Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It Just Bugs Me: The Busy World of Richard Scarry

I'm getting right down to business this time around. When I was younger, my sister and I watched a fair amount of Nick Jr., and almost always watched The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Which is why, to this day, I still burn with rage when I remember the terrible inaccuracies about different cultures and world history they fed to unsuspecting children. The show was in a "three shorts" format, and while most featured the gang from the Busytown books going about their Busytown lives, there would be the occasionally story about recurring detective characters (there were at least two different ones, if I recall correctly) or historical events. Only, as I said before, they were not anything close to the truth.
I don't remember the detective stories well enough to have that much rage against them, except for one, where the female detective went to China and had to solve the case of the kidnapped noodle chef. Only, it turned out that the guy who kidnapped the chef only did it because he always slurped his noodles and got banned from the restaurant for doing that (I think). Only, and even as a kid I knew this piece of information, in China and Japan you're supposed to slurp your noodles. It's a sign that you're enjoying your food. *headdesk*
But it's the show's attempts to tell a historical story that really brings up the ire in me. I mean, according to The Busy World of Richard Scarry, sandwiches were invented because the Earl of Sandwich's servant got distracted and forgot to wash the gloves aristocrats wore to eat food (what?), Amerigo Vespucci was a stowaway on Christopher Columbus' ship, and Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel's ceiling because he couldn't get the Pope (or maybe just a Father) to stop messing with the mural he was doing on the walls. There are more, but those are the ones I remember best.
I guess what really bothers me about these gross inaccuracies is simply that I don't understand why the show's producers thought it was necessary to completely change the story of history, or why they wanted to include historical segments anyway. It just makes no sense.

1 comment:

ThumbleMina said...

Hmm. That explains why my Chinese roommate was slurping the other day. I thought she was just trying to be rude while I was watching tv. Now I understand!