Thursday, September 17, 2009

People who died, part deux

Mary of Peter Paul and Mary dropped dead. The trio had many hits, but the one most significant to me was the song Puff the Magic Dragon, which inspired the cartoon of the same name. Like most 70s children's fare, it was disturbing, unsettling, but still beautifully composed.

The story is about a boy named Jackie Draper who meets a dragon named Puff. The child is severely depressed, possibly suffering from the affects of molestation (which I wasn't aware of at the time), so Puff creates "Jackie Paper" and steals Draper's soul. Puff offers to take Paper to the magic land of Honalee, but Paper does nothing but cry about being scared. This may make some sense, as Puff is voiced by Burgess Meredith, also known as the Penguin, the avian avatar of avarice. Paper and The Penguin cannibalize Paper's possessions and create a boat to sail away. Paper nearly pisses his pants because he is so afraid of pa-pa-pirates. Gigantic, fucking pirates (fucking as an adjective, not a verb).

"I'm scared to have no fear." "Jackie, the first step to not being afraid, is to see things the way they are." So Puff lights up some fragrant weed and blows it in Paper's face. He gets the munchies and starts to ask the pirate for pie. Everyone then sits around and eats and laughs and eats. Then the pirate starts crying, but then he starts laughing. Some people just get weird when they're high. Later, Puff gets philosophical about clouds and stars, and it's either a metaphor for small, ugly people, or Puff just had some really good weed. Puff then jumps out of the boat and Jackie flies the sea vessel into the sky, where he throws a ball of light into space. I mean, God damn, that is some fantastic herb. But all is not great. The duo arrives in Honalee to find it in disrepair, which is what happens when you're always on a trip, so to speak. The new inhabitants of Honalee are suffering from the swine flu, 30 years before it was trendy. Paper asks Puff to help the "Sneezes," but Puff tells him that the filthy immigrants have ruined both his homeland and his magic powers.

Paper then finds the former pirate, now an Italian chef, to make-a da nice chicken soup for whatevah ails youse! Golden showers rain down on Honalee, and everyone proceeds to have the most amazing acid trip of all time. "Weave me the sunshine," indeed. The fun must end, however, and Paper wakes up back in his room. Puff tells him that his childhood is gone, that Uncle Bob diddled his wee wee, but now he must face this and overcome his problems. Time to be an adult, Jackie. Jackie concedes, so Puff gives him back his soul. Paper returns to being Draper, starts spouting gibberish, and reunites with his parents. Meanwhile, Puff, green dreadlocks frayed and tangled, walks by and asks if anyone has seen a dragon. He then realizes he saw himself in a mirror. Jesus, Puff, sober up for once.

1 comment:

Gorilla Bananas said...

Jackie's mother is a pretty woman, but she ought to do some exercises to firm up her sagging tush.