Kanga — Oh, No You Didn’t

Work demands are at lightspeed and my network is practically running on dialup. I just watched my data transfer countdown go from 51 to 48 minutes … that took 15 minutes, and inspired in me all the sexiness and enthusiasm of listening to paint dry. That’s right, sports fans – it’s not even as good as watching paint dry.

For a moment of levity, I went to one of my happy places. A place I like to call, “Crouching Kanga, Hidden Ass-Kicking.” And while I have half a dozen posts in progress dealing with everything from politics to today’s version of Newspeak to secret messages in children’s books, I wanted to take a moment to share with you an animated .gif that numbers among my most favorites.

Without further delay, I present:

Lest you think me cruel, it’s not only a toddler getting laid out by a kangaroo that cracks me up here. Clearly, that would be enough by itself, but I love all the moving parts to this little vignette.

For one thing, the kid totters over to the kangaroo without any apparent purpose. He probably just wants to pat it on the head. I mean, who wouldn’t? But as Alison and I can attest, you don’t approach random exotic animals without being prepared that while they might be beautiful, they might also be stark raving assholes.

As for the kicker, I think it’s pretty clear that he has a different concept of personal space than does our intrepid youngster. If you watch his ears and body language, you can see him as the kid approaches: “Oh, hey … that’s close enough. THAT’S CLOSE ENOUGH!” But then he’s not aggressive once he’s reestablished his breathing room. I imagine him saying, “See? That’s better, right?” and he goes right back to calm.

I love his buddy. That cat is as cool as the other side of the pillow – he never even budges, except to shake his ears after The Incident. I go back and forth on whether I think that’s laughter or just resignation that this kind of thing goes on all the time.

Grandpa is awesome. Kiddo just got LAID OUT, and he just slowly wanders over to pull him back up to his feet. Did you see that crash? There could be brain damage, Gramps. More than before he wandered over to Thumper over there. It puts me in mind of the great Christopher Titus, who does a bit about his dad letting him stick metal in an electric socket. When he gets fried, dad walks over and says, “Not going to do that again, are you?” If that were me, I’d have drop-kicked kangaroo before my kid even went completely flat. Grandad is Buddy’s soulmate, though: he sighs and figures there’s a lesson in here somewhere.

Watch it another five times, though. And this time, check out the background – I’m talking about homeboy who sees the kid just start into motion, and comes flying toward the Scene of the Crime. He wants to be the one to knock the kid on his ass. He actually stops his pell-mell approach as soon as contact is made and Grandpa goes to retrieve the kick-ee. Imagine in your mind, “Let me do it! Let me do it!” the whole way toward everyone else. He’s either the barnyard enforcer, or a young kangaroo who hasn’t made his bones yet.

Drop me a comment with anything I haven’t thought of in the hundreds of times I’ve watched this.

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2 Responses to Kanga — Oh, No You Didn’t

  1. pithypants says:

    Had forgotten about this clip. How could I? Three things:
    1. You’ve misinterpreted background kangaroo. I think he sees trouble brewing and is heading over to take out Grandpa. They just stopped the video.
    2. You’ve done a disservice by looping it. I want to hit pause so I can do a frame by frame analysis — like figuring out where the kid’s hat goes when he gets kicked.
    3. I think Grandpa has Bob Dole’s hand. Which is why he is clutching a hat, and only uses one arm when he goes to pick up a kid who has clearly had the shit kicked out of him.

    • popdialectic says:

      Okay, in my defense, I didn’t loop it – it’s an animated GIF that I found somewhere. Totally take your point, though. Frame-by-frame analysis would add even more to it. I hadn’t noticed that the kid got knocked right out of his hat! And I’m going to postulate a third explanation for Background Kangaroo: maybe he’s coming to defend the kid. That would explain why he stops when the whole beating goes down, because there’s no point in hurrying over anymore. Could be that he’s the non-asshole in the breed but just wasn’t fast enough to prevent what he saw coming. Just an idea.

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