When I was little, the USA Network ran “Cartoon Express” every Saturday morning.
Little me was an obnoxiously early riser, so I’d creep out of my bedroom, take up residence on the couch in our living room and turn on the TV. Inevitably I got hungry, so I would go into the kitchen and retrieve a box of cereal to “make” my own breakfast. While I watched, I’d pick the marshmallows out of my brother’s Count Chocula.
The sugar rush was the highlight of the morning, truth be told, likely because I wasn’t terribly interested in cartoons.
In the early 80s, the Cartoon Express was a collection of cartoons that mostly included Hanna-Barbera shows like “Yogi Bear” and “The Smurfs.” They were OK, but lacked the adventure I got from live-action television shows like “The Incredible Hulk” with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.
When I had a son, I knew a return to cartoons would be unavoidable. Watching them, even occasionally, is pretty much one of the top requirements in the parenting handbook.
Shows like “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “The Fairly OddParents” were popular then.
Yogi, BooBoo and Smurfette would’ve been a blessing.
There was one — just one — cartoon I did love when my son was growing up: the movie “Ratatouille.”
Released in 2007, the movie chronicles the adventures of Remy, a young rat with dreams of becoming a chef.
Through a series of unfortunate events, he winds up in a Paris restaurant where he fixes recipes with his superior senses.
Misadventures ensue, but Remy eventually finds his calling.
Admittedly, it’s a weird one to love. The combination of rats and restaurants aren’t exactly as natural as peanut butter and jelly.
With that in mind, if you want an excuse to celebrate World Rat Day on Sunday (or indulge your inner cartoon lover), “Ratatouille” is a fine way to do it.
If simpatico duos like peanut butter and jelly are more your speed, partake in that on Friday.
Other occasions to celebrate include:
April 1: April Fool’s Day, National Burrito Day, International Fun at Work Day
April 2: National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, National Walk to Work Day, International Children’s Book Day
April 3: Find a Rainbow Day, Tweed Day, World Party Day
April 4: Easter Sunday, Hug a Newsman Day, School Librarian Day, World Rat Day
April 5: Deep Dish Pizza Day, Go for Broke Day, National Dandelion Day
April 6: National Tartan Day, Teflon Day, Sorry Charlie Day
April 7: National Walking Day, No Housework Day, World Health Day