10/23/08

RVOD037 Good Eating Habits

(1951, Educational/Short, b&w)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy

Chew deep into the afternoon.

Rating: ****

In a nutshell:

Eat everything mother gives you, but slowly. Nope, not slowly enough. Slower. Slower, I say!

Summary:

Holy crap, that makes me hungry.It’s dinnertime in the Generic household. Mafioso Dad enjoys a heaping plate of something gray. So does Mannish Mom and Pale Big Sister. But not Bill. Bill doesn’t feel so good. He can’t finish his plate, dragging himself upstairs to his room with a stomachache. He’s so queasy that even his model train set feels sluggish. Mannish Mom puts him to bed early. How could things have come to this?

Well, Bill was in a hurry at breakfast and lunchtime, wolfing down just a couple of bites of each before running off to do something more interesting. Then, after school, he filled up on soda and candies. With that Coke/cookie/Snickers Bar amuse bouche as nearly his sole source of pre-dinner nutrition, it’s no wonder he feels a bit urpy.

Thankfully, Bill’s junk food-induced night of gastrointestinal terror has taught him a valuable lesson. Next morning he gets up early, so he’ll have time to chew every bite of his breakfast until it’s perfectly pureed. Repeat the process at lunch. Before-dinner snacks are allowed, but only healthy snacks provided by Mannish Mom should be accepted, and yes, masticated into oblivion before swallowing. Just to drive the point home, we see Bill repeat the process yet again at dinner. There. Now Bill’s model train feels well enough to move at a normal speed.

Thoughts:

Chew that orange juice slower, Bill.  You won't extract any nutrition just by gulping it.I wonder, if you chew your food long enough, will it evaporate completely, eliminating the need to swallow? I mean, if you can chew long enough to turn solids into liquids, wouldn’t it make sense to chew it even longer, thus reducing one’s liquefied mouthful to gaseous form? That way you really could inhale your meals...

Okay, I admit that I’m killing time to distract you from the fact that I don’t have much to say about this short. It’s staid and bland like just about every other hygiene and health-related short from this era, only more so. If it were any more insubstantial, it would cease to exist.

And yet, somehow Mike, Bill and Kevin turn this into one of the funniest Rifftrax shorts available. Mike starts us out by explaining why it’s not Eating Habits are not Good. “First of all,” he says, “the nuns get angry.” Later, when we get to the interminable chewing scenes, Mike offers this time-saving suggestion: “Pre-chew your food and store it in squeeze bottles.” Kevin chimes in during the early, rushed meals with commentary such as, “And he’s off in a cloud of liverwurst!” Bill gives us just the right ending when the film cuts off mid-line, “Aaah! The bomb!” This one went well against my expectations, but I'm glad it did. Usually the riffers do their best work with shorts that are already bizarre. This one’s so staid that it’s almost a blank canvas, but they hit it just perfectly anyway.