Loaded With Nourishing Roughage

by Scott McLemee on June 22, 2007

And to imagine there are people who think the Interweb cannot contribute to the advancement of human knowledge…

How many times have I seen the Bugs Bunny cartoon in which Bugs squares off against a baseball team called the Gashouse Gorillas? And how many times have I taken in the joke advertisements lining the walls of the baseball stadium?

So why did it take me this long to notice that one of the ads is for something called Filboid Studge? I knew the Warner Brothers animators at Termite Terrace were a smart bunch, but extra kudos are in order for the gag writer who managed to work in a nod to Saki, aka Hector Hugh Munro.

I never would have caught this Edwardian allusion, helpfully glossed in suitable detail by Steven Hart.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Diary of a Mad Natural Historian » A Very Nice Morning
06.24.07 at 1:48 pm
Loaded With Nourishing Roughage — Sportsbook Betting
06.28.07 at 5:29 pm

{ 18 comments }

1

LizardBreath 06.22.07 at 3:17 pm

I’ve been watching BB with my kids, and noticed the same ad. Had a heck of a time explaining why I was cracking up to my husband and kids: “Filboid Studge. They cannot eat it now.”

2

Steve LaBonne 06.22.07 at 3:23 pm

Edwardian allusion??? Saki is a classic: not of an age, but for all time.

3

SamChevre 06.22.07 at 3:29 pm

One of the very rare points on which I agree with Steve Labonne; Saki’s short stories are amazing and timeless. (I’d recommend The Storyteller or The Lumber Room as an introduction.)

4

SamChevre 06.22.07 at 3:35 pm

As evidence, here’s an excerpt from “Filboid Studge.”

Spayley had grasped the fact that people will do things from a sense of duty which they would never attempt as a pleasure. There are thousands of respectable middle-class men who, if you found them unexpectedly in a Turkish bath, would explain in all sincerity that a doctor had ordered them to take Turkish baths; if you told them in return that you went there because you liked it, they would stare in pained wonder at the frivolity of your motive. In the same way, whenever a massacre of Armenians is reported from Asia Minor, every one assumes that it has been carried out “under orders” from somewhere or another; no one seems to think that there are people who might like to kill their neighbours now and then.

5

John Emerson 06.22.07 at 3:48 pm

6

astrongmaybe 06.22.07 at 4:16 pm

I love Saki and all, and sorry to sound snarkish of a Friday afternoon, but what does ‘timeless’ and for “all time” actually mean in this context? Isn’t it more usually used on shopping channels to sell 5-CD collections of classic hits of the 70s?

7

Jasper Milvain 06.22.07 at 4:45 pm

In this context, “not of an age, but for all time” would be an allusion to Ben Jonson and an implicit comparison with Shakespeare.

8

digamma 06.22.07 at 5:00 pm

Derek Zumsteg’s historical analysis of Baseball Bugs is absolutely brilliant.

9

Luis Alegria 06.22.07 at 6:43 pm

Mr. McLemee,

Saki was a staple of the old Catholic school readers, which may sound odd to people unaquainted with Catholic education.

He desperately needs a revival.

10

richard 06.22.07 at 7:16 pm

I’ve been trying to convince people to read Saki for years. Smarter than Wodehouse, more acidic than the Mapp and Lucia stories, for my money, better than Wilde’s delicate fancies. The Unrest-Cure, Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger and Sredni Vashtar are masterworks.

the Penguin classics collection of all his shorts is really very affordable. It even contains the (now bizarre-seeming) “When William Came” (about Kaiser Bill and the strange reluctance of Munro’s countrymen to start the first world war). I’m half tempted to change my handle here to Clovis.

11

Luis Alegria 06.22.07 at 7:38 pm

Mr. Richard,

A lot of Saki is on-line –

Try here –

http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/

Search for “Saki”, there are dozens of them. including “Filboid Studge”.

12

Matt Weiner 06.22.07 at 8:08 pm

Saki is neglected? I thought everyone read Saki (“The Open Window” at least).

13

Luis Alegria 06.22.07 at 8:18 pm

Mr. Weiner,

I would say he is neglected. My kids never got any Saki in school, required or recommended.

If not in school, then effectively nowhere, these days.

14

dave heasman 06.22.07 at 10:14 pm

A rather good cartoon/live adaptation of Sredni Vashtar, Bertha with her medals getting eaten by a wolf and a couple of others appeared on BBC4 about a month ago.
Yes, “When William Came” is very weird.

15

JP Stormcrow 06.23.07 at 1:28 am

And to imagine there are people who think the Interweb cannot contribute to the advancement of human knowledge…

Fur reelz! Philboid Studge is mentioned (both the story and from the cartoon) here at Topher’s Breakfast Cereal Character Guide (about 2/3’rds of the way down the page). There are eight pages of fictional cereals alone.

16

dearieme 06.23.07 at 9:29 am

Now then, can you find us any footage of the Saki TV series I remember from decades ago, featuring Fenella Fielding?

17

Helen 06.25.07 at 1:38 am

A lot of Saki is on-line –
Try here –
http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/

also here -

http://www.users.bigpond.com/burnside/saki.htm

Luis, that short story site looks like a major time sucker!

18

Katherine 06.26.07 at 10:35 am

And thanks to the terrible Web 2.0, I now who Saki is and what Filboid Studge is. Evil evil, intellectually inferior Web 2.0. Oops, sorry, wrong thread.

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