Monday, November 20, 2023

Charge! Run away!

In my recent post “Jay Leno, Coco, and the killer rabbit,” I posted a clip from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, featuring Tim the Enchanter, a reference to breakfast cereals (like Hidden Treasures), and a Holy Hand Grenade in the form of a golden globus cruciger.

I’ve noticed something else potentially significant: When the knights fight the rabbit, they shout “Charge!” and then very soon shout “Run away!” This actually happens several times in the film and is kind of a running gag.

Like most of the characters in the William Alizio story, Tim and Patrick take their names from real people, in this case classmates of mine for one semester in Maryland when I was eight years old. The two of them were known as the Civil War Nuts, for the rather obvious reason that they were both very interested in the American Civil War. As for myself, I was very interested in, uh, bananas, and was known as Banana Man. There was a friendly rivalry between their posse and mine.

One of the ways this rivalry manifested was in drawings we would make of battles between the Bananas and the Civil War Nuts. These were very stereotyped and always had the same basic format. There were two hills with a valley between them. On the left were the Bananas — just big bananas with arms and legs — running down the hill to attack, They flew their battle flag (sable, a banana or), and their leader (representing yours truly) always had a saber and a round shield and was shouting, “Charge!”

On the right we’re the Civil War Nuts running away and shouting, “Run away!” These looked something like the Planters mascot, Mr. Peanut, except that one of them had a duck’s bill to indicate that he was Patrick (who had played the part of Dr. Mallard in the class’s production of Chadwick and the Garplegrungen).

The Civil War Nuts may always have run away, but from the broader point of view, they were the real winners, seeing as how they had successfully roped the Bananas into participating in a Civil War reenactment.

None of this, other than the names Tim and Patrick themselves, made it into the Alizio story. Still, I find the link with Tim the Enchanter interesting. I never watched any Monty Python until my twenties, though I suppose I likely picked up a catchphrase or two by cultural osmosis.

One final note: In the Holy Grail clip, Arthur says, “That rabbit’s dynamite!” I included the clip in a post in which I mentioned trying to find out if Jay Leno had any particular catchphrase. Most of the search results for jay leno “catchphrase” were articles about a feud between Leno and J. J. Walker, the latter always being introduced as “famous for his catchphrase ‘Dy-no-mite!’”


William Wright (WW) said...

Patrick being a duck also makes sense given another Monty Python reference, where through questionable deductive reasoning (that ultimately led to the right answer) it was determined that if a person weighed the same as a duck, they were a witch. I will include wizards/ wise men in this reasoning since in most definitions the only things that distinguishes witches and wizards is gender.

Thus, since Patrick (in the other tale, as one of the two blue men) is represented as a wizard along with Tim, being drawn as a duck makes complete sense.

That reference also potentially ties back to the Woodkid videos in a loose way, since wood, specifically, was the other thing mentioned that would float like a duck. Thus, to be a 'woodkid' could mean either to be a wizard yourself, or a kid/child of one.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I just read in The Philosopher’s Pupil, “Don’t mess with Rozanov, he’s dynamite.”

William Wright (WW) said...

Bridging my last comment and your latest response on the Jay Leno-Coco post to this post (I haven't decided if commenting on your blog is different than writing on my own, so commenting until I figure that out):

After you mentioned that Leno was known for wearing blue denim, I did a search just to verify. Many articles not only confirmed this, but went so far as to say where he got the denim at, and those that did all mentioned one place: Banana Republic.

Mention of a Republic comprised of Bananas obviously made me think of this post (though I am not sure whether your 8 year old self adopted a representative form of government for your bananas, or you went with more of a monarchy).

Go to the window; it’s dark but clear

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