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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Oh, I Need a Clue, All Right… I’m Just Not Sure It’s This One

It’s my blog

It never slogs

It makes me want to snog a hog

Read it up; it’s like brain nog


Okay, so today’s tagline becomes even more disturbing, if you can imagine such a thing, when I tell you that it’s based on the ‘Mail Song’ from Blue’s Clues. And if you knew that already, congratulations. You’re nearly as bad off as I am. Another couple of blows to the head should just about do it.

But what the hell — as long as I’m on the subject: have you guys seen this show? I haven’t watched it in a few months, but it always used to send me into giggling fits. Well, parts of it, anyway. Obviously, you have to ignore all the parts where they’re trying to actually teach kids about shapes, or numbers, or laughing and pointing at people who are ‘different’. Just fast-forward through that, or go get yourself a nice snack, or some creamy hot cereal.

(It’s an important part of a balanced breakfast, you know.)

“I bet she gets jiggy all over the spice rack. Mustard seeds, tarragon, you name it. Bitch probably does the nasty with celery salt.”

What you don’t want to miss out on is when the actual human in the show, whose character’s name is ‘Steve’ (and whose real name is, um, Steve; look, they don’t get all that creative for the pre-school crowd, okay?), is running around or musing or talking to the fake ‘laugh track’ of two-year-old slobbering goobers that poses for the ‘audience’. Because that shit is hi-larious. Pure comedy gold.

Look at it this way. Here’s Steve. He’s equal parts Mister Rogers and Tobey Maguire.

(And looks exactly like this guy from my softball team a couple of years ago. Whose name was… Steve. Purely coincidence? Um, yeah, almost certainly. Oh, well.)

So, if you’ve never seen the show, just try to imagine our striped sleuth traipsing around chasing after a blue dog and other creatures that are all made of paper and cardboard and move around as though they’re Barbie dolls being piloted by four-year-old girls. In other words, unsteadily, stiffly, and jerkily. Sort of like your first time in the back of a Pontiac Grand Am back in high school. Or the Barbie doll thing, you pick. Are you in the mood for ‘G’ or ‘PG-13’ rated analogies? It’s up to you; I’m all about choices here.

So, just the fact that they’ve got this guy in his faux Charlie Brown togs frolicking around among household objects come to life is amusing enough. At least, to me. If you can’t tell from reading this blog, it doesn’t take much to tickle my humerus. Apparently. Anyway, then you start to think about the implications of this house that ‘Steve’ (who is really Steve; don’t get confused) is living in.

For instance, let’s have a look at a few of Blue’s friends.

(Pictures are from Gazehound’s Blue’s Clues pages.)

First, there’s Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper. Shakers with arms. Charming, no? But what I wonder is this: when Steve’s out of salt, or needs to fill up on pepper, wouldn’t he have to unscrew their frickin’ heads to get more in there? And wouldn’t that hurt, just a bit? Come to think of it, could Steve even use salt and pepper in that house? He’d be flipping them upside down and shaking out their insides, after all. Seems a little like being strung up by your ankles and having your pancreas jostled out through your nose. Or your lungs. Ew. No, thanks.

While we’re at it, let’s look at this unholy thing. This is baby Paprika. She’s apparently the bizarre spawn of the spicy couple above. Which begs the question, just how exactly did these two ‘get it on‘? I mean, where the hell are their uglies, and how in God’s name did they bump them? That’s to say nothing of the fact that pepper plus salt gets you… well, I don’t know. Salty pepper, I guess. But not paprika. I’m no expert on foodstuff genetics, but I’d have to guess that Mrs. Pepper’s been getting some lovin’ from the mailman, if you know what I mean. I bet she gets jiggy all over the spice rack. Mustard seeds, tarragon, you name it. Bitch probably does the nasty with celery salt. Whore.

Then, there’s shovel and pail. Now, they’ve gotta be pissed. For one thing, everybody else on this damned show’s got a name. The dog’s got a name, the clock’s got a name, even the damned condiments have names. And what are the shovel and pail called? ‘Shovel and pail’. Bitches.

(Of course, Steve’s got the same beef, I guess. Where’s the love?)

But of the two, shovel’s obviously got it worse. Sure, pail gets loaded up with all manner of sand and rocks and crap and gets carried around by his ears. It’s no picnic being pail; don’t get me wrong. But did you look closely at the picture of shovel? It’s a little hard to see, but his face is on the scoop part of the shovel. So every time he gets dipped into sand, or dirt, or a big juicy pile of Blue shit, he’s getting it all in his mouth and nose and eyes and everywhere. He just gets grabbed by the legs and dunked in Heaven-knows-what, like one big nasty swirly after another. What the hell kind of life is that?! What are we teaching kids, anyway?

I’m not even going to talk about Magenta, who appears to be Blue’s personal bitch.

(No, really, she’s a bitch. Literally. It’s okay. Breathe.)

All’s I know is that if she spends more than thirty seconds on that show and there’s not some serious ass-sniffing and face-licking and dominant humping and territorial pissing happening, then it’s just not realistic. I’ve got a dog. I know what goes down out there on the streets.

So, still with me? My, we are sick and twisted, aren’t we?

(Or desperate for a blog to read. Either way, I’ll keep going. You really shouldn’t encourage me like this…)

It gets better. For the show — please, please tell me it’s just for the show — the producers have given Steve a partial lobotomy, which I presume is to allow three- and four-year-olds the chance to catch up every now and then. But it’s ever so much fun to watch our green-clad goon stumble and bumble around like an addled wino, ‘trying’ to figure out what to do next. It usually goes something like this:

Steve: Dum-de-dum. Well, that was fun. I wonder what’ll happen next. Maybe I’ll go into Mr. John and take a big nasty —

Audience: Steve! Steve! A clue!

Steve: Hmmm? What’s that?

Audience: It’s a clue! A clue! Look behind you!

Steve: A shoe? Well, yeah, I’ve got two shoes. They’re called Mr. Lefticle and Tighty Righty. You want to talk to them?

Audience: No, not a shoe. A clue!

Steve: A what? I’m gonna spew? No, no, I’m good. My hangover’s finally gone. But thanks for asking.

Audience: No, no. Steve — a clue! A Blue’s clue!

Steve: Huh? Elisabeth Shue? No way, dudes! She’s fuckin’ hot! I’ll slip her some paprika! Where is she? Where?

Audience: No, Steve, look behind you! It’s a cah-looo.

Steve: Wha? Oh, a clue. A clue! Hey, a clue! Well, liquor me up and wrap me in leather. It is a clue. You’re so smart!

Well, something like that, anyway. I took out as much of the foul language as I could. This is a family blog, after all. But it’s pretty entertaining, even if you haven’t had a couple of six-packs before it comes on at nine in the morning. (Though it’s oh so much funnier if you have. I highly recommend it, if you haven’t tried it yourself.)

And, then, just to top it all off, if you actually start to get bored with the show, just remind yourself of the reality of it all. The responses and paper cutouts and backdrops and all are added later. At the time this poor sod is actually delivering his lines and drooling on himself and dancing around like a crackhead maniac, it’s just him. He gyrates in front of a green screen, and talks to air, and reaches out and plays with nothing. To him, the actor, it’s an elaborate charade that he probably has to get all hopped up on gin and pills to recreate every day. How else could he maintain that manic wackiness and nonstop innocent oblivion? I mean, I suppose he could bang his head in the car door a few times before he walks into the studio, but I think the pills and booze are the way to go. That’s just me. In my book, self-medication trumps self-mutilation every time. But that’s just me, now. Your mileage may vary.

So, that’s that. I’ve spent an hour or more waxing poetic about a television show for four-year-olds. This is either the very pinnacle of my blogging career, or the lowest point that I can possibly reach. Eh, fuck it. Either way, I can crack open a beer later and think about what I’ve done. Hey, maybe TiVo’s taped an episode or two for me, too. That would be sweet! Goodness knows I told it to tape just about every other animated piece of garbage on TV. So we’ll see.

In the meantime, just in case you think I’m bluffing about the whole thing, I have a small confession to make. I don’t remember how I got it, or if I personally bought it, but I own this. Or something horrifying similar. The one I have has little magnets on all the feet, and is clinging precariously to my refrigerator as we speak. Er, type. And read. And whatever else you might be doing right now. Anyway, it’s on the fridge. It makes me smile. It would make me smile more if it were anatomically correct, of course, because then I could harass my real dog with it. But it’s not, so I can’t. You can’t have everything, I suppose.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to my, erm, ‘thinking chair’. If you’ve seen Blue’s Clues, then you’ll know the type of thing I’m talking about. Except mine’s a little different. It doesn’t have the big armrests, and it’s not all that well padded, either. And instead of a Notebook, it comes supplied with a Handy-Dandy Roll of Paper. And the only mystery I’m likely to ponder while sitting is what the hell I could have had for lunch yesterday. I just hope it didn’t have paprika in it, whatever it was. Woof!

P.S. In researching this post (no, as much as it seems so, I don’t pull absolutely everything that I write entirely out of my ass), I found that Steve has actually left the program! Horrors!

(Or, for those of you outside the U.S.: ‘the programme! Horrours!’ I aims to please.)

So, the new guy is named Joe on the show. I don’t know his real name, but I have a sneaking suspicion what it might be.

(And no, it’s not ‘Fred’. Though it might be. Who’s to say?)

Anyway, I feel like this is the end of an era. I can’t imagine anyone being as good as Steve on this show. Who else could be so kind and happy-go-lucky, and yet so utterly clueless and confused? Jenny McCarthy, maybe? Dan Quayle? I don’t know. But I don’t think it’s this ‘Joe’ character. This is horrible. I’m goin’ back to bed. G’night.

P.P.S. On a completely unrelated note, the HaloScan comment system seems to have been snookered for the past day or so. It looks like it’ll be back up as soon as the DNS servers find their new machine, but I’m not holding my breath. (On the thinking chair, I might hold my breath. Here, no.) So save up all of those juicy, adoring comments that you know you want to write, and check in a bit later to see if the system’s back up. If it doesn’t come back by tomorrow morning, I’ll probably switch to a different software package (again), and lose all four messages that you’ve sent. *sniff* I hope it doesn’t come to that. I just couldn’t bear it.

Permalink  |  22 Comments

22 Responses to “Oh, I Need a Clue, All Right… I’m Just Not Sure It’s This One”

  1. Amy says:

    Only because I teach four year olds all day long, do I know that “Joe” is supposed to be “Steve’s” brother. “Joe” took over the show because “Steve” had to go off to college. Yeah. I teach four year olds… help me.

  2. amy says:

    Boy, this is probably too little too late, but I love love love Steve, even though he refused me as a Friendster. He’s a hot ball of geeksxx.

  3. morganjane says:

    That was so true.. I am fascinated by Steve … I have little kids and have blues clues on DVD!! Funny shit!

  4. Amber says:

    HOOOOLY CRAP that was funny!

  5. LEVI says:

    your writing is pure genious! i mean DAMN! from now on whenever i need a good laugh (or 15) I know where i’m coming. Thankyou!

  6. Suzette says:

    Well, darn…I’m only 14+ months late for this lunchtime chat. (Which I absolutely LOVED!)

    I’ve been a BIG fan of Steve’s since Blue’s Clues came on the air in the mid-90’s. Yeah, geek that he is, I have had my share of daydreams of him, which really scared the crap out of me.

    And just in case you even care, Joe’s real name is NOT Joe. (Stupid, I believe, but who really cares?) His name is Donovan. Why they didn’t call “Steve’s” brother, Donovan, or Don or Donny, is beyond me.

    Since leaving the show, Steve is now in an indie band and has a website:

    There are pics of Steve that are unbelievable that this is still the same guy. I sent a pic of him a few months back to several of my friends who have kids, and NOT one could figure out who it was!!!

    Anyhow, enough of that…just thought I’d share the WEALTH of knowledge with you…LOL!

  7. Heather says:

    *snort* And Joe is cuter. ;o)

  8. Gazehound says:

    Comment by Gazehound? Now where have they seen that…. oh! THAT Gazehound? There I was, in Google, searching for something totally unrelated to the above ramble, the subject of which I now have absolutely NO recall … and I stumbled across this instead! Actually, the Blues Clues page from which the above images were so hilariously stolen (Thank you!) were created by one of my offspring, who was just a youngster at the time, unless I have totally NO recall of that, too, but….

    Thanks! I’d just finished scouring a bathroom and was not, shall we say, in the perkiest mood. One of the funniest things I’ve read in at *least* the past hour!

    Gotta run, Mail’s Here!

  9. RonsBoss says:

    At first thought I really hoped that you had children and were not subjecting yourself to this trauma for absolutely no reason.

    Then rethinking that I decided that it was probably better to hope that you didn’t have children. And are just some wacko that loves children’s shows.

    *sigh* My son was obsessed with Blues Clues for years and my following children have liked it it also. I’ve seen enough to last me a life time. I’m totally damaged by it all.

    I’ve had all the same thoughts as you on the subject and a couple more as well. Like why does everyone else get to sleep inside except pail and shove who once again get screwed over? Then we also have the famous holiday episodes where you see a purple kangaroo that is into Quanza and a green dog (lovingly named… Green) that is Jewish. I guess they couldn’t just have Christmas on the show and be politically correct. The picture on the back of the wall by the “thinking chair” always match the theme they are talking about, oh so clever. And don’t even get me started on everything wrong with the whole skidoo thing! (If you haven’t watch the show like a million times that is when they shrink up as they jump into a book or painting) Ohh the things we let our children watch just to keep them for screaming for 2 seconds!!

    If you really wanna talk about the truly sick show I will give you a couple to pick from…

    Teletubbies, Barney and BooBahs!

    Now those are twisted and honestly, I can find no humor in them other then that fact the people are so desperate to make money that they will actually climb in these huge ass costumes and parade around for a few bucks.

    Ok, done rambling now. It was interesting!

  10. diego says:

    brillian absolutly briliant

  11. boboe8 says:

    ohmagah,wen steve leaved the blues clues,i was like wat about the children who were watching these show….then they put joe for steve’s roll,actually he’s cuter than him…lol

  12. Bob says:

    THe story was hilarious

  13. Sam says:

    May I use this as a Forensics piece? Your blogging is pure genius! I will give credit to you being the author. Thank You! :)

  14. Josh says:

    May I use this as a Forensics piece I promise to do a good job! lol

  15. Madison says:

    Is this piece published or printed anywhere?

  16. Selah says:

    I would love to use this as a forensics piece if that’s ok

  17. Claudia says:

    This piece is genius. I was hoping I could use this for a forensics piece? If you could please email me, that would be appreciated!

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