10/16/08

RVOD036 Good Health Practices

(1953, Educational/Short, color)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy

Blow mud, my children!

Rating: ***

In a nutshell:


It’s healthy to wash, eat and sleep, but mostly you just need to poop a lot.

Summary:

You two need to poop more; you haven't nearly filled your quota.Little Jim and his big sister Judy are happy, healthy (and mostly parent-free) youngsters. This is because they poop regularly. They also eat well, especially foods that will help them poop. Before and after they poop, they wash their hands, or sometimes their entire bodies. And, after a long day of pooping, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. The makers of this short would also like you to know that poop is nothing to be ashamed of.

Thoughts:

Okay, I admit the short isn’t quite as fixated on poop as I’ve made it sound, but dang it, it’s funny. Truthfully, they only dedicate about a quarter of the running time to “toilet habits”. (In the fifties, I guess you couldn’t just come out and say “poop”, you could only imply it.) The other three quarters are evenly divided among washing, eating and resting well. But then, in a rather bizarre coda to each of these sections, the narrator goes out of his way to tell us how these activities relate back to poop, so advice about excrement rounds up to about half the running time overall.

Proper flushing technique is even more important than a balanced breakfast.This fecal fixation is pretty much the only thing that sets this short apart from the hundreds of other hygiene shorts of this era, but it’s enough to get riffers Mike, Bill and Kevin rolling with the euphemisms, including “coiling a cobra”, “blowing mud”, and “chocolate speedway”. When the narrator leads off by asking, “Have you ever thought about how much fun it is to be alive,” Kevin says, “Walt Whitman did, and now he’s dead.” As the narrator emphasizes washing up (and using the toilet) before bed, Bill adds, “The monsters under your bed hate the smell of clean children.” There are a few moments of hilarity, but mostly it's just good, solid humor that comes out easily and leaves you feeling relaxed and refreshed when you're done.