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This week's Friday Five are inspired by Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes. I grew up watching them back when they were a staple of kids' programming on both network TV (Saturday a.m.) and various local stations (before & after school, which is often when you got to see the stranger and/or more politically incorrect cartoons). We're talking about the original theatrical shorts made in the 1940s-60s, BTW: none of the modern re-visitations of the characters ("Baby Looney Tunes," "Tiny Tune Adventures," "Space Jam," etc.) existed until I was well into adulthood.


1. With which Looney Tunes character do you have the most in common?
I think I know the answer off the top of my head, but let's make sure via process of elimination.

I have (alas) neither the cool of Bugs Bunny nor the luck of the Road Runner. I'm too sweet for Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, or Taz, though; and too self-aware for Elmer Fudd, Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn, or Pepé LePew. I'm not shy like Porky Pig, smug like Tweety Bird (at least I hope not!), evil like Marvin the Martian, or an ethnic stereotype like Speedy Gonzales (though I should add that I always liked him). Since I refuse to go for the obvious joke and choose Granny (whom I never liked, due to her inability to see through Tweety), that leaves (assuming I stick to first-string Looney Tunes characters) the one who first popped into my head when I read the question: Wile E. Coyote. His combination of tenacity and haplessness, underscored by acute self-awareness and Byzantine thought processes, is one I find totally relatable.

2. Who or what are your metaphorical Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote?

I just identified myself as a Wile E. Coyote, and I guess my Road Runner -- the thing I chase after hopelessly -- would either be the Man or, umm, weight loss.

Am I the Road Runner to someone or something else's metaphorical Coyote? Trying to think of what I have successfully eluded despite its dogged pursuit of me... Type II diabetes. maybe?

3. What's up, doc?
My semester's almost over. I am organizing a conference in June that isn't coming together as I had hoped. My son is going to propose to his girlfriend. Dieting has become a hard slog. The weather may finally be turning. I'm doing a day trip to NYC in a couple weeks. Trump is still president.

4. When did you last hear some opera music?
This is so funny. I'm a huge opera fan and so ought to have a better answer than this, but, if I'm honest, the last opera music I heard was that bit of La Traviata that's in the movie Pretty Women, which I recently watched.

5. What's a good life lesson you learned from Looney Tunes?
Don't bet it all on someone else. That frog will never sing on cue.