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teeth When I was a kid, my mother would take me and my siblings to the dentist all at once.

So, while my brother and sister were having their teeth cleaned, I would sit in the waiting room dreading having to take my spot in the chair and answer the dentist's questions about flossing or feeling all of his horrible tasting fingers in my mouth or hearing the horrible wheeeeeeee of the drill or having to rinse and spit.... To while away the time, magazines were provided and one of the magazines availible was a children's magazine called Highlights.

One of the features in Highlights was a little cartoon called "Goofus and Gallant." george This comic featured two boys, one of whom always behaved badly (and was named "Goofus") and the other of whom always behaved perfectly (and was named "Gallant"). In each issue, one would be presented with a situation and we would be shown in two panels how Goofus behaved versus how Gallant behaved.

So, if the earthshaking and exciting plot of "Goofus and Gallant" in that issue was, for instance, the opening of a door, Goofus would be shown pushing his way through the door in front of others with an evil grin on his face while Gallant would chivalrously hold the door open for others with a poncy little smile.

I HATED "Goofus and Gallant" even when I was too young and stupid to know why I hated it. These days I realize that I hate it simply because no explanation of what made Goofus such a self centered little prick had ever been given. Narritive demands motivation!

Goofus and Gallant had all of the emotional depth of "Leave it to Beaver" which is why it was such a crock.

Of course, I also wonder if we shouldn't blame the parents --- I mean, after all, they DID name him "Goofus."

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Copyright 2007 Moral Relativism Ltd.