Who remembers Chip and Dale, the chipmunks?
Not to be confused with these guys:
When I was little, my family and I lived in an apartment. In fact, we lived in the apartment I was born in, but that’s a different story. Just outside of our apartment building, there was a bus stop, complete with a small, somewhat ghetto bus shelter. Basically, a glass box the size of maybe two phone booths put next to each other. Inside the glass box, there was a small bench and a metal garbage can attached to one of the walls.
So here’s what would go down.
My dad would take my brother and I to the bus shelter. He would put an imaginary coin into the metal garbage can (or maybe he would use a real coin, like a penny, but if so, boy, what a waste of money) as payment, and then my brother and I would reenact all of the Chip and Dale songs we knew from watching the cartoons.
We had a go-to song that I still remember the tune for, but the words escape me and I couldn’t find it on YouTube. All I remember is it started with, “I’m Chip! I’m Dale!” and a little tip of the top hat. Which of course we mimed.
This would go on for what felt like hours.
I feel like my brother and I were pretty fucking adorable putting on this little act, but if I saw some kids doing the same thing now, I’d probably be super annoyed by them.
What does that say about me?
I have no idea.
Did we ever actually catch the bus?
I have no idea.
What I learned from that, however, is that I was basically born an independent producer/performer. I’d like to throw ‘writer’ in there, too, but I was clearly adapting material I had seen elsewhere. I wouldn’t start my writing career until a couple years later, in kindergarten.
So there you have it.
*Watching that cartoon now, at 26, I’m uncomfortably aware of how inappropriate and creepy it is. Let’s face it: those chipmunks might as well have been strippers. Clarice is like, halfway there.**
**Bonus lesson learned: Don’t look back on childhood cartoons. No good can come of it.