Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1981

I’m addicted to Saturday morning cartoons. Friday nights my sister and I sleep on the blue and white carpet that covers the upstairs hallway. Head to head our sleeping bags contain weekend excitement zipped up in plaid softness. Just before 7am we wake, take turns peeing, stumble like little zombies wearing pjs, go downstairs for the sugar. Pile Tasteeos (a generic version of Cheerios) into our bowls, then heap spoonfuls of the white stuff from a large snapped glass jar, before navigating our way to the basement TV. The Magnavox sits dormant, boring, until one of us pulls the knob, turning the dial to channel 5, Big Blue Marble, the colorful glow of the earth greets us. By 8am the grey goop like melted cotton candy has been scooped up from the bottom of my bowl, I’m transfixed, wired, ready for Super Friends. Good vs. Evil, the Hall of Justice vs. the Legion of Doom, subtle American propaganda?, a magic lasso, aquatic powers, gadgets, Krypton-derived strength, interspersed with short vignettes urging us not to smoke. 9am The Smurfs, a mushroomed utopian village, minus the lack of females, the menacing cat Azrael, the balding black-robed Gargamel, and the bullying of Brainy who is always right. At 10am my appetite for wealth is reinforced by Richie Rich, he, like the games Life and Monopoly, teach me that having mucho money is good, very good. The last show of the morning is Tarzan and the Lone Ranger. The hour does it’s best to insert African and Native American stereotypes into my plastic mind, along with a heavy dose of male-dominated adventure. Around noon I have a rumbling stomach and my dad has already threatened to turn off the TV at least once. We finally ascend, pop in some Stouffer’s French bread pizzas, put on some clothes, and count the days until our next Saturday morning injection.