One of the shows I sarcastically overanalyze is Curious George. Maybe it’s that George isn’t even a monkey; he’s an ape. Maybe it’s that PBS leads into each episode with a kid telling me that “George is a monkey (NO, HE’S NOT!) and sometimes he does things that we can’t do,” even though many of their examples are things that kids can very easily do. But at some point, I started watching and mentally cataloging all of the people who would have reported The Man in the Yellow Hat and his monkey-poaching ways to the authorities. Let’s face it; Curious George should be in a zoo by now. These folks would have made sure of it.
Commuters deal with a lot of craziness. There are no seats. People are dressed like superheroes, hookers, or not fully dressed at all. First, people have to make space for some idiot breakdancing for tips or a YouTube video, and now you want them to make room for a monkey hauling groceries? Nope. Plus, there’s the, “If you see something,say something” campaign from Homeland Security. You can bet angry, frustrated humans are going to be suspicious of a monkey with a Metrocard.
2: Restaurant Patrons
Meals in the “big city” don’t come cheap, so there’s going to be some shade thrown when people discover that their Italian cuisine is being taste tested by a stray cat named Gnocchi. Now add an ape whose opposable digits are all up in their spaghetti sauce and you can be sure Chef Pisghetti would get his ass handed to him in his Yelp reviews, followed by a quick surprise visit from the Health Department. Once he was forced out (to be replaced by two Dunkin Donuts and a Saladworks), Pisghetti would make a phone call or two, and the next tomatoes George would be squeezing would be from behind Plexiglass.
Bill is a kid who appears in the country episodes, smugly trying to teach George the proper way to do things, which frequently involves him berating George with ,“You’re a city kid; city kids can’t do anything!” Bill would sell Curious George down the river just because Bill is kind of an ass.
4: Neighboring Tenants
George and “The Man” live in a high rise apartment with two bedrooms and at least 2 other additional rooms. Assuming he doesn’t have the same rent control as the ladies from Friends, “The Man” limits himself to his few yellow outfits because he is paying an enormous amount to live there each month. His neighbors are too. So you can be sure that when George filled his apartment with dogs, neighbors started to pay attention. And when he flooded the building, neighbors made a call. Well, two calls- one to their renter’s insurance company, and one to animal control.
5: Professor Wiseman
(Image: Curious George wiki)
She’s a scientist and apparently a big deal at the city’s science museum. So it blows my mind that there’s an animal that can communicate, take photos, use puppets, decorate store fronts and attempt to cook Vietnamese cuisine and the only thing she thinks is, “Hey, maybe he can train me for a 5K!” All she needs to do is remember the big deal everyone made over Koko the gorilla and her sign language, and she’ll scoop that little guy up and move on to her book deal/Discovery Channel show. It’s not like she has any loyalty to The Man in the Yellow Hat. She’s been throwing him obvious signals for years, and has to be holding on to some bitterness after years of rejection.
6: The Man in the Yellow Hat
The ultimate threat to George’s independence is actually “The Man” himself. Now, here’s guy who apparently does something vague involving animals and science, but has enough free time to paint, run marathons, and play the tuba. And while he never appears to go to work, he owns a country home in addition to the high-rise, a car, and can afford to give his book away for free. But that still won’t be enough money to fight the charges of animal smuggling and illegally owning an exotic pet in a city since “The Man” apparently feels he is above the law, doing nothing to hide George in public. Poor George will end up in an animal sanctuary, while “The Man” will start penning letters to Steve and Betsy’s Aunt Margaret from a cushy, white collar correctional facility. The ultimate pet parent is his own worst enemy, as his monkey pride will lead to him getting caught.
So there you have it. George is training fire station dogs on borrowed time, because someone will make sure he ends up in a zoo sometime soon. Wait, you weren’t worried about that because you don’t spend this much time overthinking a children’s cartoon? Then I guess you aren’t interested in my theory that Max and Ruby’s parents aren’t actually gone and instead that they are just in some sort of Duggar situation. Maybe next time!
You can reach this post’s author, Jessica Nayor, on twitter.