Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Polly Wolly Doodle: It's Baaaaaaack!

When our brother Pat was dying, other than Camel nonfilters and peppermint schnapps, what he mostly wanted was company and entertainment.  Our sister Kit flew into town and brought along a VHS copy of Alvin and the Chipmunks Sing-Alongs Ragtime Cowboy Joe.  My siblings are all much older than I am--between fifteen years and seven years older.  Kit and Pat were eighteen months apart.  So they remembered watching Alvin and the Chipmunks on TV together when they were little kids in the Sixties.

I don't, but I still had a good time.  So did Katie, even though she too was not nostalgic for the cartoon since she had never seen it before.  Pat, Kit, our sister Jenny, Katie, and I sat in Pat's living room, watching the video together and wiping tears from our eyes.  It was partly due to the heavy cloud of Pat's smoke enveloping us, but mostly it was due to the fact that everyone in my family has an absurd sense of humor.  We cracked up throughout the entire thirty minute video.  Our favorite part was the Chipmunks' interpretation of Polly Wolly Doodle:

For several months afterwards, up until his death in January 2011, whenever I'd talk to Pat he'd randomly shout out, "I'm baaaaaaak!" in an Alvin voice.

Now Katie does it.  After Pat died, Kit gave Katie the Chipmunks video.  We watched it quite often when she first got it.  As time passed, however, we moved on to other videos, and this one got buried under our couch.  So I was surprised to come home from work yesterday and have Katie resurrect it while showing me her latest drawing:

"Guess what it is!" Katie said, stomping her foot as if to let out a little energy without giving in to the full onslaught of jumping from excitement.

"It's someone going on a journey," I guessed.

"Yes!  It's Alvin."  Katie pointed to the sign labeled "soth".  "He's heading south to meet his maiden fair!"

"Oh," I said.  I still didn't get it.

"See," Katie traced along the route with her finger, "He's heading south just like in the Polly Wolly Doodle video."

"Oh!  I'm baaaaaaak?" I said in an Alvin voice.  "That video?  Did you find it and watch it again today?"

"Yes, it's baaaaaaak!" Katie said in an Alvin voice.  

She jumped up and down in full force, clearly excited for me to be home so she could finally share her joke.  Pat might be gone, but our family's absurd sense of humor lives on.