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all god’s creatures, fresh off the grill

April 6, 2011

I cannot understand why Mr. Meaty, the what-I-consider-genius-television show that Nickelodeon aired for all of about half a season, was canceled. It was another fine partnership between Nickelodeon and the CBC (Canadian television), and we all know that Nick’s best shows come or came from Canada. Those Canadians are messed up in the best way possible when it comes to children’s programming. According to Wikipedia, parents petitioned the network to have it removed because of the “gross-out” humor and its insensitivity to vegetarians (it’s a show about two kids who work at a fast food place in the mall called Mr. Meaty, which, as you might imagine, involves a lot of meat). It aired between 2005 and 2007, or thereabouts, and it is a damn shame it’s off the air. It’s the kind of stuff you miss these days, in the super-sweet children’s programming haze of Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, and yes, even Spongebob (though in this list, only Spongebob Squarepants is actually on Nickelodeon…the other two are from Disney). Luckily, you can buy it on DVD, because while Nickelodeon might be too scared to air it, they certainly aren’t above trying to make as much money off it as possible.

The reason I mention Mr. Meaty is because I woke up this morning completely reminded of it. The dream had nothing to do with it, exactly, but it just left a Mr. Meaty-esque taste in my mouth. In the dream, I was at a restaurant/convenience store that felt a lot like being in an American Legion. The decor included wood-paneled walls, long folding card tables, and metal folding chairs with the paint chipping off–reminders of church spaghetti suppers and CYO pancake breakfasts. My sister and I sat at at a table facing each other, trying to decide what to order at the counter (no waitresses here, you just go up to the register and order, and your food is brought to you). Finally we decide, and I go up to the counter. In front of me is a red-haired woman with a baby stroller. I look at the woman, and recognize her from college.

“Kate! Is that you?” I ask.

“COCO,” she exclaims, “It’s been so long, dude!” Katie (nicknamed “Red”) was actually the first person who ever called me Coco, and it really grew on me. I loved it–I loved having a nickname, because it somehow meant I was “in,” even though she and I never hung out or called each other. We saw one another in one wheel-throwing pottery class senior year, and that was it. Anyway, in the dream I was surprised to see her with a baby.

“Is this your baby?”

She pulled back the blanket from his little face and said, “Weird, right?” Weird doesn’t describe it, because the baby had a tiny red beard. A glorious, Abe Lincoln-style fiery red beard. I think I shrieked in delight. I looked across the room at the bar (American Legion, remember?) and the bar tender was a toddler with bright red hair and one of those mutton chop/mustache connection facial do’s. We both saw him at the same time and giggled in delight. As we came down from our giggle high, sighing and occasionally tittering, I see that it’s time for her to go, and time for me to finally place my order. I turn to the counter as she walks out the door, ready to request something off the menu. The order is already there, though, and I never even have to ask. My meat, red, raw, and bony, is handed to me on a giant tray. I understand it’s for me and Ally to share.

I bring this giant tray back to the table. Thinking back on it, I’m reminded of that giant rib that Fred Flintstone orders,  the one that tips the car. We dig in. The meat is tender, tasty, and does not feel uncooked, but it sure looks it. The more we eat, the more  the “insides” become exposed–not just bones of all shapes, but yellow and brown organs, slippery guts, gelatinous connective tissue. In fact, the meat goes from being rare to raw to not being “meat” at all, but an animal carcass, open and nearly festering. We stop and look down. We are horrified, covered in blood. I push the tray away, shaking my head in disbelief. How did it come to this? The toddler bar tender dries a glass and looks in our direction, with a knowing glance, like he’s seen this realization come across a hundred people’s faces.


We’re playing outside in the dark. It’s just me and my brother, and he’s got a giant firefighter’s hose pointed at me, and I’m trying to run from it. Apparently, it’s a fun game. I stumble upon a giant cage on the side of the house, with what appears to be nothing in it. When I inspect further, it’s actually a cage big enough for a few people with only one thing in it: a purple action figure. The action figure is going crazy, he wants to be let out of that cage so badly. He keeps yelling at me, telling me to just open the door, that nothing bad will happen, that really, what harm can he do? He’s practically a doll. His little body keeps jumping back and forth jerkily on each leg, somewhat akin to cartoon fleas. Anthony comes by on his bike and aims the hose at the toy. The water hits him, and he looks an awful lot like Meltman on Kablam. Naturally, he gets even more pissed off, jumping, yelling, and being just generally irate. Just as I’m about to let him out, my dad comes across the lawn, telling us it’s time to go in for the night.


And, because you’ve been dying to watch:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2011 2:39 pm

    Hi-larious. I’d never heard of that show.

    • April 6, 2011 9:02 pm

      Thanks for reading, Annie! I think most people never heard of it, which I think is so sad, because I find it absolutely hilarious. Brings me back to the good ol’ days of non-PC Nick. 🙂

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