Our daughter Casey seems to have turned out great, and my wife Barbara and I like to take some small amount of credit for that.
One of the parenting moves we definitely got right was in our timing of Casey’s conception so that she was just out of the appropriate age range when Barney the Purple Dinosaur became popular. I have to tell you, if I’d had to sit there with her watching Barney and Friends instead of Sesame Street, we eventually would not have owned a TV without a large projectile sticking out of its screen.
I have never, ever met a parent who thought that Barney was even remotely tolerable. And I never noticed at the time, but look–Barney’s head is the shape of a penis head! It was a TV show with a giant purple penis cavorting with preschoolers!*^
And do you remember the abomination that is “I Love You,” the vomit-inducing tune that ended each episode? The only good thing about this song (sung to the melody of the only slightly less annoying “This Old Man”) was that it meant the show was over. The bad news was that the tune would then be stuck in your head like a brain tumor all day.
Anyway, here’s why I bring all this up. If it was absolute torture to be a parent having to sit through Barney . . . if an entire generation of children grew up thinking that dinosaurs are kind, friendly creatures so that, if they ever see even the trailer from Jurassic Park they’ll be in therapy for years . . .
. . . can you imagine how screwed up the son of Barney’s creator must be?
This was not a random thought on my part. I was not sitting at my computer one day wasting time when I suddenly started thinking about the offspring of the creators of insidious children’s shows. I was sitting at my computer one day wasting time when this Huffington Post headline got my attention:
Patrick Leach, Son Of “Barney & Friends” Creator, Arrested For Attempted Murder
This was disturbing news indeed, especially coming on the heels of revelations about the guy who had his hand up Elmo’s ass all those years.** It seems that Leach was arrested after…
“…gunshots were heard around 9:30 a.m. in a Malibu neighborhood, (and) police found a 49-year-old with an apparent gunshot wound to the chest.”
I don’t know about you, but I had no idea Barney was that old.
Unfortunately, “the victim was taken to UCLA Medical Center and is expected to survive.”
I say “unfortunately” as a joke because I’m pretending, for the sake of humor (albeit humor that may be in questionable taste) that Patrick Leach shot Barney. According to the story however, it was a neighbor who got shot, not a dinosaur of color. In that case, of course, it is completely wrong of me to refer to the victim’s survival as unfortunate.***
However, if I’m wrong in my assumption and the victim was Barney (after all, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that Barney could have been living next door to his creator’s son–it would be similar to a Christian living next door to a church, wouldn’t it?), I would like to say to Patrick Leach: “How could you not deliver a fatal shot to the head? The head is, like, the size of a SmartCar and shaped like a giant penis! Aim better next time!”
See you soon.
*You’ll never be able to visit the Museum of Natural History again without thinking impure thoughts.
^Dear Reader: If Barney’s head does not look like a penis to you, please do not say so in a comment, because that would mean there’s something seriously wrong with me.
**NEWS FLASH: The guy who was the voice of Charlie Brown in those Peanuts TV specials just got arrested, too. And don’t forget Pee-Wee Herman. This stuff never happened to the children’s show hosts we had when we were kids. What did Shari Lewis and Soupy Sales ever do?^^
***Unless the victim was, say, Hitler as a child who had traveled forward in time for the purpose of being assassinated.
^^Except that incident when Soupy asked his viewers to go through their parents’ pants, find the “funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents,” and send them to him.