It’s amazing that no matter how old I get, I can still turn back into an 8-year-old girl with no effort at all. And yes, I know that I’m only 23, which is by no means old, but it’s pretty astounding that I can drop 15 years from my mental state with one simple thing.
I spent yesterday evening drinking wells whiskey and coke (with a shot of sweet and sour) at a local dive bar while playing pool. This was after eight hours of work and four hours of French homework. After the bar, I came home to make spaghetti with my It’s Complicated. If you’ve read my Ex-Chronicles series, you’ll be intimately familiar with him and the reason why it is complicated. He had a glass of Wild Turkey American Honey on the rocks while I finished off a bottle of Land Run Native Drum pomegranate wine.
We were just sitting there, not doing much of anything, when I suddenly turned to him, and not even knowing what words would issue from my mouth, I opened my eyes so wide I thought my contacts might fall out and whispered, “B, can we. . . Can we watch Scooby-Doo? Pleeeeease?”
“Fiiiiine,” he sighed. I’d only been asking this every night he stayed over for the past two weeks.
“Yay!” I exclaimed before I ran to the living room to rinse out my spaghetti bowl and grab the DVDs. I have the entire first season of the original series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! from 1969. I was obsessed with the show when I was a kid. For one of my birthdays (it actually might have been my 8th) I received only one gift that was not Scooby-Doo related. The cake was Scooby. The decorations were Scooby. I have vague memories of annoying my cousins because I refused to watch anything else for a very long while.
My little brother and I used to watch Scooby-Doo together. One of my last memories of him is watching a compilation VHS with four episodes from the original series. I found a copy of it again at Vintage Stock a few months ago, and I couldn’t believe my luck. Scooby is difficult to come by anywhere other than online these days, particularly the older stuff.
I have watched some of the newer shows. I really liked A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, and there was a show on Netflix for a while called Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Incorporated, which I watched when I had something that felt like the flu. I settled on the couch with a bowl of chicken noodle soup and just stared at the screen. It was just like when I was a kid. But, of course, the old ones are my favorite because they are the ones I watched over and over growing up.
I desperately wanted to be pretty like Daphne, but I was pretty sure that I looked more like Velma. I certainly tended more toward her deductive powers. It wasn’t until recently that I realized Velma from the original series is a teenager with the mannerisms of an elderly woman.
My favorite line (ever) is from the episode “A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts.” When the vampire confronts the gang on the drawbridge as they reach the castle, he tells them to “Go now! Or abandon all hope of seeing the sun again!” very menacingly. But Velma is such a BAMF that she is unphased. Without fear, anger, or really any emotion, she says, “You stop that.”
I now try to use that line, exactly the way she says it, in daily conversation.
When we put in the DVD last night, I sat on the floor (even though the bed was right behind me) looking up at the screen, singing along with the theme song, and giggling uncontrollably at certain ridiculous occurrences. Like, how is Shaggy “the swingingest gymnast at school” and a ventriloquist? Seriously, why? But the why doesn’t really matter because now Scooby-Doo is flirting with a female poodle puppet, and everything about this show is adorable.
It would be easy to blame the whiskey and wine for my rapt attention to a cartoon that was already old when I was born, but I don’t believe it. I know that the truth is, no matter how many years go by, I will always truly, deeply, and irrevocably love the talking dog with a speech impediment who solves mysteries with his oddly matched friends while being terrified of everything and eating all of the food in sight. I will always wish I looked like Daphne while really sympathizing with Velma. I will always think Fred is a bit of a prig, and Shaggy is, like, the coolest, man.
And now, I’m going to fall asleep watching some more Scooby-Doo. You all should, too. It does wonders for the soul. Or if not Scooby specifically, whatever show got you excited when you were eight. That one thing you just loved without reason. For me, it is and always will be Rooby-Rooby-Roo.