, to the market to see Jack.
Henry asks Jack for X. “Oh, normally I always have some Henry, but today coincidentally I ran out.” Seriously Jack?! You always have. But today, of all days, just when this starving kitty comes begging for some, you’re all out. Mm-hmm.
To quote the great bard: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”…💩
Jack finally points Henry in the right direction. Go to ‘the source’, he says, usually a farm, vineyard, or wherever X is produced. There he meets up with kind Gabriella. Bless her heart. She always has what he’s looking for and gives it to him for free. At least, I’ve never seen him fork over actual cash, so…
Henry skips back to George’s restaurant, hands over the missing ingredient, and lo and behold, five seconds later the dish is ready, leading me to believe that George was lying all along!
Look, I get that the whole point is to teach kids that food doesn’t magically appear on their plates. It’s all produced and there are different places you can go to find what you’re looking for. Yet it irks me how George and his co-conspirators toy with poor Henry’s tummy every…single…episode. And why? Why would they do that?! Well, here’s some theories I’ve cooked up to keep the mental cogwheels from rusting away.
1. They’re trying to help Henry lose weight
Hungry Henry is by no means Skinny Henry. Maybe they hope that by having him run all around town he might shed some extra pounds. But something tells me their motives are a bit more sinister.
2. They’re ailurophobes
So maybe they’re not cat lovers and they get their kicks by giving Henry the runaround.
3. George is cheap
George sees it as a way to save money by having Henry go get the ingredients himself. Isabelle and Jack are in on the scam, for whatever reason (see nr 5 for one possible explanation).
4. Henry doesn’t have money
Remember how I said I’ve never seen Henry pay Gabriella. Maybe Henry doesn’t have any money, you know, because he’s a cat, a talking cat, yes, but still, a cat, with only a hat, a scarf, and no wallet or pants to hold one. George, knowing Henry won’t be paying him, makes him get the ingredients himself so his loss will be less.
And finally, 5. They’re actually doing this to get back at Gabriella
So this one is a stretch, and I don’t know to what extent lack of sleep helped spin this yarn, but…George used to be married to Gabrielle, who coincidentally seems to have a monopoly on all the food production in the town. The marriage ended badly. Now George is with Isabella. They both think up petty ways of fleecing Gabriella, one of which is by using Henry to pray on her kindness and get free produce. Jack is in on it because he is Isabella’s brother.
There’s so many clips on YouTube. Check them out and tell me if I’m wrong! Here’s an example:
I mean, there are other ways to teach children about the origins of food, so I can only conclude that there are some twisted minds behind this cartoon. And they have met their match. Muahahahahahahah. Stay tuned for the next Baby TV conspiracy theory piece, because, yes, there is more! I could say I’ll keep it short next time, but my momma taught me not to lie, so I commit to nothing.
*If you enjoyed this post, check out more nonfiction here.*