That's All, Folks!

In the background were voices -- whiny, strident, cloying, skeptical, sniggering, smug, defiant, scared. I was home sick from work but had fallen asleep with MSNBC on TV. I woke up at one point and a horribly distorted face was filling the screen. Gaaaaaa! I shuddered and hid my eyes -- it was Linda Tripp.

"Yes, it is!"

"Not it's not!"

"Sex is having intercourse!"

"I love you, Butthead." I pulled the pillow over my head and muted the sound with the remote. What hath cable wrought?

The week began innocently enough before I got sick. Monday mornings are busy times for me, what with preparing for the noon editorial meeting, and I shun most phone calls, except my mother and Weezer. But when Joe Nick Patoski from Texas Monthly paged me at 11:45am, I took it.

I'd seen Joe Nick the day before at the Texas Book Festival, where we had been on a panel together. He had confided that his teenage son wanted to meet me because of something I'd written on Rob Zombie. I felt really old even though I love Rob Zombie. Just the day before I had been feeling really young. The book festival's Authors Coffee was held at the Governor's Mansion, and I expected to meet the governor and first lady Laura Bush, who is the book fest's patron saint. There was the governor, looking really old. I walked through the line first with "Postscripts" columnist Clay Smith. "Did you say the Houston Chronicle?" the gov joshed.

"No, The Austin Chronicle," we smiled. Good heavens, the governor looks as old as his father, I thought. Then I ran into Bill Crawford, my co-author on Rock Stars Do the Dumbest Things. We've just finished writing Movie Stars Do the Dumbest Things and will probably do TV stars next, we agreed. I nudged him. "Or politicians. Let's go get our photo taken with him."

Ruff and Reddy, always rough and ready!

Crawford and I lined up with his son Joe, who is nine. Crawford had managed to get Joe in officially, meaning he was in the authors' photo in the Capitol and we chortled over that bit of subversion. At some point, standing in line, I realized Governor Bush looked old because he was former President Bush. I was starstruck as he shook my hand. As we stepped up to pose, he clapped his hand on my shoulder with a directive. "Smile!" Bush ordered. I smiled. He's quite handsome in person, not as geeky as he appears in the press. As the photographer finished snapping, the ex-prez smacked me on the back with the force of someone attempting to aid one who is choking.

"Thank you!" I smiled to him, coughing. He shook my hand again. I headed out to the book tents where I spent a lot of time reading badges and thinking, "Wow, I've read your stuff."

So when I answered Joe Nick's call, the last thing I expected was to hear him launch into the Ruff and Reddy theme song. David A., who prefaced it by asking if remembering childhood TV show lyrics wasn't an "incredible waste of brain cells," sent me a set of lyrics. He also noted that "at the end of the last show, the announcer said that Ruff and Reddy were going away for a while, 'but they'll be back sometime.' He lied, the worthless son of a bitch." Those dirty bastards! Your memory is very impressive!

Another version of the lyrics came from Jackson H., who wrote, "do a search of Ruff and Reddy on Alta Vista." Dude, you absolutely rock. I don't remember what my chubby little fingers were typing when I was doing a search for Ruff and Reddy last week. I even turned up a Toon Tracker page for them,, as well as the "Forgotten Hanna-Barbera Page," reply! (This reminds me that I have yet to find ToonTracker's index page! I just follow their links. Any clues?) Also, Jim J. found a good fan site in

HB fan Mark S. (who draws cartoon ducks for real money, he says -- talk about great work if you can get it!) has "a soft spot in my heart for Hanna-Barbera for producing the all-time best Fantastic Four cartoons in the late Sixties, cartoons that lifted Jack Kirby's artwork and panels from the comics verbatim and animated them limitedly! The thrill I got seeing them as a kid is hard to convey. ... Remember a show called Milton the Monster?" Mark, I gotta tell you, you are the first HB fan to write who didn't sound like he'd dipped into Yogi's pic-a-nic basket too many times. As for Milton the Monster, I picture a green, simply drawn, cute, friendly monster character but I can remember nothing else about him. Is that close?

Reader Terry M. said he supposed Ruff and Reddy "beat the hell out of watching the Davey and Goliath cartoons I was forced to watch as a child." Davey and Goliath -- now doesn't that open up a new can of wormy cartoons. I remember that Davey and Goliath was the first kids' show on the morning schedule so naturally my brothers and I watched it, uh, religiously even though it made us writhe in agony. Literally. I can remember being on the floor with Scott and Stephen and sputtering like sausages in a frying pan as we acted out our dislike of D&G. (Many thanks to Curtis N., Monty N., and my original cartoon consultant Juan F. Lara.)

Finally, Ross Bagdasarian,akaDave Seville, co-wrote "Come on-a My House" with William Sayoran. Rosemary Clooney made it a hit, and George Clooney is her nephew. Congratulations, N2Linctus, you got to me first and win the 7th Heaven tape plus assorted promo swag, and thank you MJL and Rich U. for your correct answers.

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