Monday, July 24, 2006


Never has a post here caused as much controversy as the one about Thomas the tank engine and friends being dicks. Not so much with the blog-o-sphere, but with members of my family. The post has prompted many phone calls from my siblings.

The second call, from Jim was in regards to my lack of mental filter. The third call was from my brother Mike to tell me he was letting his kids play with Thomas. And the first, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh call (I am sure there will be more) were all from LawnWhisperer. LW is a little upset at the fact that I said:

“Sure I let my son play with the trains but I don’t want him picking upon the how the trains treat each other on the videos.”

He finds it absolutely ridiculous that parent’s blame TV shows for adversely influencing their kids. He also finds it absolutely hysterical that I could be one of those parents. He pointed out the fact that we grew up watching Road Runner, Tom and Jerry and Bugs bunny cartoons and that we never dropped anvils on each other (Susie from Raising Liam also pointed this out) and that I was the worst when it came to how much time was spent in front of the TV.

He said it was all about parenting, which I know and I got his point after the first phone call and I agree with him. However, it was the 4 or so subsequent phone calls that he made to me to drive his point home.

“Bill, this is LW, I was watching Wiley E Coyote this weekend with the kids and you won’t believe what happened. Luke dropped Kyle off a cliff.”

“Bill, I was watching Finding Nemo this weekend with the kids and now Kyle thinks he can live underwater.”

“Bill, We watched Sponge Bob and now the kids think it is okay to live under a pineapple.”

“Bill, We were watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this weekend and now the kids won’t listen to me. They will only listen to a giant Rat.”

During each one of these conversations he had me laughing at the different scenarios he would create. They would get bigger and broader in scope. We talked about steroids in baseball and violent lyrics in music. He said, “Any person that listens to Ozzy and goes out and kills someone, was going to kill someone anyway, regardless of the music. They just use the music as an excuse. People got to stop blaming this stuff.”

I told him I totally agreed with him but since I actually posted something to the contrary he had ammunition for a long time to make fun of me. On his last phone call to me about this topic he summed it up.

“You saying that your kids will be mean to each other because Thomas and his friends are mean to each other is like…well let me put it this way. If I were to watch porn it does not mean I am going to get laid.”


lawnwhisperer said...

I got another one, but I'll save it for a call later today.

Anonymous said...

The lawnwhisperer is a wise man, Bill. Good to heed his advice. In other news, we were watching The Wiggles this weekend. And now? My kids are all totally f*cking gay!

Teri said...

LW is one tough cookie. gee I can't wait to have kids......

Anonymous said...

Isn't it okay to live under a pineapple? Listening to Ozzy?

Unknown said...

William, I'm going to have to point this out -- SpongeBob lives IN a pineapple under the sea.

AND, may I add, Thomas and Friends do get in 'disagreements', etc. but they do make up at the end. Friends do sometimes treat each other badly, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not.

We watched The Music Man over the weekend. Now, Buddy is going around singing "Gary Indiana" with the worst lisp... ;)

Anonymous said...

The Porn Whisperer should keep his fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

Circus Kelli is dead on. The entire premise of 'Thomas' is conflict-resolution. Attention span willing,, a good lesson is always available in every episode.

Metrodad. You are a funny fella.

sari said...

I don't know, I grew up on Bugs too, but if I could have gotten my hands on an anvil, I might have one less sister today.

Just sayin'. ;-)

(Ok, I'm kidding. But I like Bugs. I like SpongeBob. I don't really like Thomas. Maybe Thomas just needs a good anvil dropping on one of the residents of Sodorville. Or whatever it is called where they all live. Give Cranky a reason to really be cranky! Give Mr. Toppemhat something to be disagreeable about!).

Cheryl said...

I watched Finding Nemo and now I have short term memory loss. See, it works on adults, too!

eclectic said...

Now see, I'm not a big fan of Arthur because I think the kids AND adults are incredibly disrespectful to one another, as well as the other kids AND adults. I find that disruptive to the parenting message we try to send, so while it's not forbidden, we definitely don't go out of our way to watch it. Thomas on the other hand, is just boring. ;)

Anonymous said...

that just had me piss my pants.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm what you'd call a lurker. I read, but this is the first time I've commented.

My 4 year old LOVES Thomas. But, we did have to stop watching it for a while because he would say "I'm going to biff and bash you" when he was mad, just like the trains do to the Troublesome Trucks. So, it was a learning experience. We had to talk about the difference between trains and people and how we don't solve our problems that way. He still watches it because he's going to see things in life he can't or shouldn't emulate.

But no other parents have ever mentioned the Thomas thing, so it was refreshing to hear it.

Michelle said...

I still don't like Thomas. But then again, my girls watch the Barbie movies, so I'm probably not a great judge of these kinds of things. If you had said you didn't want your kids to watch Caillou, nobody would be disagreeing with you. That show irks everyone. That kid is the whiniest brat on the planet, hands down.

metrodad - thanks for the laugh.

Lowa said...


He is HORRIBLE! I can't believe that show is Canadian, makes us look bad:)

We never really watched it. My kids watched it a few times and then shut it off and scrunched their faces up and said, "He whines too much. I can't listen to him talk, it makes me mad."

I think one of them may have even said they wanted to drop an anvil on his head. Or was it push him off a cliff???

N said...

okay, i've never seen thomas or any of his friends, but i'm totally with you william. we can all laugh at the far-out, unrealistic antics of tom & jerry or bugs bunny cartoons. we can't exactly duplicate dropping a piano on someone from off a cliff in the desert.

but don't try and tell me that kids haven't picked up how to be ignorant-sounding, incorrect-english-speaking, scantily-clad, smart-ass idiots from the tv shows, music, and stupid entertainers they follow.

i don't have kids, but my husband's sister is 8, and is totally into BRATZ. i can't even get started on how disgusted i am by this, and by the fact that the family acutally feeds it by buying her the little dolls that resemble prostitutes or the Tv show that promotes little girls into becoming bumbling stupid idiots concerned only with boys and being sexy. now she's eight and wearing fake nails and belly shirts.

don't tell me this shit doesn't influence who they are. just be glad you don't have girls.

Nilbo said...

Hilarious, as always. I especially liked the part about watching porn doesn't mean you're gonna get laid. I roared.

Ummm ... that was a joke, right?

Anonymous said...

porn whisperer.... i love it.

Unknown said...

Dude, LW, if I watch porn it definately means I'm going to get laid. I'm just sayin...

Kids ARE influenced by TV, just like I am. So I think you were right the first time.

Anonymous said...