May 04, 2004

Twice in a Week?

This policy of not linking Lileks is just not working out. I have been wanting to write about this dorky show for months now but I haven't done it and now Lileks sort of has and now if I were to write an entry about it I'd just be hopping on the bandwagon, and how come I always put off writing about my lame interests on account of, well, they're lame, but then someone else does it and does it really well and then I wind up feeling ripped off somehow?

Ahem. Anyway, he's right: Caillou is a total wuss. And the theme song! The teeth-grindingly irritating theme song!

I'm! only four years old
Each! day I grow some more
Blah! blah blah blah blah,
I'm Caiiiiiii-yew

If you've seen it you'll know why I put the damn exclamation marks in such a goofy place.

The thing is, I don't see the show very often--I normally sleep right through it, on account of my odd working hours. Maybe once a month I'll catch an episode, and for some reason it's usually when I have a hangover.

You know how some people will get all liquored up and then, once they crash in the pre-dawn hours, they'll sleep for the next 10-12? That isn't me, which is why I am not a huge fan of alcohol. For some reason, if I have a night out at a bar, I'll wake up after only four or five hours of sleep--every time. And when I say "wake up," I mean I bolt out of the bed like it's made of nails and I am not just up and about, I am UP and ABOUT and SO FULL OF NERVOUS ENERGY you'd think it was lines of coke I'd had the night before instead of shots of Jagermeister.

Oh, and also I usually feel like hell. This, I find, is as good a time as any to watch Caillou: Right after a brisk walk down to the Deli News for a $3.99 plate of scrambled eggs, pan-fried potatoes, and bagel with cream cheese. (A proper bagel, too.) It helps work off the nervous energy and alleviates that awful hangover guilt. The walk, I mean. Not the Caillou-watching.

Of all the habits I have that irk my boyfriend--and those habits are many--I'd have to say the Caillou-watching tops the list.

"Why are you watching this crap."

"Because there's nothing else on. You could get cable, you know. Or the dish. People tell me dish is better."

"You're watching children's programming."

"No, I am watching Canadian children's programming. Ooh, hey!--The dad just said 'aboot' again!"

"Why's the kid bald?"

"I don't know but you totally missed it--they went to the beach and I swear the mother pulled off his ball cap and rubbed what looked like zinc paste all over his dumb head--for sunscreen, eh? And then she put the cap back on. It was easily the stupidest moment in television programming ever. It was classic."

"Is that his grandfather?"


"He looks like a child molester."

"Personally I'm a little suspicious about his motives for always wanting to take Caillou on overnight camping trips."

"What the hell kind of name is Caillou anyway?" (Notice that he's starting to get fascinated with the show himself now--not that he'll ever admit it.)

"You're the Francophile, you tell me."

The only way I could get my boyfriend to quit ragging me about watching Caillou was to introduce him to Jay Jay the Jet Plane. I've never taken a hit of acid in my life but the best argument against my ever doing so is that I'm seriously worried I'd start seeing those freaky jet heads on everyone around me.

(NOTE: We do not, under any circumstances [save once to see if it was really as bad as people told me and, oh, you betcha it was], watch Boobah. I have my limits.)

So, okay, I think I just took over 10 paragraphs to get to my point, which is that Lileks is right: Caillou blows. The kid is a wuss (but hey, he's only four years old! Each day he grows some more! Just not hair, eh?) and the parents really are sexually indistinct and if you want to see what our neighbors to the north think constitutes an ideal society with fairness and blandness for all, well, Caillou's probably as good an example as you're going to get. And on days when you're hungover and convinced the world is going to hell in a handbasket anyway, it's good for a bitter laugh or two. In fact, if you do what I do--which is make up your own sick, deviant Caillou plots "loosely based" on the actual one you're watching ("Caillou Gets Hepatitis," for example), it's good for a lot more laughs than that.

And whatever you come up with, I guarantee your alternative Caillou episode is going to be better than your actual Caillou episode. I say that because I just found the episode guide. A wuss, Mr. Lileks? "Wuss" doesn't begin to cover it. Selected titles:

Caillou Visits the Doctor
Caillou is Sick
Caillou Plays Baby (and why not? He's hairless enough.)
Caillou Forgets His Toys
Caillou Is Scared of Dogs
Caillou Develops Gender-Identity Issues

Okay, so I made the last one up.

Want to find out when it's on in your area?

UPDATE: Parents! Still stumped for ideas to improve your Caillou-watching time? See the comments to this post for further alternative episode suggestions, via--who else?--Jim Peacock of Snooze Button Dreams.

Posted by Ilyka at May 4, 2004 05:40 PM in trivia

You really are my evil twin separated at birth! This proves it: Caillou Gets Hepatitis

Back in the horrific days in the Great White North where the land was sere and the cable unconnected we had Caillou in our home as well. I made up a couple of episodes myself:

Caillou gets an enema.
Caillou sits on Grampa's lap and Mommy gets mad at Grampa.
Caillou whines again until he gets what he wants.
Caillou and the bowling alley incident.
Caillou tries Mommy's yellow pills.

I almost miss that show. In the same sense that you miss a scab once it is gone and the wound it covered is healed up.

Posted by: Jim at May 4, 2004 06:16 PM

You just surgically removed my bad mood. I started giggling reading this and got some funny looks. I agree one hundred percent, I hate this show.

Caillou Gets an Enema must be followed by Caillou Gets a Colonoscopy, don't you think?

Posted by: Dr. Alice at May 4, 2004 09:52 PM

Is it just me, or do the Boobahs look like upside down lightbulbs with foreskins?

Posted by: Venomous Kate at May 27, 2004 03:12 AM

I thought there was something wrong with me. The brief fantasies of pushing caillou into a puddle of muddy water or paying his friend Leo to beat him up were starting to worry me a bit. Finally deciding to type "why do I hate caillou" into Google has payed off. Thanks.

Posted by: Steve M. at December 16, 2004 05:22 PM

I'm filling my mind with a picture of beating Caillouís huge, misshapen head to pulp! Thoughts so primitive they black out everything else. I'm filling my mind with hate for Caillou.

Is your blood red like ours Caillou? I'm going to find out. All I want to do is get my hands on you. Can you read these thoughts Caillou - images of hate, killing?

You'll find my thoughts more interesting Caillou, thoughts so primitive you can't understand.

Emotions so - ugh!

No. Don't help me. I have to concentrate. Caillou can't read through hate.

Posted by: Christopher Pike at May 28, 2005 10:52 PM