Monday, January 03, 2011

Sugar&Spike - Uncle Charley Returns

The Chronicles of Sheldon Mayer's Sugar & Spike

Uncle Charley Returns!
Sugar & Spike #61 [1965]
4 pages
Reprints: None
Dedication: Lisa, Jimmy and Andrea Thomson (ages 3, 1 1/2 and 2 months) and their Aunt Rayline, New Westminster, Canada

Sugar's Uncle Charley (her mother's younger brother) is one of the best recurring characters in the series. He first shows up in "Busy Corners", the best story in the first issue of the series, which establishes that he's the one adult who truly understands what kids like, toys that make loud ka-bom noises (usually as part of his tests on his own theories of child rearing), and appears on a regular basis thereafter to play out variations on that theme, usually ending with him sharing the punishment of sitting in the corner. Charley is a traffic cop, and the kids always instantly know he's arrived from his put-put (motorcycle) out front.

In this short tale, Charley's gift is a record used to teach parakeets to talk, which Charley thinks can do the same for Sugar and Spike. Sugar's mother reluctantly agrees, but then gives up just as the kids figure out what's expected of them. Wanting to make their favourite Uncle happy, they decide to copy the next word he says, which unfortunately for him turns out to be "Baloney". The kids' gleeful repetition of "Bawoney" at the top of their lungs earns all three of them a (completely unjustified, in my opinion) trip to the corner.

Characters: Sugar, Spike, Uncle Charley, Mrs. Plumm
Property Damage: some wet cement gets some footprint action
Sugar's treatment of Spike: drags him around by his feet

"Sure! He's our friend! And he knows he's not smart enough to learn baby-talk!... So he's trying to teach us his language!"

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