RVOD139 Values: Understanding Ourselves

(1970s-ish, Educational/Short, color)


Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

How come dogs only talk to me?

Rating: ***

In a Nutshell:

Three kids wander around; one is driven to madness by a discarded hubcap.


The One Hubcap, which drives its users to madness.Three small boys wander a neighborhood, jumping off walls and teasing girls, their arms around one another at all times. A narrator tells us about their different (read: all but identical) family situations, then touches on the story of Aladdin. Soon after, the boys find a hubcap in a vacant lot. They stick their tongues out at it for hours, eventually deciding that it’s a magic hubcap, capable of granting wishes. The Hispanic boy rubs it with feverish desperation, wishing to be someone else. He stops after several minutes, finally deciding that it’s okay to be himself after all. The Caucasian and African American boys decline their turns at rubbing. Whether they reached the same epiphany as their friend or were just sort of freaked out by his brief lapse into hubcap-polishing lunacy is a question that remains unanswered.


Good short full of good points. I feel like it really helped me understand those boys better, you know, as people. I never actually thought about it before, but polishing a hubcap with your sleeve really is a revealing experience. It’s a pastime that generates moments of pure insight into the meaning of life. When it’s just you and your greasy, distorted reflection, you better believe your skill at introspective rubbing is the only thing that can tell you whether you’re a boy or a man. That’s the way I see it, anyway. I could be wrong. And if I am, then the short is nonsense with no point to it at all.

A few favorite comments: When the boys can’t stop showing the hubcap their tongues, Mike says, “It’s practically begging us to lick it.” When the narrator calls the hubcap a “magic mirror”, Kevin notes that it’s “a magic mirror, splattered with mud and old motor oil.” While the boys obsess over their discovery, Bill wants to know, “Had they not invented toys yet when this was filmed?” The short’s basically just a big block of unconnected assertions, and the riffers do a decent job pointing this out.