Friday, February 23, 2007

The Real Ernie

My friend Dean and I were just discussing what scares kids when they're little. F'rinstance, Dean's kids were terrified by Large Marge in "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure." Honestly, I was scared, too. But I saw this movie only after it came out on VHS, and all my friends who had seen it in the theater warned me that once you heard Large Marge say:
"On this very night, ten years ago, along the same stretch of road, in a dense fog JUST LIKE THIS ... I saw the worst ... accident ... I ever seen!"
well, once you heard those words, then you knew it was time to cover your eyes.
Rightfully so, I'd say.

And Dean himself was terrified by the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Can you blame him?

I don't remember anything I was particularly afraid of, other than nuclear apocalypse, dogs, drowning, getting stuck in elevators and burning up in a housefire (Thanks, episode of Webster called "Burn Out.") Oh, also, I was scared of Duncan in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, when he comes riding back on a horse and he has no eyes. Duncan has no eyes. The horse has eyes. But the horse potentially has no name. It happens often, from what I hear. The circumstance of nameless horses, that is. I also had a recurring nightmare wherein I was figure skating during the Winter Olympics and people were screaming and screaming and SCREAMING at me as I was disappearing into the ice. This is the fever dream that repeats every time I have the flu, in some way or another. It's always about SOMETHINGNESS being destroyed by NOTHINGNESS. In this case, it was the ice taking over the entire Olympics stadium. When I was in college, I had a fever that was so high that I deleriously heard voices telling me that I was a hibakusha, an atomic bomb victim and that I was slowly dying of radiation poisoning. It happens.

But my little brother, Adam ... He was terrified -- TERRIFIED -- of something he called "The Real Ernie."

Think back, if you can, to a sketch on Sesame Street where Ernie and Bert explored a pyramid. Do you remember the Egyptian statue that looked just like Ernie, and tap-tap-tapped him on the shoulder with his Egyptian staff thing? That Egyptian statue thing was what my brother called THE REAL ERNIE. And he (my brother, not The Real Ernie) would wake up screaming in the middle of the night, and we would ask him what the matter was. And he would sputter, "The Real Ernie! The Real Ernie!"

And so, without further ado: Here is The Real Ernie.


Who Am I? said...

This saddens me, as I am a huge fan of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sesame Street, and PeeWee movies, in that order. The only contribution I can make, and the reason for this comment, is to share that I recently developed a ridiculous fear of whales. For no reason. And I live in the Midwest.

WomanoftheLaw said...

Large Marge scaredthe bejesus out of me, as did the Wheelies in Return to Oz.