I WANT TO WRITE MORE STORIES, BUT I JUST DON'T HAVE AS MUCH TIME AS I USED TO HAVE……I JUST GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, ON MY WAY TO COLLEGE AND OUT IN THE REAL WORLD….ANYWAY, TOLD IN WAKKO'S POINT OF VEIW, IT'S ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE THE MIDDLE CHILD IN A FAMILY, EVEN IN THE WARNER FAMILY. I DON'T CONSIDER THIS TO BEING 'OUT OF CHARACTER', I CONSIDER THIS, HOWEVER, TO BE THEIR REAL CHARACTER. (PLEASE READ AUTHORS NOTE ON BOTTOM FIRST BEFORE REVIEWING)
I had just gotten out of bed on a Friday morning, and realized that today was the tenth anniversary of the day our show got cancelled. In those ten years, we three have kept a low profile. Sure, we may crash a celebrity party here or there, but we are loud people by nature. For me, I finally had some time to think to myself, to think about children living with disabilities like autism, to think about how some people in the world are hungrier than I am when no food is around, and to think about my role in this lifetime.
But whatever, I'm just the middle child. I won't get all physiological on you. No one cares what the middle child says.
Every toon was drawn for a purpose, but why was I? Why was I born? I can only describe myself in two words: middle child.
It's true; everybody dismisses me because I am just the middle child. I am not Yakko, who is the oldest and the most accomplished. Back when we had our show, the producers kept giving Yakko the best lines, and as well as giving him the hardest songs to sing.
I did have a chance to sing some tunes, like my best work, the "50 States Capitols" song. I get fan mail daily from ninth graders thanking me for giving them 'A's on their geography tests. However, after that, I don't have much else that I have achieved like Yakko has. He is also the eldest sibling, and therefore the sibling in charge of us 'kids'. He shouldn't be throwing that word around so much; we have been 'kids' for almost eighty years. He just happens to be the one drawn before we were.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not jealous of Yakko, but sometimes I wish that I was the one born first. Okay, I am jealous of Yakko.
I am not as praised as Yakko is, and I'll never be, the oldest is the one who is supposed to be the most achieved. And by Warner Brothers, he is.
For example, one day we all went up to a political rally, because we thought there would be celebrities there, there always are, and we were told that there were too many people inside already, so we had to wait outside. Yakko talked to the officer about how this was America, and that no one should be excluded from hearing our rights being read to us. Then he accused the officer of being racist because we were both black and white. The officer was stun and kept insisting that they couldn't fit any more people in the room.
Yakko then exclaimed, "We're small enough to fit inside."
"No, you can't fit inside." The officer had said.
"Yes, we can!" Yakko shouted, and got all the others who were left outside to shout 'yes we can' with us. We ended up getting inside, along with the others and we heard our own chanting protest being spoken by one of speakers, who apparently was running for president that year. We thought about suing him for copyright, but we decided not to.
Yakko can achieve anything if he sets his mind to it. However that doesn't help me. I am a clown in the eyes of everyone.
Sure, I played a clown on the show, and I can be very witty with my humor, but that is not all who I am. I can be serious, and I can be happy from something other than comedy. It is true that I am the one with humor in the family, but that's all I am to people outside our home.
I know I can never be like Dot. Not only is she the youngest, but she also has a pretty face. They kept reminding you on the show that she was cute, which was fine at first, but they did it so many times that I was afraid that people weren't really going to see her lovely face for what it is, a pretty cute one, they'll just remember that she is supposed to be 'the cute one' just like Paul McCartney. People kept telling me that Paul McCartney was the cute one in the Beatles. However, I had so much expectation on his appearance, I expected a god like figure, that when I finally did see him, I was wondering why he was called the cute one.
Do people really think Dot is cute, or is that what they are just told? I kept telling the producers to cool it with the 'cute' bit, but just to piss me off they went on to write "I'm Cute" for her, just to prove a point to me, that they were the ones in charge. And they did the 'cute' bit so much more from then on. By the time that she was told that she would be dying in Wakko's Wish because her cuteness was fading and her surgery would be plastic surgery, she couldn't take it anymore, and went crying off into her room.
"This part would kill my career; I won't be taken seriously as an actress." She had said. After hours of Yakko trying to calm her down, she still wouldn't face him and stop crying. Dot sometimes is a little too proud to listen to Yakko's words. I walked in while Yakko was making her some tea, and sat on her big, pink, fluffy bed.
"Dot, it's our last bit with them," I had said as she was slowly rolling to the other side to face me. She was going to give her other brother a shot to listen to reason, occasionally if Yakko or I alone can't solve a problem, the other most likely will have a better shot at it. "After that, Animaniacs will be cancelled. This is the last time the fans will see us, so they don't want us to get all melodramatic on them. Your illness is from lack of cuteness because it would please the fans, and their parents." I had said.
"Will I only be remembered as the cute one?" Dot asked. For a long time I couldn't answer, because I was afraid of what to tell her, she would know if I was lying, but I know she wouldn't be comfortable with the answer I would give her. "So, that's it. I will only be remembered as the cute one." She had figured it out from the look on my face. After that she cried some more before drifting off to sleep, while Yakko rocked her body and hummed a little tune throughout the night. I ended up drinking the tea. It was after dinner, and I was hungry.
Dot is not 'the cute one'. Sure, she does have a beautiful face, but if she were to have some kind of title it would be 'the smart one', 'the emotional one', 'the sensitive one', 'the talented one'. Yakko and I can't act that well, that's why the show broke the fourth wall so much, because the only way we could act was by acting ourselves. But Dot is a different story; she is the actor in our family. Well, actress.
You may think Yakko is the smart one because he can talk a lot, but sometimes even he doesn't know what he is talking about. In the middle of conversations, Dot would interrupt and correct him if he would have some information wrong. When we first got a computer, Yakko just wanted to blog, while I just wanted play games, but Dot spend most of her time on the computer searching up information that would fascinate her. She even got an account on Wikipedia just to correct those who wrote some information wrong. Yakko might get nations talking at the U.N., but it would be Dot who can show them how to obtain peace and keep it.
If anything, I should be the cute one, because anytime I crack a wise joke at Yakko, he would say 'oh, that is real cute', both in positive and negative tones. And if I insult someone to their face in a friendly way, I would say 'aren't I a cute thing?'
We can still live in the water tower at Warner Brothers, as long as we keep quiet, and not bother the tourist who would visit the Warner Brother studio.
Dot has a job as a voiceover for cartoons (Ironic), while Yakko would review movies on a website for some extra cash. We may live in the water tower for free, but food and electronic gadgets still cost money.
It's been ten years since our show was cancelled, and everyone seems to be happy, everyone except me, the middle child. Everyone has a job, except me.
My talents are of few, as well as my interest. I can see why everybody dismisses me, but I try to fight that status quo. Like I said before, I am a clown……sometimes, but other times I'm something else. I'm a sucker for horror flicks, as well as mystery ones too. In the first few minutes at the beginning of a mystery flick, Yakko would know who did it, and Dot would know why and how, but I would be the only one to ask what if they got away with it. Mystery movies are supposed to be solved, but in real life mysteries sometimes don't get solved, and I wonder what would have happened if the killer got away in the films.
I am also interested in any kind of game such as video games, as well as board games. When Yakko or Dot have gotten stuck on a certain part of a level, I would be the one to rescue them and finish the level for them, so they can enjoy the rest of the game.
I know that we were drawn, but we did have parents. Yakko can remember them, as well as I can too. If they were still alive, what would they think of me? Just a lazy slob, who gets by in life with the help of my siblings? Hell, if they didn't die, we would all be lazy slobs. However in the kid's animation world, one or more of your parents or relatives have to die in order for your character to be interesting or cool. And we lost both of them as well as being stuck in the bodies of children for eternity until we are drawn a different way. We are older than we look, but our emotions are always set on our child-like appearance. I really don't do anything besides babysitting Dot or cheering up the family with a joke when something bad happens.
After thinking for some time, I realized that I was up and it was almost two in the afternoon, I needed breakfast/lunch. I walked down to our little kitchen area, which isn't really a kitchen but a place with a stove that has a cooler right by it as our 'refrigerator'. We keep our pots and pans in a sink right by the cooler, and they just sit there in the pool of hot, soapy water when not in use. That's our way of doing the dishes.
"Wow, you're up at two o'clock, you must have gone to bed real early last night." Yakko commented as I sat down at our small table. He knew my routine well and was still making pancakes this late.
"Yeah, you're girlfriend wore me out." I joke. Michael Scott was not the first person ever to say 'that's what she said'.
"Oh, real cute." Yakko said. Yakko doesn't have a girlfriend, he has five. He's a real womanizer. I bet anything Britney Spears based her song off of Yakko's lifestyle.
"So what are you doing today? Which really means what am I doing today?" I asked as I started eating my ten stack pancakes.
"Well," Yakko said as he paused to flip another pancake. "I figure you know what day it is."
"Yeah, I do. It's Friday. That means some kind of football game is on." I said.
"Now, when you say football, do you mean…."
"I meant soccer." I corrected myself. I know Yakko hates it whenever I use my U.K. lingo. Wherever I got this Scouse/Liverpool accent from, I ended up getting it's vocabulary with it.
"Thank you, and no, today is just not Friday." Yakko stated "Today is….."
"Yeah, yeah, I was just messing with ya. I know what today is." Yakko didn't need to say anything more; he just wanted me to know that he knows, so I would know it too.
Our cancellation anniversary is like a death day after when someone dies, we acknowledge that it happened and that it existed, but we don't let it ruin our day or discuss it. However out of respect, we don't work that day, much like one of our Jewish holidays. Yes, it seems weird that we are Jewish, but the original Warner Brothers were Jewish as well, so with a name like Warner you got to live up to its reputation. All those Christmas specials we put on the show were just for the show. Christmas sells more than lighting a bunch of candles, the producers would say.
"Well, I thought maybe you could take Dot shopping today." Yakko said. "Coco Channel just released a new dress, which Dot just has to have." Yakko emphasizes to point out that Dot probably has been asking for the dress for a long time. When we were first locked up in the water tower, we only had the bare minimum of clothes, now that we are free, we have taken advantage of living in the 21st century by buying the most things we can to make up for lost time. The show would have you believed that we could escaped in the years we were held captive, but in reality, we only escaped a couple of times only to end up at the water tower again.
"Isn't Coco Channel kind of…..fancy pricing?" I said with hesitation.
"Yeah, well try telling Dot that with those eyes. I finally gave in and told her she can get the dress when she earned enough. So, she has been working two jobs last week. I also stuck more money in her purse when she wasn't looking." Yakko said as he took my now empty plate with bits of food scraps. "She can be so stubborn when it comes to admitting that she needs help."
A while after our show was cancelled, Dot decided that she would be a part of women's liberation, since she miss out on those protests when we were locked in during the '60's, and decided to get a job to support herself instead of relying on us. She thought all those cartoons of her acting all helpless and relying on her looks to get away with anything took women's liberation back a century, so she wanted to be her own woman. However, Dot will always remain a little girl no matter how much she accomplishes, so whenever she isn't looking, Yakko and I tend to give her extra help for where she needs it, such as giving her extra cash when we both know she doesn't have enough.
She may be almost eighty years old, but her arms and legs are still that of a five year old. Her wisdom and knowledge are almost eighty years old, but her brain and attention span are still that of a five year old.
Yakko's plans for the day consisted of tidy up the tower and finding some sort of distraction for us to do when we got home to keep our minds off of Friday. I wonder if he ever hates being the oldest like I am about being the middle child. The constant nature to take care of us all whether he likes it or not? But then I remembered that Yakko likes power, just as much as he likes to talk.
Dot and I set off to find the closest store we could that sells Coco Channel clothes. We finally found a store, but unfortunately Yakko's math was a little wrong because the dress that Dot wanted was a little over then what she had saved up for, even with Yakko's extra bucks. I didn't have any money on me so I made up an excuse to Dot that the store sold out their last dress and that we should go on to a different clothing store.
"But didn't they just get some more yesterday?" Dot asked, like I said before, I can't lie to her because she would know if I was lying. "Why can't I get my dress? Yakko promised."
"Well, I just checked the price and it is a little more than what you guys thought."
"Oh," She said. Money was the issue, she couldn't argue with you if it was about money. "Well, it wasn't that important." She said as she was looking down at the ground. "Let's just go home……and we, I meant me; I keep forgetting that…..I'll save up some more and then I can get my dress. By the time I'll get my dress, it will probably be out of season."
No matter how old she will get, her emotions are locked in to acting like a five year old.
"Dot, you're not going to cry are you?" I asked.
"Maybe, I mean………I mean no, I'm not going to cry over a stupid dress, they probably wouldn't even have my color if I could afford it." Dot said as she was struggling to hold back the tears while pretending to look at other clothes.
"You're right; they only have orange and yellow." I joked.
"Orange and yellow? I wouldn't be caught dead in a dress with just orange and yellow." She said as some of those tears disappeared.
I was looking down at the dress that was her size and color. I knew it would be wrong to have her see it only not to buy it, but my instincts told me I should have her try it on in order to boast her confidence that she has now lacking.
"I know we can't buy it, but do you at least want to try it on?" I asked Dot. "We could hide it someplace today so that way when you do get enough money, you can buy it on the spot."
Dot was thinking the exact same thing I was, she would only be teasing herself if she tried it on, but her impulse to look at herself in the mirror kicked in, and she rushed up to grab the dress out of my hand. She took about ten minutes trying on the dress.
"Dot, what is taking you so long?" I asked. After I had said that, she walked out of the room with the sparkling satin dark blue dress on. It had on spaghetti straps that zigzag in the back to support the fabric on, and had a modest 'V' neck design on her chest so that the boys wouldn't see everything. It was a simple pencil straight dress that went a little below to her knees.
"So?" She asked, always fishing for a compliment. "Is it not the greatest dress on the face of the Earth?"
"It is something else. You look beautiful, pretty one." I said, I try not to say the word 'cute' because of the word being overused on our show. "How you're still single is beyond me."
"I told you, I choose to be single." Dot said in a whisper as if it was a secret. "I'm not ready to date. There are just too many desperate guys out there at the moment whom want to make it big in Hollywood, and so they can easily take advantage of me."
"Come on, let's go home." I said. Dot looked at herself in the mirror one more time before she went back in the changing room. By the time she came out, she was already uninterested of what the rest of the day would be like.
I just knew it, making her try it on would only make her upset, why did I make her try it on? What was I thinking? Me and my stupid ideas! I looked at the price tag one more time before I put the dress down.
As I was looking at the tag, I noticed that the zipper had been ripped off, it was just a little tear of the dress, but that was all I needed to see. I grabbed Dot and told her about the zipper. She then went up to the register as I pulled down the dresses on the hanger that were in her size and hid them in the men's restroom.
"……It's the only dress I can find in my size, and I need something quick for tonight……." Dot complained to the sales clerk who was checking her out. "……….You would? Oh, that is so nice of you………I have cash……"
So, that's why my instincts kicked in, because something told me that I could get that dress for Dot, and I did. Dot was able to get a huge discount with the rip in the zipper, and was able to afford the dress on her own; she didn't even need Yakko's extra money to help her.
When we got home, Dot went to her room to put on the dress so she could show Yakko. I went into the living room where I thought Yakko might be. Instead of finding a nicely tight clean room, as I always expect there to be when Yakko does his housework, I instead found a very messy area around the T.V. spot and a brown couch that was covered in books, vintage clothing, hippie jewelry, and a bunch of broken glass on the floor. It was all our old stuff back when we gave a damn to save things to remember the past.
"What the hell happened here?" I asked myself. I didn't sense any danger happened here, but at the same time I didn't sense happiness either. "Yakko, we're home." I called out.
I heard some heavy footsteps running around somewhere, but I couldn't sense in which direction. Sure, the water tower is one big room, but we did divided it up into sections, the only drawback is that the walls couldn't be built to reach all the way to the top, so no room is sound proof.
Suddenly Yakko had appear around the bend just as I was about to search for him.
"Yakko, what's wrong? Why is the front room a mess?" I asked. Yakko had a blank stare; he looked like he had been insulted
"Since when am I the maid around here?" He asked.
"Since……always." I answered honestly. "But it doesn't even matter if the room is clean; it's just that you pulled out all our old stuff from decades ago. And you broke the old Coca Cola bottle we saved." I said pointing to the broken glass.
"That has been broken for years, why in fact, you're the one who broke it." Yakko said. "And maybe you should clean up sometime instead of waiting for me to do it for you!"
"Yakko, what's wrong, why are you acting this way?" I asked in fear. Yakko rarely ever raised his voice in anger to us sibs if we didn't really do anything wrong. Yakko saw my fear and put his shoulders down to show he was surrendering the fight.
"I'm sorry. It's just this day; it always does something to me. That's why I wanted you and Dot out of the house for today." He said. "I was just trying to find that old VCR to put it in our box of memories. That is something we can remember from the '90's."
"Didn't we stop doing this memory box thing a long time ago?"
"Yeah, but that's because we started to get into some bad memories. The '90's are full of good memories for us." Yakko said.
"And it took you this long to find a memorable piece for the '90's? We're already in the first decade of the millennium."
"Yeah, I kinda didn't want to put something in there because it would remind me that the '90's are over and our worries were here to stay." He said.
"So what if our show got cancelled? We moved on." I said. I mean really, it has been ten years, and it wasn't that big in our life. Well, it wasn't as big as Yakko makes it sound like.
"You don't understand Wakko, it's not just about the show being cancelled. Not at all." Yakko said. I was waiting for him to fully explain himself, as he usually does, but he didn't. He just stopped talking; as if I was satisfy with that unexplained answer he gave me.
"Well, what?" I asked. "Something is wrong, and I want to know it. I have the right to know it."
"A long time ago," Yakko said as he put his back to me to show that he really didn't want to discuss the topic. "Before being locked into our water tower, all we knew were Mom and Dad and Hollywood. We were young toons trying to get into black and white cartoons."
"I remember that. That was the one time in our life when we did age." I said, picturing us in the black and white world of the early 1930's.
"Well, you remembered that one day Mom and Dad…….." Yakko had started with, but couldn't end the sentence.
"One day, they got erase." I sadly finished for him. I remembered it well, a cartoonist or whoever accidently spilled white out on our parents as they were both headed in the opposite direction, and to us toons, white out is like water to the Wicked Witch of the West. White out wasn't officially invented back then; the substance that killed Mum and Dad was only a product used as makeup for the real life actors and actresses on Warner lot. It wasn't until later that it was discovered the substance was an early form of white out, but unfortunately for us, we found out first.
"Yeah," Yakko said. He hasn't mentioned this story in over thirty years, so it was hard for him to start telling again. He was the first one between the three of us who knew what had happened at the moment that it had happened. I don't remember it as well as Yakko has, and Dot couldn't even remember it then because she was a baby. Yakko was holding her at the time, thank goodness. If either Mum or Dad had held her that day, then she would have met the same fate as they did. I can't really describe our parents; they are just blur visions of mirrored images of ourselves, only taller. We can't put a face to the names Mum and Dad.
"So?" I asked, wondering why Yakko was bringing it up.
"Well, I became the caretaker at that moment. And we ran wild, trying to find our parents or new parents. Then we went nuts and made senseless cartoons. Then we got locked into our tower for sixty years." Yakko said. "I did the best I could to raise all three of us. I mean we started to age, but by our fifth year being in that water tower, we stopped aging."
True, we had stopped aging after five years, but didn't notice we had stop growing until Yakko celebrated his sixteenth birthday in a ten year-olds body. We then realized our desire-cartoon-age was going to be set as children. The desire-cartoon-age is what a cartoon's age is going to be set as, that is chosen by the cartoonist who drew the toon, and then on that toon's birthday, they just stop aging.
"I realized then that we would be kids forever, and I will never catch a break. That I would constantly be the one who would have to teach and protect you guys." Yakko said. My jaw dropped to the floor; Yakko admitting he doesn't like to take on the role as the 'guardian', the 'leader', the 'boss', to me is like an un-laughable Looney Toons; it just doesn't make sense.
"Well, when we got our show, I could relax more. I was able to let go of all the bad thoughts about 'what if……' when it came to our health, our education, and our moral standards. The producers were able to provide everything for us without me having to worry about money or if everything was done right." Yakko said. "I was free." He then turned around to look at me square in the eye, to show he was a little relieved that he was able to share this story with somebody instead of holding it in everyday.
"So, as the oldest, you didn't want to take care of us?" I asked. I have never known a day where Yakko didn't instruct me to do something or to show me how to do something right. If it was all an act, I fear then our family was all an act, put on by expectations for the role we were born in.
"No." Yakko said with a smile. "That's the damnest thing, I did want to take care of you, 'but with great power comes great responsibility' to quote Spiderman. And the responsibility part became too much. As soon as the show was cancelled, so was our promised of fortunes in life. No more free doctors, no more free tutoring sessions, and I was once again going to have to worry. Sometimes I wish I wasn't the oldest."
I cannot believe what I was hearing! Yakko didn't want to be the oldest, or at least at the moment. Did he want to be stuck in my place, of always relying on other people to get through in life? Why would he ever complain about being the oldest? Yes, I heard the reasons, but for Yakko to share his thoughts on the subject without saying 'April fools', felt like a joke.
"Well, I don't like to be the middle child. Period." I said to try and compete with him at a game that he does not know he is playing.
"Why? You get all the benefits, you are not expected to be the overachiever, nor are you spoiled beyond the point where you can't take care of yourself. You're an individual with your own agenda." Yakko said. I had never thought about a middle child being a benefit. Apparently, Yakko has.
"Benefits? What benefits? I know people expect me to be a clown, but that's not a benefit. It's an unfair expectation."
"You're expected to be the clown because you are the clown in the family. And people expect it because you expect people to laugh at your comments, no matter the occasion. You may sometimes be serious, but somehow you unintentionally throw in a joke or two without realizing it. And then people laugh at that joke, not you." Yakko said. I should have known never to pick a debate with Yakko, because he will win.
"Of course you would win this argument once again. You excelled in debating." I said to show that I would surrender this argument. "The point is, is that as being a middle child, I can't see any benefits. I can't see why it is worth it. I can't see the rewards."
"I can see one right now." Yakko said as he was looking past my shoulder to the doorway directly behind me.
I saw two little black dog-like ears at the edge of one of the ends of the doorway opening. After Yakko stopped speaking, the two little black ears moved closer to the center of the doorway opening until a yellow flower was revealed, along with black and white fur and black buggy eyes looking over to us.
"All I see is Dot." I said.
As Yakko pointed her out, Dot felt her safe hiding spot was no longer necessary. She slowly walked into the living room. She had her dress on, but felt it wasn't appropriate to point out her new style to Yakko yet, so she hid it by wearing a pink robe over the dress. She would show Yakko later.
"Why are you guys fighting? All the bills have been paid." Dot asked. Yakko and I regularly fight for two reasons only, one is that we need to make ends meet by paying all the bills, and the second is playful fighting, the 'yo mum' jokes and 'that's what she said' replies. However, she knew the tone in our voices that we weren't being playful, and to what she heard she knew we weren't talking about the bills, also as she said, the bills were already paid. To Dot's five year old emotions, if we had a new fight, that meant danger. She was afraid to ask any further questions; she didn't know what the fight was about, so she figured not to offend either party by speaking no more.
Yakko was about to indulge Dot with all the little details of our 'Warner drama', but he decided at the last minute to hold his tongue.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh……….Nothing." He stuttered. "We aren't fighting, we are……..we're rehearsing for a play." Dot can tell if I'm lying, she can't tell with Yakko. She looked deep into Yakko's eyes, but couldn't make him blink; she was forced to believe him, no matter how stupid the reason was.
"Why is our stuff out from the memory box? Are we putting in a memory from the O years?" She asked, looking over at the mess that was laid on the floor. We decided to call the last decade the O's, because we kept on saying 'oh-seven' throughout the whole decade.
"Yes, in fact we were waiting for you, so we decided to go ahead and practice our play until you would come out here." Yakko said. He sensed an opportunity to teach me a lesson.
As Dot went over to the memory box, Yakko whispered in my ear, "I'll show you that being a middle child isn't the worst position in the family. Being the oldest is one thing, but sometimes being the youngest is a lot scarier."
He delightfully pushed me over to where the memory box was and as I sat on the floor, he took out his cell phone and started talking on it, as if it had rang, which it didn't, but Dot didn't noticed.
"You do?...........Oh I understand………Okay, be there in a bit, bye." He said, as if someone was on the other line. "Bad news. I got to go, the new guy at my work had accidently downloaded a virus that is now on the website. So, I hate to go, but it is urgent."
"It's okay, go." I said, half of me playing along, and the other half kind of annoyed at him.
"But Yakko, isn't today…….the bad day? I thought we weren't supposed to work on these days?" Dot asked.
"I'm not really going to go to work; I'm just going there to fix a problem. I won't be paid or anything." He said.
"Okay." She said.
"Okay, bye (Kisses Dot on the forehead) be good." Yakko said.
"I'll try." Dot said as she gave Yakko an evil look.
"Hmmm." Yakko said as he gave her the look back. "Okay, bye." He said to me as he winked.
Dot and I had gone over all the memories that we had kept in the box. It range from things such as the early stuff from the Depression '30's, to the WWII products from the '40's, all the way up to the huge cell phones of the '80's and Yakko's VCR and my own Playstation of the '90's. It had been two hours after Yakko left before we decided to go ahead and pick something for the last decade. I decided to put in my vintage iPod that weighed about two pounds, and Dot decided to put in her old Wicked tickets from the time we saw the play Wicked, a successful musical made in the new millennium. Dot and I figured Yakko would put something in the memory box that was about the Presidents, to show how we went from one president to the next with two completely different beliefs and outlooks on life.
After we were done putting in our memories, we both sat on the couch to see what was on this late at night. It was only nine o'clock, but when you watch so much mindless reality shows that it all becomes too much like VH1, MTV, and recently Bravo's "real" housewives show, who do not portray Californians properly. We all don't have mansions in the Golden state.
Are these the shows that replaced us? What happened to good old fashion entertainment? Being on TV used to be an opportunity, a privilege to receive, but now, television is just another way of people looking at themselves without the enjoyment of how the production is made or respect for the art being made.
At around the fourth hour that Yakko left, the power went out in the tower. Everything was pitch black, the only thing I could see was our cartoon eyes and their reflection off the TV screen.
"Wakko….." Dot said in a whimper
"I'm here Dot." I said as I grabbed her hand in the dark to show her that I was here.
"We paid the bills, why aren't the lights on?" Dot asked.
"I don't know," I said. "Maybe it's a power outage." I couldn't think of anything else that would cut the power off. We did pay the bills, and we didn't blow a fuse because we were only watching TV in the living room with one lamp on in the kitchen. I could feel Dot's hand shaking. "Are you scared?"
"No…..no, I am not, I'm-I'm just….. just worried about Ya-Yakko, and where he is during this….this power outage." Dot stuttered. Yeah, she was scared. "It is a power outage, right?"
"Why, what do you think it is?" I asked.
"I don't want to….to jinx it, but I'm-I'm afraid there is a……I'm afraid there is a……I've seen a lot of ho-horror movies to know that power outages aren't always accidental." She stuttered.
"You're afraid that there is a killer……"
"Don't say it, or you will jinx it!" She screamed. She was definitely scared, but why? We have had hundreds of power outages before, I mean we do live in California, and she certainly hasn't shown much fear when it came to this.
"What does Yakko do when there is a power outage?"
"He would go find candles, or a flashlight. And-and he would tell me everything is fine….even though I know it is not." She said.
"Dot, you have been in over hundreds of power outages, why are you so scared?" I asked.
"I'm-I'm not scared. Besides, this is how-ow I always act when…..when there is a…..when the lights go off. I can't see in the dark." Dot said. "Anyway, I'm always with Ya-Yakko whenever we have this-this problem……..but Yakko isn't here."
She was right, whenever we did have any of these power outages, Yakko and Dot would be the ones to find the flashlights and candles. I always stayed right where I was. So, maybe Dot being afraid of the dark wasn't anything new. Maybe she was always scared when there was a power outage, but I just was never there to see it. Yakko would probably take her to find the candles and flashlights just so she could feel safe by being with the oldest in the family, as well as being first in the house to get her hands on flashlights when they found them. However, Yakko wasn't here, and I was forced to be in a new situation that I hadn't dealt with or prepared for. I had a little suspicion that it was Yakko who turned off the power, just so I would be in this situation and understand what his job was.
"Okay, Dot, Dot." I said trying to get her attention. I was hearing a lot of heavy breathing over on her side. "Let's go into the kitchen, I am sure there are candles there." As I stood up, she hung tightly onto me as if her life depended on it.
We both walked slowly towards the kitchen. I knew well where it was, and I could have walked a little faster, but it was Dot's heavy force that was slowing me down. I could feel the flooring changing from carpet to wooden flooring. We were in the kitchen. I couldn't feel my way through the kitchen well enough to find the candles, but I did find the stove. Our stove is an old regular gas stove, with fire coming out to show you that you are cooking. I turned the stove on high so that way the flames could light up as much area around me as possible.
"Now, where do we keep the candles?" I asked, turning towards a barely visible image of Dot. There was only enough light to light our face, if we were two feet close to the stove. The walls surrounding the stove were almost visible to see.
"In the cabinet ab-above the refrigerator." Dot said. I moved a little to the side of the stove where the light wasn't shinning as well, and tried to feel the refrigerator. Once I located it with my hand, I put my other hand directly above it and felt the cabinet door opening. I could only feel one candle in the cabinet.
"We only have one candle left, so the living room won't be that lit up." I said as edged myself back to the stove; Dot was still hanging on me the whole time. I used the fire from the gas stove to light the only remaining candle.
"Let's just stay here, we…..….we still have the stove lighting." Dot said. I gave up then; instead of trying to explain to her that keeping the gas stove on costs money, I figured I would lose the argument anyway and decided to sit down in the kitchen, with Dot alongside me, under the stove's fire.
The candle created more light in the room, but it wasn't as powerful as a lamp, it was only able to dim the room around us. I kept my eyes more on the stove fire then the candle. Dot was the one who was playing with the candle, she had gotten a bowl of water and would occasionally dipped the excess hot wax into the bowl of water and watched the wax take shape into something.
"If you keep doing that every time there is new wax, the candle will burn out faster." I said.
"We still have birthday candles." She said. Her fear was gone, and it was replaced with child-like playfulness.
"The new year is coming up. What is your New Year's resolution?" I asked.
"To be more independent." She said as she was still playing with the candle. "And to lose weight. But that's only because I see so many weight loss commercials this time of year, I feel fat watching them."
"Your resolutions are always to be more independent."
"Well, I think with each passing year, I can be more independent." She said.
"What will it take to end that resolution? What is the maximum of independence can you have?" I asked.
She stopped playing with the candle, and turned herself around towards me. For a long time she stared at the wall behind me, before she could look at me in the face.
"I don't know," She blurted out. "Maybe when I am able to……..I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?"
"Well, I imagine myself being able to pay the bills occasionally, buying items for myself, or cleaning up the house without being told to. But I can't see myself being completely independent. I'm always going to be co-dependent." She said. The candle behind her was flickering in and out, but she didn't notice. "I'm always going to be five. But I can still learn how to appear independent to myself."
"Maybe one day, you will be completely independent. And you can do anything without us." I said, fearing that she was beginning to worry again.
"I'm not stupid. I know I can never be completely independent." She said with a hint of disbelief in her voice. "I have done my cartoon history. I have the attention span and emotions of a five year old. I accept that, but I dream that I can be at least independent enough not to rely on everybody to watch over me. I sometimes wish I wasn't the youngest." My ears lifted.
"So that way I can achieve my independence through one thing: by taking care of a younger sibling." She said with a smile on her face. Her attention was no longer on our conversation, she was in her own world now, dreaming up the prefect universe for herself. "The sign of ultimate independence is being able to take care of yourself and someone else."
"But being the middle child is no walk in the park." I added discreetly.
"Well, at least when you are a middle child, you have someone else to look after. And whatever crap is thrown at your way, the reward of knowing that someone looks up to you and relies on you outweighs the downside of being a middle child." Dot said. She was speaking about herself and not realizing that I changed the subject to myself. She wasn't debating with me like Yakko did; she was answering honesty from her heart because she thought the subject was what she would be like if she were a middle child.
"Wouldn't you miss being the youngest? Getting away with everything? Being spoiled beyond a shadow of a doubt?"
"Well, that's one nice thing about being the youngest, but after a certain time, you really don't care about that stuff. If anything, being spoiled gets in the way of trying to be independent." She said as she was staring at the floor. "When you are the youngest, you can't control your world, everybody else controls it, whether you like it or not. 'Dot, go to bed', 'Dot, do your homework', 'no more makeup products this month Dot, we're on a budget'. But if I was able to control a sibling of my own, then I would be the one calling the shots and acting all mature."
"But you are mature."
"It's not the same when I have to be reminded to brush my teeth by older people." She said. She looked up at me as she was done picturing her imaginary world. "If anything, Wakko, you have it made. You get to be spoiled just a little bit, but at the same time, you get to take care of someone younger then you and be able to achieve some form of independence."
I was speechless, to say the least. Sure, I could have argued back that being a middle child means putting up with this and putting up with that. All the stuff I had repeated to Yakko, and little to her as well. But that last part she said did make me questioned my arguments I would have stated if I were to argue with her. It's so easy to fight with siblings because they make you go crazy as you are trying to tell them something. I've had some good arguments with Yakko before where I was victorious in the end, and the same with Dot. However, I just couldn't make myself argue back.
So, as I glanced over to the stove to see if the flame had set the tower on fire or not, she continued to play with the one candle we had, that she knew was burning out fast. I didn't want to argue anymore, at least not with Dot. It's easier to argue with Yakko, he always asks for it, but whenever I get into a fight with Dot, it's usually not her intention to do so. I also thought that because she was so young, in terms of emotions not years, she really wouldn't understand what I would have said anyway.
Sure, she might get all 'Freud' on me and tell me what she thought in her brain, but it was something she had to experience if she would ever understand. And she hasn't experienced it yet, or will ever. Neither will Yakko. We are stuck at these ages for a reason, we found out that reason when we had our show. We were to educate kids and entertain them at the same time. We still do, even if our show is cancelled. Websites like YouTube, Wikipedia, and ThatGuyWithTheGlasses shows kids and adolescents our long lost lessons that we taught kids like them from years ago.
The candle that Dot was playing with was quickly running out and there were still no signs of the power coming back on. I was still staring at that flame on the stove to make sure it didn't go higher than a foot. Where was Yakko? I knew he was the one behind all this, and I felt like I was taught a lesson already that he wanted Dot to unintentionally teach me, so where was he? As soon as the candle burned out, the only remaining light was the stove flame.
"Wakkkkooooo……" Dot said as she was crawling towards the stove light into my arms.
"It's alright Dot, we still have the stove light." I said as I grabbed her from the unseen darkness that was quickly surrounding her. "What about those birthday candles you mentioned earlier?"
"No, they don't provide much light. Plus, none of our birthdays are close enough for us even to have birthday candles. I forgot that though, when I'm playing, I forget things. Stupid things." She said.
"But you're still a smart girl." I said, trying to direct the conversation away from the power outage.
"I'm home!" A distant voice said.
"Well, Yakko's home." I said. "We're in the kitchen!" I shouted to the front door.
"Is everything alright? There isn't any power on." Yakko's voice said as it was edging nearer to us.
"Thank you Captain Obvious." I shouted back. Yakko's distant face now appeared in front of me.
"Ohhhhh……what a Hallmark moment." Yakko said as he saw me holding Dot up as if she was a baby again.
"Thank you again, now can you turn on the lights?"
"You think I would turn the lights off just to scare the bejesus out of Dot. I know that rollercoaster, and I wouldn't do such a cruel thing, just like I wouldn't place a clown in front of your face." Yakko said. Oh, those clowns, how they scare and annoy me at the same time
"So if you didn't create the power outage, then who did?" I asked. At that moment, the lights came back on, almost as if on cue. Dot's arms automatically reached up into Yakko's, a signal that she wanted to go to bed with a bedtime story. As Yakko took her to her room, I turned off the stove and cleaned off the candle that had the wax melted to the floor. Yakko then came back five minutes later.
"She'll be fine. I told her 'the mom and dad' story." Yakko said as he helped me clean up. 'The mom and dad' story is a real story that Yakko tells Dot at bedtime sometimes. One of the producers heard Yakko tell it one day as he was preparing Dot for a nap on the Animaniacs set, and he decided to use it in our movie Wakko's Wish. "And I didn't turn off the lights; I hired someone else to turn them off. I just didn't want to admit it in front of Dot; she would have thrown stones at me if she knew I played with her fear."
"She told me that I should be grateful for being a middle child because I get to take care of her while at the same time get to be taken care of myself. Is that the lesson you wanted me to learn?" I asked.
"Well, I wanted you to learn that I do more around here then you think. Things like Dot's behavior during a power outage are things I constantly am putting up with being the oldest. Whatever Dot said to you was just an added bonus." Yakko said.
"Where were you?"
"In the prop studio, watching our old shows. I figure I would give you guys about a couple hours before I came back in, but then I saw something that made me stay longer, which is why it took so long."
"What was it?" I asked with half of me interested and the other half pissed off that he would be gone for so long. Yakko pulled out a small orange-yellowish coin from his pocket. It was the ha'penny coin we used as the prop in Wakko's Wish. "You found one of the coins."
"Yep, go ahead, touch it, it's real." Yakko said, obviously taking the line from the movie. I grabbed the coin out from his hand.
"And this is what took you a long time for? An old prop coin?" I asked, still amazed that he could find such a thing from all these years.
"Well, I thought it would help you realized that there was a whole movie named after you and….. and well that you are an important part of this family. As cheesy as that sounds." Yakko said. "I don't know, I found the coin and I thought it would help you to relax and to look on the bright side. I mean, that coin does represent of a wish you made in the movie to cure Dot, even though it was a stupid disease. You're not just a middle child. You're our brother. You're the only brother I have, at least."
"It's still just a coin. It didn't cure anyone." I said trying to down play the seriousness Yakko was displaying.
"Well, the coin is a symbolic prop. It's not really magic." Yakko said trying to get back to the subject.
"I know, I know, I just don't like getting all mushy." I said still holding the coin. "I guess being the middle kid isn't the most worse thing in the world."
"Isn't the worst thing in the world." Yakko said, correcting my grammar. "I'm going to bed, are you turning in?"
"To what?" I answered back; we always were stealing lines from our show.
"Goodnight." Yakko said, ignoring my punch line. I cleaned up some more before I did decide to go to bed.
I stopped by Yakko's room first where pictures of actresses hung on his plain wall; his own bed itself was covered with many books that covered a variety of subjects from the great wars of the 20th century to Mickey Mouse. Yakko himself wasn't really going to go to bed, he was going to spend another hour on his computer that was on a wooded desk next to his wooded bed, before reading one of his books and then falling asleep in the middle of reading.
I then walked by Dot's pink room, where the lights were turned off but you could still tell that the whole room was pink. The door was kept opened whenever Dot was sleeping, now I know it's because she's afraid of the dark. It had a couple of pictures of certain actors and singers on the wall, just like Yakko's, but Dot's room was a little cleaner when it came to organizing the pictures on the wall. She too had a computer on a wooded desk next to her big, fluffy bed, with her new dress draped over her desk chair. Yakko changed her into her pajamas and so must have seen her with her new dress on. She was sleeping comfortably in her big pink bed.
I went to my room where it was filthy with random magazines here and there. Some of which were about video games and others about music. I did have food sitting on the floor as if waiting for me to eat them. My room is the messiest; on my walls are just random paint marks that I put there because I felt like putting paint marks on the wall. I don't have any furniture; my bed is a pile of blankets on the floor that have been stacked up high.
Ok, so maybe I won't be an Olympic athlete or a highly successful business man, that part I can accept. What I can't accept is playing a role just because you were born into that role. It's really ironic I think, Yakko would rather be the middle child so someone can still take care of him, but still be able to take care of someone, while Dot would like to be the oldest because she wants complete independence and taking care of two younger sibs is independence in her eyes.
What do I want? I just didn't want to be the middle child, but I can certainly see what the appeal is now. I can see why my sibs don't even want to be in their own role now.
The oldest is the most stressed out because they are expected to achieve the most. The youngest is the one who can get spoiled very easily, as well as being the most dependable person in the house. And the middle child is always the odd one, the one who is not given a distinctive role because the parents don't know what to expect out of a middle child. The middle child also tends to be the one most overlooked at because the parent's attention would focus more on 'the achiever' and 'the baby' then the 'odd ball' unless you're a trouble maker. But our parents aren't here.
That night I decided to start looking for a job in the music department at Warner Brothers in the morning, I have slept for the past ten years, it was now time to wake up and explore the world and not be stuck in this status quo. Maybe I could try to get a job in special education, and become a music teacher for kids with disabilities such as ADHD, Down syndrome, being blind or Deaf, and Autism. I went back to the living room and had put my 'ha'penny' prop in the memory box before I went back to my room, and then to bed.
Tomorrow is another day, but I can't wait for the New Year to come around, it would be a new decade for us all to try and come back into the world.
I wished myself luck before I went to sleep.
JUST TO CLARIFLY, I AM NOT THE MIDDLE CHILD OF MY OWN FAMILY; I AM, IN FACT THE OLDEST OUT OF MY ONLY OTHER SIBLING, MY BROTHER WHO IS FOUR YEARS YOUNGER THEN ME. HOWEVER, I DID TAKE PSYCHOLOGY FOR MY FIRST SEMESTER IN COLLEGE AND THOUGHT THE 'MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME'STUDY WAS A FASCINATING TOPIC, AND SO I THOUGHT HOW WAKKO REACTS TO BEING THE MIDDLE CHILD. AND THIS IS WHAT I CAME UP WITH.
*I AM ALSO AWARE THAT I PUT A STORY IN THAT INVOLVED THE PRESIDENT. PLEASE, FOR THE SAKE OF MY SANITY AND YOURS, DO NOT LEAVE COMMENTS TRYING TO DEBATE ME ABOUT OBAMA. I THOUGHT IT WAS A CUTE STORY, AND IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PRESIDENT POLICIES, SO DON'T THINK YOU KNOW WHAT MY OPINIONS ARE AND DEBATE ME ON THEM. THIS IS NOT YOUTUBE. MY SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL WAS FULL OF ARGUMENTS EVERYDAY ABOUT POLICTICS AND IT GAVE ME A HEADACHE, AND I WASN'T EVEN THE ONE ARGUING.