Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Got Plenty of Mutton Bird

You know, Mr. Burns once quipped "I say cheating is a gift Man gives himself!"  It's probably much worse in the animal kingdom at large.  My favourite example I recall is how butterflies and wasps take advantage of the industrial nature of certain ants, getting the ants to rear their young as their own.  But what if you're an animal kingdom alpha male, and you run afoul of an even more alpha-er male?  There's only one thing to do: dress in drag, which is what Tom Cat finds himself doing in our next Tom and Jerry cartoon... Flirty Birdy.
We start out as we usually do in these things.  Well, normally it's a rousing chase, but this time things are a little calmer.  Tom's building a trail of cheese crumbs, and soon enough the little rat jumps right out and starts stuffing his little fat face with crumbs of cheese.  At the end of the trail?  A deadly piece of bread with only a mere stick to keep it from snapping shut.  Reminds me of Hare Remover when Bugs is studying Elmer's extremely simple rat trap of a box and a stick on a rope.  Bugs says "Can you imagine?  And old-fashioned rabbit trap!  My grandfather told me about one of these things but.... I never thought I'd see one!"  Alas, we've got a lot of plot to catch up on, apparently, so no time for Jerry Mouse to avoid the trap.  Into the sandwich he goes, and it's time for Tom to have a nice mouse sandwich.  No time for mouse liver paté either, apparently.  And no, Tom's not going to eat Jerry Mouse ass first, for God's sake!  He's strictly a 'head first' cat.  Lol.
And then, just before Tom's about to take a bite of his mouse sandwich... fate intervenes!  This time, in the form of a giant, Tom-sized raptor bird... possibly an eagle.  Fortunately for Tom, the bird's a slow, fussy eater too, and Tom has enough time to climb up to the bird's tree branch, and a mighty struggle ensues over the mouse sandwich.  Poor Jerry.  Look as he tries to cling to both halves of the torn sandwich.  Jerry can't run away, of course, but why does staying have to be so difficult?
And so, once again Tom the cat loses a battle over possession of the mouse.  The bird is bigger and can fight dirtier, using its seemingly metallic beak as a makeshift fist.  The bird even has better aim when it comes to chucking bricks!  Fortunately, Tom finds the answer when the bird ends up throwing him into a clothesline.  Time for some sexual deception.
...sheesh.  As it happens, the bird's more desperate than we thought.  The cat's got a ... you know, one of those conical New Year's horns for a nose.  By accident, it gets blown and makes a noise, and that really turns the bird on!  Probably the most telling moment is when Tom cracks the bird over the head with a brick.  The bird says "...she loves me!"  And really, girls, once you get right down to it... isn't all courtship this way?
And so, a mighty chase ensues.  I hate to spoil it, but Cat hits Bird, then Mouse hits Cat.  That pattern happens over and over during the chase.  But Tom eventually gets smart again and sets up a kissing booth.  Guess what the cost of a kiss is?  You guessed it!  One mouse!  Good econ lesson there for all of us.  So that slows the action down a little bit.
As for the ending itself, well... I suppose most of these cartoons, if not all of them, end the same way: the cat ends up subservient to the mouse... I mean, the mouse has made the cat his bitch.  Sorry to put on airs like the previous sentence.  This time, however, the mouse has made sure that the fake marriage between bird and cat pretending to be a female bird stays strong.  The sanctity of marriage above all... even a fake one.  Kinda reminds me of the ending of Trading Places.  I'll leave it at that.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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