Growing up, i had a rousing friendship with both the Disney family of cartoon players as well as the playful crew over at the Warner Bros. house. Every afternoon, i would carve out at least an hour of recreational television watching in great anticipation of seeing my favorite Donald Duck, Chip 'n Dale, Daffy Duck and Foghorn Leghorn slapstick (i didn't care much for Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny because they too closely resembled the good guys). All of these jesters were placed in the most aggravating, conflicting and trying situations with obstacle after obstacle tossed at them which i deeply related to. It now occurs to me the oddity of my young self relating more to these 2-dimensional celluloid illustrations than the flesh and blood that marauded around me, but nonetheless it was very true. I sought the animated teleplay of underdogs rather than interact with the real life bullies and unpredictably feral schoolmates.
Of all the regular set of characters i came to enjoy and even emulate in my own behavior, there was one that struck a nerve that these four chums somehow didn't. I related to this quartet by way of their unkempt state of always being on the wrong foot, singing a song slightly off-key, skipping to a beat that drew unneeded attention to them. However, this one fella struck a chord in me i couldn't identify at the time. His scrapes didn't involve dashed get-rich schemes and top-your-neighbor foibles. Instead, his purr-suits were exclusively that of the opposite sex.
Of course i speak of Pepe le Pew:
In this cartoon, as in most of his performances, the discovery of his existence immediately elicits distress calls from the poor discovering sap. They freak out when they identify him as "Le pew" or in the anglicized version of French, a skunk. His stench identifies himself as a monster. So many of my own stubborn views and ticks invited similar disparagement, as a result his alienation became an instant brotherhood for me to latch onto. There were many days of social solitude and isolation that caused me to wonder if i smelled awful, but even then, that didn't ignite my attachment to him and his cartoon saga.
Every episode where he starred that i remember involved him relentlessly pursuing a female (a pussy, at that). Such blatant sexual conquests had never been re-enacted in a way i could enjoy. Like most kids, i pinched my nose in utter dramatic contempt when the movie got to the kissing part. I did it because i didn't understand why the two characters wanted to do that, but also, because other kids around me were doing it, and at that age, i tried to minimize the amount of negative attention i attracted. Monsieur le Pew, however, made it acceptable to enjoy the hunt of the female species.
I loved the way he jaunted after them, with such persistence, such effrontery and patience, and such, such confidence. His "swagger" consisted of a calm, ballet-like bounce, whereas the targeted female was racing with haste and frenzy. He knew that once he set his sights on her, he would have her. I'm not certain whether i related to this so much because i naturally felt this way myself, or because i learned this from Pepe. Either way, caper after caper, i treated his cartoons less as entertainment, and more like visits from a kindred spirit. The only parts of his episodes i didn't care for were the ones where he'd get the girl only after he'd changed (i.e. dipped in paint, de-scented, shaved, etc.), and for that matter, she would too.
I've always approached an interaction with a female with a blind sense of faith that it will go favorably. I assume that they'll find something interesting about me, keeping them open long enough to chat. This isn't as brashly arrogant as it seems, but actually stems more from the fact that i get along with the opposite gender so well. Some aesthetes have the ability to walk up to an instrument they've never played and make angelic music with it. Some can advance on a wild horse, whisper in its ear, and lead it off the meadow to a new way of life.