I don’t have kids (which is probably for the best). However, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my monthly subscription to Highlights Magazine, or an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. (He lives in a Pineapple, people! Under the sea!) If only those things would get me into the pre-boarding spot at the airport. Apparently you actually have to have kids with you for that. Pfft!
Despite my lack of little ones, I still enjoy looking at the beloved “Where’s Waldo?” books. Why wouldn’t I? Each edition is visually stimulating, and even more maddening than the next. But with my love of tracking down the elusive Waldo comes a series of questions I haven’t been able to shake. I’m demanding answers and I’m hoping someone can provide something other than “Because Waldo is awesome.” I deserve better than that, and so do the fine kids who are looking for him.
***NOTE: If any of you would like to peruse one of these fine pieces of literature, I would recommend purchasing one for yourself. In my experience, people tend to frown upon you looking over their child’s shoulder and telling them where Waldo is located. I think it also might get you on some sort of watch list. Hypothetically, of course.***
For those of you not on the same heightened literary plane as me, “Where’s Waldo?” is a series of picture books where the reader is summoned to find Waldo in a sea of people, places and things. It’s harder than it sounds, as Waldo is a master of disguise, which is probably why his books have been so successful; his mortgage payment depends on you not being able to locate him easily.
So the first obvious question I have is “Where’s Waldo?” Although you may be able to locate him on paper, as far as I know, no one has ever met this mysterious fellow. Rather, we only see his meme. He doesn’t do book signings or publicity junkets (which truly speaks volumes as to the success of his books, as most publicists demand such things to drive sales.) So really though, where is he?
Honestly, I hope he’s in prison, because that guy is probably a pedophile and shouldn’t be featured in children’s books anyway. Something about him wanting to hide in plain sight just creeps me out and makes me wonder if he’s housing a stash of fingers in a hope chest in his basement. And if no one has ever met him, do we know if he’s a real person? Maybe he’s the Keyser Soze of children’s books, and is nothing but a myth? (NOTE: These are not only considered children’s books. They’re also books for highly sophisticated writers who write fascinating and hilarious blog posts athttp://www.rantingseriously.com. I’m just saying.)
Since we don’t even know who he is, the next logical question is “Why, Waldo? Why are you hiding?” The first reason that comes to mind is that he’s on the lamb. For what? I’m not sure, but I have a feeling it has to do with loan sharking. I just have a hunch. Trust me on this.
And why is he so intent on hiding? I suspect it’s because he’s wanted by Interpol, which would make sense, as his travels span many continents. Has anyone ever considered looking at his passport? Is his name listed as “Waldo” and nothing more?
How did he get to be so good at hiding? What do we know about this Waldo guy, anyway? We allow his likeness to come into our homes and sit on our coffee tables (or on the back of the toilet), and yet we know so little about him and his profession. Is he a spy? Where did he obtain his mad hiding skills? Was it from years of playing hide and seek with his siblings? Does he have siblings? Did he assassinate them at a young age? Is that why he’s on the lamb?
Now I realize this next question may seem to be off topic, but follow it through. “Why is he always wearing the same sweater?” It seems to me that if you want to blend in and not be found, wearing the same red and white striped sweater isn’t the best way to become a wallflower (unless you’re in a candy cane-themed room. Then it’s truly the only way to become a wallflower).
Either way, I would think frequent costume changes would assist in avoiding detection. And does he have several of those same sweaters, or is he just wearing the exact same outfit everyday? I hope, for everyone’s sake, that he has several of the same sweaters and is swapping them out every few days. Otherwise, I would think he’d be easy to locate based upon pure body odor alone. I suspect all that evading authorities would cause one to perspire, and if that sweater is a polyester blend, it will hold onto a stench until the end of time.
And what about those glasses? Why not switch those up every now and again too? I know that hipster look is in style at the moment (arguably), but shouldn’t he consider rocking some different frames to avoid detection? Maybe he should get some contacts too. Does he have a condition preventing a change in eyewear? Those astigmatisms can be a real bitch.
And yet, despite all of my questions, he continues to evade all of us, and in a strange way, I say “Bravo to you, Waldo, if that is your real name.” On second thought, maybe he doesn’t skirt all of us. Maybe it’s just my prying eyes he manages to avoid. But then again, my eyes are usually filtered through a hazy film of vodka, so perhaps he isn’t as elusive as he thinks he is.
Lisa Newlin Embarrassing myself so you don't have to. You're welcome. http://www.rantingseriously.com
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