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Inspirational Reads

Seeing Yellow

July 20, 2009

If you went anywhere near Nickelodeon this weekend, you probably would have stumbled upon this show called "Spongebob Squarepants". It's this little cartoon about the misadventures of the title character, his pink starfish best friend Patrick Star, his self-adoring and arrogant neighbor Squidward Tentacles and the misplaced underwater squirrel scientist, Sandy Cheeks.

Okay, I'm done insulting your intelligence. Of course you're heard of Spongebob Squarepants. Even if you're not as intimately familiar with Spongebob as I am, you at least know of him. This weekend, he turned ten years old, and I've been watching the wacky shenanigans of Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward and the rest for nine years and ten months. It's about as close to love-at-first-sight one could have hoped to have had with a cartoon.

I remember the first time I watched Spongebob...more or less. I was in my first year of graduate school at Notre Dame and one Friday evening I had nothing better to do, so I was on campus. I went over to hang with my friend, Dr. Assy, whom I had just met a couple of weeks earlier and also with whom I was teaching undergrads every Tuesday and Thursday morning. I went over to his place and we shot the shit for a while until his other room mate--Captain B--came home. We shot the shit some more, all the while a powerful thirst was building within my parched throat. It was the kind of thirst that could only be slaked with alcohol.

So, we went to the liquor store right next to campus and Dr. Assy got a bottle of Canadian Mist whiskey, Captain B got a bottle of vodka, and I felt my quota of Captain Morgan was running low, so I picked up a bottle. We returned to Dr. Assy and Captain B's joint and proceeded to drink about three quarters of the bottles, apiece. The height of our drunkenness crested sometime around 3:00 in the morning. At that time of the night, naturally, the first inclination is to go onto campus and start some shit...which is exactly what we did.

There happened to be a restaurant/student center that was open 24 hours, which is where we ended up. I don't remember the walk into Reckers (the name of the place); I just sort of ended up there. And, of course, since we were drunk, we knew we were smooth with the ladies. Captain B made the first move and was chatting up this girl who was from California. Captain B, in all seriousness, then said, "We have so much in common. You're from California, I'm from Connecticut, and they both start with 'C'."

I still have no idea how he didn't score that chick.

I met some girl who was taking the organic class that I was teaching the lab for (red flag alert!), but that didn't dissuade me one bit. Instead, I moved in for the kill. She was least, I remember her being cute...but she wasn't wearing shoes. Things were going along just swimmingly when she folded her arms and hopped up and down because she was cold. I mean, it was four thirty or five in the morning in September when we were out there, so it was a touch nippy--at least for those who were sober or at least sobering up. I remember her saying, "Jesus, I hope I don't get pneumonia and die." Except, my drunken ears heard "ammonia". So, I held a hand up, all smooth like and waved it back and forth.

"No, no," I said, all suave and debonair, "you're in organic now. You won't get ammonia. You'll get methane."

I still have no idea how I didn't score that chick.

As the morning ground on, one of my students--a dude from Maine named Sean--showed up (red flag alert!). We chatted things up a little bit and then I uttered the magic words: "Fuck, I'm hungry." Since it was a restaurant, they were able to serve me up a cheeseburger and fries, but when I got to the end of the line, I realized that I left my wallet back at Dr. Assy and Captain B's pad. Undaunted, Sean swooped in and saved me, buying my food for me. Awesome. I gave him an A- for the semester. He was a B student, but when grading time came out, I said to myself "Dude bought me a burger and fries. I'll put a minus on there to make it somewhat legitimate." When it comes to academic honestly, I'm dripping with it.

As I was sitting there eating, someone slid onto the bench beside me so much so that their hip was pressed next to mine. I looked up just as she announced, "Hey! You're my orgo TA!" And, it was true (red flag alert!). There, sitting beside me, was one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. I had to shift around to hide the fact that I was not suffering from whiskey dick. That's how badly I wanted her since the first day of class, but being a TA, I couldn't try and make a move on her. Her name was Andrea Goldyn. She was a stunning brunette with deep, velvety brown eyes, high cheekbones, and a radiant smile that caused her eyes to sparkle like diamonds. She was shapely, curvy and smelled extraordinary, especially at 5:00 am.

"Hey, Andrea!" I said. She sort of hugged me (red flag alert!), and I was able to keep my burger and fries out of her wavy, curly brown tresses. It was the kind of hair that my friend Jim would describe to me some years later as "sex hair", and while I wanted to touch it, I didn't want to sully it with a Reckers burger. And, as carnal as my passions for this woman were, I didn't want her hair in my food.

We talked for a long time. Mostly about class and then the conversation turned to football--duh, it's fucking Notre Dame. Since it was the fall, football had already started, but I missed the first game of the season because I went to Columbus, OH for a bachelor party. See, my old room mate--also named Matt--was getting married. The next two weekends were games at Michigan and then at Purdue, so I had yet to get to a game, and the Purdue game was tantalizingly close down in West Lafayette, a mere three hours away. It so happened to be that Matt was getting married on the day of the Purdue, in other words, he was getting married about nine hours from when I was sitting around drunkenly chatting up one of my students.

And, it turns out, that gorgeous Andrea had a ticket to the Purdue game...and an extra ticket. Which she offered to me (red flag alert!). Enter moral dilemma. Do I go to the game--that I desperately wanted to go do--with a woman--that I desperately want to do--who is also one of my students--that I desperately want to do--or do I go to my friend and room mate's wedding in Chicago?

And here's the thing: I could see--even through the clinging, lingering tendrils of a long night of drinking--how this would play out. I had to drive, so, naturally, why bother coming back to campus? She could just come home to my apartment, and, in a few hours, we could leave from there. We've both been up all night, so we're going to need to shower before we leave for the game. And, if we're already naked, might as well do it. This might not have been her plan, but it sure sounded good to me.

Sadly, I took the moral high ground and declined Andrea's offer to go to the game with her. We talked for another fifteen minutes or so, and then departed. Happily, I didn't use the "ammonia/methane" line on her. I do remember part of my subconscious screaming "idiot" inside my skull while I watched her perfect ass swaying away from me.

The sun was coming up as we dragged our asses back to Dr. Assy and Captain B's pad. I laid around for a little while. It was a little after 6:30 when I finally decided I should go home and try to get some sleep before driving to Chicago for my friend's wedding. So, I drove to my apartment--admittedly, I probably shouldn't have, but I was feeling pretty sober; the greasy Reckers burger kind of helped in that department, and Andrea's offers and my depraved visions took care of the rest.

However, when I finally fell into my apartment, I couldn't sleep. While the greasy Reckers burger helped to clear my head and sober me up a touch, it still was sitting in my gut like a ton of Crisco. So, I sat there in my chair, sick to my stomach, exhausted, beginning to feel the onset of a wicked hangover. I decided I needed to find something to watch on the tele, so I clicked it on and my channel-surfing landed me on Nickelodeon, which was showing Spongebob. I sat there, enraptured, watching every little bit of it, from the hydrodynamic spatula with port and starboard attachments to the sound advice of "when in doubt, pinky out".

After watching Spongebob, I got up from my chair and brought up the Reckers burger and some of the Captain's Booty. I went back to my chair, collapsed and slept until well past noon. I woke up with a monster headache, Hey Arnold (also a fine cartoon) on the television, and my clock telling me there was no fucking way I was making it to Matt's wedding.

"Fuck me," I said, getting up, scratching the back of my head, and stumbling into my bathroom to brush my teeth. I came out and changed the channel on the television to find that the Purdue game was about to kick off. Suddenly, the conversation I had the night before with Andrea came rushing back.

"Oh," I groaned around a mouthful of toothpaste, "FUCK ME!"

There you have it. The story of how I came to be a fan of Spongebob Squarepants.

Anyway, here is a list of my favorite Spongebob episodes, and since it's his tenth birthday, I thought I'd give you ten of them. In some semblance of my favorites, here they are without further ado:

1) Artist Unknown
2) The Camping Episode
3) Band Geeks
4) Tea at the Tree Dome
5) The Fry Cook Games
6) Dying for Pie
7) Sailor Mouth
8) Graveyard Shift
9) Suds
10) Sandy, Spongebob and the Worm

Even doing that, I could list another ten I consider my favorites, but, hey, maybe I'll tell the same tale on Spongebob's 20th birthday, and I'll make the same lame list and tell the same lame story. Hooray for the forgetfulness of old age!!!

Oh, hey, did I ever tell you guys about the first time I watched Spongebob?


Mala said...

Fabulous post! Just fabulous. Best SBSP tribute I've seen yet.

A couple of things:

Teleportation is possible, but only when drunk. I have no idea how I made it back to my hotel room all weekend. I just did.

Anyone buying you food at 4am warrants a grade bump. My Audio Engineering teacher gave me an 'A' - 'cept I didn't buy him any food...

Moral high roads often lead to some place boring and lame and full of regret.

And lastly, this damn song is stuck in my head.

otherworldlyone said...

They always, always have episodes on back to back. Everyday. Birthday or not.

The kid watches Spongebob constantly. I like it, but there's only so much AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'M READY! you can take, ya know?

Also, when she told a little boy in her class that the Hash Slinging Slasher was going to get him...I thought it was time to cut back on ole' Spongebob a lil' bit.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

@ Mala: Behold the power of alcohol, I suppose.

Also, did you offer your Audio Engineer tickets to a Purdue game?

By "stuck in your head" you mean "I've been singing the Campfire Song for days because it's so righteously awesome", right?

@ otherworldlyone: Yeah, I definitely get a little Squidwardy when I get over exposed to Spongebob's laugh. I think I block out the "I'm ready, I'm ready".

I might have to use that Hash-Slinging Slasher threat...

dg said...

I luuurve SpongeBob. Luurrrve him. But that last photo is scaring me a bit.

Girl Interrupted said...

Gah! There is something infinitely wrong about a picture of a woman with Spongebob's face firmly plastered over her lady's front bottom :/

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Eric said...

You missed out on Andrea and your friend's wedding??? Noooo...

red said...

I love Spongebob. If it weren't totally weird to have a crush on a cartoon character, I'd have a crush on him.

Jidai said...

Just a few things...

1. Like I always say, there is something terribly wrong with you.
2. At least you weren't a kid when it first came on and thus had no excuse for watching it.
3. I sure hope to god my grad students aren't as messed up as you.

Soda and Candy said...

Aww, you got boned and not in a good way!

I don't get Spongebob. It just seems deliberately contrived weird instead of cool actually weird. And that last picture... *shudder*

mo.stoneskin said...

I'm impressed with the ammonia/methane line, your quick wit functions regardless of alcohol I see. Also, I've never regretted a late night burger. Or kebab. in fact, I wish it was night now so I could nab one.

Bev said...

HA!!! Hilarious. I myself am more of a reluctant-SB fan. My child would watch it all day every day if he could, and I'm pretty sure he did this weekend since I was out of town!

Also, I can't believe that ammonia/methane line didn't work, either! You are SMOOOOOOTH, bro!

corticoWhat said...

So wrong on so many levels!

But funny!

Nej said...

Phew (wiping brow), I was wondering how you dropping the ball (I mean, taking the moral high ground) with that hot chick was going to take me to Spongebob. Well done!!!

(That last picture is going to haunt me for weeks to come.)

Fancy Schmancy said...

I'm a huge Spongebob fan - hey, wait a minute, how'd you get my picture?

Mr. Condescending said...

I like the idea of a perfect ass swaying in front of me!

You picked good episodes, especially sailor mouth, unknown artist, suds and fry cook games, but have you seen jellyfishing? I love that one!
Also where's gary? Is a good one when he gets kidnapped and called miss tufftsy.

Cooper Green said...

Ten Spongebob episodes, all with links ...

... just checking Google ...

Yes, it's confirmed. Nobody in the history of recorded time has ever done that before, until you did it just now. And you say you didn't get laid? Imagine that.

Jon said...

Oh sure, it's perfectly normal to like Spongebob. But one time I get caught masturbating to the Amanda Bynes show, and all of a sudden I'm the creepy guy...

Hahaha.. that didn't actually happen. (It was Drake & Josh.)

Samsmama said...

Ugh, no way I'm clicking on Mala's link, as I'm terrified it's the Campfire Song. Which is already stuck in my head.

I love me some Spongebob. And I often watch it when my kid's not around. And the "sentence enhancer" episode is absolutely one of my faves.

Scope said...

So, not hot undergradpants at the Perdue game, and no drunk bridesmaids at the wedding?

What a dark, dark day.

BeckEye said...

You already know that "Band Geeks" is the tops for me.

But how do you not have "Chocolate With Nuts" in your top 10? It has one of the best pieces of dialogue ever!

Con Man: "I was born with glass bones and paper skin. Every morning I break my legs. And every afternoon I break my arms. At night, I lie awake in agony until my heart attacks put me to sleep."

Candy's daily Dandy said...

I swear, I thought you were going to say that the girl with the extra Perdue football game ticket turned out to be your wife.

(red flag!)

Pfangirl said...

Have to confess that the only Spongebob I've ever seen is the movie... which I enjoyed a lot ("I'm ready! Promotion! I'm ready! Promotion!... ), but probably doesn't count in terms of devotion.

God only knows what cartoons I was watching once I reached graduate level. I think I was mostly disappointed with the decrease in options - just anime and live action series left. Blergh.

Awesome story, BTW. Clearly you are very suave when drunk.

Lisa-tastrophies said...

You know, I have managed to never see an episode of Sponge Bob? Serious. I don't know how that happened. I do know how I managed to get an A in Chemistry and I think Andrea had the same idea..... :-)