Sep 23, 2012

The blog in which I realize how bad Curious George books are.

I've been reading Curious George for years now.  I read the original, 1941 edition, this morning.  I think we are done with George.  You will see why.

So far, looks harmless.  However, the cover art seems pretty vague.   Looks like two domestic partners in drag are taking their monkey for a walk, pre-cell phone time.  I mean, this was published in 1941.  Seems legit.  

He "lived" in Africa.  As in, this is already past tense.  Spoiler alert.

At this point in the story, a man in a yellow hat sees George, and literally says, "What a nice little monkey.  I would like to take him home with me."  Okay, see.  that is what is wrong.  We can't just take animals out of their environments and take them home with us!  Come now.  That is so wrong.  What were we teaching children back in the 1940's, other than it is acceptable to take monkey out of Africa and walk down the street in drag with wanna be cell phones?  Progressive? Perhaps.

Then, the man takes the hat off and uses it to bait the George.  George goes for the bait, and once the hat is over his head, "the man picks him up quickly, and popped him into a bag." Wow.  That was sneaky. I don't think the monkey will be very happy.  
I'm no Jane Goodall, but this was obvious.  I totally saw this coming, and I almost got a tissue out.  Almost.  I think I'm close to finally dropping my egg for this month, therefore, my estrogen has all but left me at this point.  When I read this part, Shay said, "Awe...."  She was sad for him.  See, even a five year old gets this.   
First, it seems that African, undomesticated monkeys in the 40's completely understood English.  That is impressive.  All Cocoa knew how to do was sign and beg for a kitten as her own.   George was so much more advanced.  He even sat while being spoken to.  My migits don't even do that all that the time.  However, here's the part that made me go all "ape" on the story.  The man actually sits him down to tell George that he is going to take him to a zoo in the city, and that he will like it there.  LIES!  All Lies!  First of all, no, the monkey did not live in a zoo.  Second of all, why would he like it in an enclosed, un natural habitat where people stare at him all day?  And I don't remember seeing any part in the story about his family being brought with him.  Right, so, let us clarify.  Monkey has been monkey-napped, told he is going to have to like his new life, and this man who if you noticed, is SMOKING A PIPE, tells him to go and roam the ship and to be good, because this man who is now sans hat, can't be bothered to look after a wild animal.  Fantastic.  This seems very responsible.  Not really, but let's keep going.  I'm sure it gets better.  

Okay, the story goes on to tell how George some some sea gulls and wondering how they flew, he tried, and began drowning in the ocean while the pipe smoking kidnapper chilled out in his cabin on the boat.  Luckily, the pipe smoking sailors saved him.  Why does everyone have to smoke a pipe?  I mean, was it so unheard of that smoking might be bad for us?  I suppose the social and moral responsibility of the great literary writers of that time were not a precedent.  I feel privileged to be able to provide you, dear readers, with this enlightenment.  You can thank me later.  OR send an African monkey a yellow hat to enjoy, in Africa, with his family, where he must not need to be sold into slavery.  Moving on.  

So, they arrive and disembark from the ship, and walk to the man's house in the city.  However, now I am getting very angered.  How the hell is George going to stay in a house?  
Tell  me you can see this for yourself.  "After a good meal and a good pipe George felt very tired."  Oh holy hell.  What the F is in that pipe?  And why was he smoking it?  I'll tell you.  Date rape.  Sick bastard.  

Next it says that "He crawled into bed and fell asleep at once."  Right, that just proved my theory. I really need to consider detective work if this blog thing doesn't work out for me.  

It says the man telephoned the zoo, and George was  curious about using the telephone, so he tried it too.  Luckily for him, he dialed correctly. He dialed the fire station.  How fortunate.  Sadly, the monkey could not talk to them to tell them where he was to be saved from this pipe smoking, monkey raping man who wears questionable head coverings.  However, it says there in black and white that the firemen looked for the signal on the map that showed where the call came from.  Freakin' A!  They had Lo-jack in the 1940's?  Really?  Wow.  
They get to the house and see that there is no fire, and once they see only one "naughty" monkey, they decide to catch him and lock him up in jail.  Wow, that was rather hasty.  I think the freakin' man in the hat should be taken to jail.  This is totally his fault.  
Now we are on to yet another of my pet peeves.  A "thin" and a "fat" fireman.  Everyone knows how I feel about those words.  Then the firemen said to George, "You fooled the fire department.  We will have to shut you up..."  Okay, this is totally pissing me off at this point.  This poor monkey has been taken a slave and now you are making him a prisoner and talking to him like he's a human?!?!?  No wonder he fooled you.  You people aren't too bright, are you?  

Luckily, he fooled them again, and got out, and somehow, managed to get a hold of a bunch of balloons that carried him far away.  George went higher and higher, and became frightened.  Somehow, he began to come down from the sky, and out of nowhere, his "friend" is yelling his name and he is very happy.  The man in the yellow hat buys the bunch of balloons, takes him to the zoo, and if you ask me, the zoo looks more like Noah's Ark on crack with all those freakin' balloons, but no one asked me and luckily, I will leave it at that.  Although, I am still wondering if they are given balloons, might they also be offered smoke breaks?  

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