Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “I wonder”. I wonder if, like the rest of us, cartoon characters go the pub after work on a Friday….
The minute hand of the clock reached twelve. It was five o’clock on a Friday evening.
Tom removed his tail from a huge mousetrap and shook it until it stopped throbbing and went back to its normal size. Jerry, who had just swallowed a piece of cheese so large that his body was a triangular shape, banged himself on the chest until the cheese went down.
“Drink?” suggested Tom.
They waved goodbye to Maisie, the huge-legged, beslippered woman who worked with them occasionally, usually laying about Thomas with a sweeping-brush, and walked out of the studio into the pub across the road. Tom watched for a few seconds while Jerry tried to scramble himself into a sitting position on a high stool, then sighed, picked him up and sat him on the chair.
“Show-off,” said Jerry.
“Shortarse,” replied Tom. The two of them grinned. They had worked together for many years now and were very close friends.
They looked around the bar. The Pink Panther sat languidly in one corner, reading Proust. Mr Magoo was carrying on an animated conversation with a beer-tap. Popeye was arm-wrestling, and rather embarrassingly losing, against Velma from Scooby-Doo. Wile E Coyote was typing emails on an Acme laptop, which suddenly burst into flames.
Betty Boop sat quietly and gorgeously with her boyfriend Top Cat, the only one of them who had ever had the self-confidence to ask her out.
All of them were unwinding, in some cases literally, after a hard week’s work. They had all been blown up, squashed flat and smacked ringingly in the face with a frying-pan. They had all stuck a finger into a light socket. They had all at least once been propelled through a wall, leaving a hole the shape of themselves.
They let off steam (again sometimes literally) as they did every Friday, complaining about how difficult their jobs were, and bemoaning their lot compared to those in other professions. Firemen had to fight fires, spies had to be shot at and bloggers got tired fingers, but none of them ever ran over a cliff and continued to run pointlessly for a few seconds before gravity imposed its will.
Bugs Bunny walked over to Tom and Jerry, drinking carrot-juice, though with two shots of vodka in it.
“Eeeeh, what’s up Doc?” he said.
“Not much,” said Tom. “Where’s Elmer?”
“He’s gone shopping, looking for looking for frogs for his garden pond,” said Bugs. “Or ’hunting wibbits‘, as he said himself.”
At the table beside them Muttley sniggered at this joke, but then he rarely did anything else.
The three sat in silence for a while, watching while Yogi Bear tried to count out the four dollars he needed to pay for his drink. Unfortunately Yogi could only count on his fingers, and when you’ve got paws that’s not a terribly useful skill.
“If he’s smarter than the average bear,” said Jerry, “then bears must be really thick.”
“Hey, have you heard about the Penelope Pitstop?” said Bugs. “She’s got a film deal. Not only that, but she’s going to be played by an actual human.”
There was a “kerching” sound, and $$$ signs appeared in Tom and Jerry’s eyes. To be able to sell one’s images rights to humans was the ultimate dream of all cartoon characters. There would be film takings, DVD takings, action figures, wallpaper, bedspreads, little plastic toys given out in MacDonalds.
Best of all, while they were taking in all this money it would be some human, not them, who would have to run into a garden and step straight onto a rake.
After their movie the Flintstones had been able to move out of Bedrock, buy a house in the Hamptons and Fred had been able to afford an engine for his car.
“Who’s playing her?” asked Tom.
“Should work,” said Tom.
“When our time comes,” said Jerry, “who do you reckon will play me?”
“Tom Cruise,” said Bugs. “He’s just about the right height.”