Sunday, January 11, 2015


The Word…
Okay, so as Ricky Ricardo would say… I got some 'splayneen to do. About a week and a half ago, I just typed a single word as my Facebook status update. I was curious as to how many would read it or know what it meant or even notice it.  It didn't seem to draw that mush attention, but one of my friends (Judi Morrell) asked me if it was a real word or did I make it up? That word was:
So, now I have to relate how I came to posting this mysterious word in my status bar.
As I may have mentioned, while I lay here in my chemo-induced stupor (well not ALL the time, but a lot), I have been binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How I got into this series is another story for another time. Anyhoo…
One night, while drifting in and out of consciousness during the Season 5 finale; Buffy is about to jump to her death high above the ground from a rickety platform built by demons. Her friends arrive just in time to look up as one of them, a character named Xander exclaims, "SHPADOINKLE!"
My immediate thought was, "Wait, what?! What did he say? It sounded like 'Shpadoinkle'" 
So naturally, I hit the "back" button and replayed the scene. Sure enough, once again, Xander said, "Shpadoinkle". And I gave a little chuckle at the absurdity of the sound of this word. And naturally, I was suddenly awake because I just knew there had to be a story behind it.
So at 1 am, I paused the season 5 finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Google the word "Shpadoinkle". I didn't even know how to spell it. I only knew how it sounded so I searched for SHPADOINKLE and got it on the first try!
Turns out it is from a 1993 film called "Cannibal, The Musical"  Trey Parker, the creator of South Park before he joined forces with Matt Stone and became famous. The urban dictionary defines Shpadoinkle thusly:
A term generated in a Matt Stone movie known as Cannibal! The Musical. This word can be a noun, a verb or and adjective and can be substituted for nearly any other word: 

"It really is a shpadoinkle day out today." 
"I think he forgot to wash his hands after he played around with his shpadoinkle." 
" SHPADOINKLE! i think i broke my leg"

From the official Canabal the Musical website, here's what the movie is all about:
Cannibal! The Musical is the true story of the only person convicted of cannibalism in America - Alferd Packer (according to Colorado lore - sole survivor of an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory, he tells his side of the harrowing tale to news reporter Polly Pry as he awaits his execution. And his story goes like this: While searching for gold and love in the Colorado Territory, he and his companions lost their way and resorted to unthinkable horrors, including toe-tapping songs!
And finally here are the lyrics the song for the show - 
SHPADOINKLE by Trey Parker
"The sky is blue and all the leaves are green.
The sun's as warm as a baked potato.
I think I know precisely what I mean,
When I say it's a shpadoinkle day.
And as I ride with my girl,
She's my best friend in the whole world!
We'll move along, set our goals high
With eyes full of hope as we aim for the...
Sky is blue and all the leaves are green.
My heart's as full as a baked potato.
I think I know precisely what I mean,
When I say it's a shpadoinkle day!
When I say it's a happy-go-moinkaly lucky shpadoinklely...dayyyyyy."
And there I was at 1 o'clock in the morning, laughing out loud at this new word while watching this goofy video!

Shpadoinkle (from Canibal, The Musical)
Then I went back to the TV and watched the end of "The Gift", the Season 5 finale of Buffy. And went to sleep, planning on sharing my new word with my Facebook friends the next morning.
Shpadoinkle night.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Reflections on Charlie Hebdo

The day after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France, I am still angry and confused by this insane, malicious act. 
Over a cartoon.

Back when I was a freshman in high school, I was talking to a junior about my biology teacher, Mr. Ignatin. This kid says, "Oh, you have "Popeye" Ignatin? He's pretty cool" I asked about the nickname and he explained that all the kids thought Mr. Ignatin looked like Popeye the Sailor because of the cleft in his big chin and, well, his eyes kinda looked like that, too.
Well, that was all it took to get me started. I used to have notebooks full of cartoons that I had created full of caricatures of my teachers and friends in all kinds of cartoony situations (something many of you are learning right now for the first time). So I bought a new little notebook for my Adventures of Popeye Ignatin cartoons. By day, he was a mild biology teacher. By night, a crime fighting superhero who could make a criminal's mind explode by spouting things at them such as, "The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell!" SPLOOSH!!!

One day, I left that book behind in his classroom after the bell rang. When I realized it was missing, I ran back to the classroom but the book was gone. So was Mr. Ignatin. I sweated out the rest of the school year knowing he had seen and read it - waiting for the day I got in trouble for it. He never said a word about it. And somehow, I ended up with a B in biology.

Apparently, he either liked my cartoons or just didn't consider them when passing out grades.
Nevertheless , I decided that year never to become a cartoonist for fear I might leave a sketchbook behind some day and hurt someone's feelings with my caricatures or sarcastic sense of humor. However, I never dreamed it could ever be a fatal career. I guess that's why this incident in France has me so shaken.

I am Charlie. One of many.