Opinion: SpongeBob is Living in My Brain ... And He Won't Leave!

Filed under: Opinions

SpongeBob Squarepants and Dora Explorer show up at a Minnesota Timberwolves basektball game. (And we didn't even know they were dating.) Credit: Getty Images

Sometimes we in the press must report depressing, even tragic, news. We don't enjoy telling you these things any more than you enjoying hearing about them.

Ignoring ugly truths, however, does not make them go away. The measure of our spirits is ultimately not how we cope with life's joys as much as how we cope with its disasters.

With that in mind, brace yourselves.

"SpongeBob Squarepants" has not been canceled. I repeat: "SpongeBob Squarepants" has (this is the part where I cry like Glenn Beck) not been canceled.

If you are a parent of a child under the age of 15, I don't need to tell you what this means. The show, already in its 11th year, could continue indefinitely. It's like the Korean War in "MASH." It just goes on and on.

Our children will keep watching it. They will memorize the dialogue and repeat it over and over during long car trips. They will proceed to imitate SpongeBob's laugh (the worst, most annoying cartoon laugh since the invention of Woody Woodpecker).

They will keep hounding us with questions about how SpongeBob can visit the beach or operate a hamburger grill when he lives underwater.

How the &$#@! should I know?! It's a cartoon!

And a rather grating one at that.

I know a lot of adults actually like "SpongeBob." Even I will admit that it has its moments. I will cop to a slightly disturbing crush on Sandy Cheeks, the squirrel girl sent by her chimpanzee overlords to do underwater research.

But even more disturbing is the fact that I know who Sandy Cheeks is. I know all about Sandy, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Plankton, Mermaid Man and all the other denizens of the town of Bikini Bottom.

Not that I want to know such things. I wish I could delete them from my memory files and make room for just enough math to balance my checkbook. And it's not just "SpongeBob" trivia gumming up the works.

Can you name all four Teletubbies? I can. There's Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. (And I know Tinky-Winky is the gay one, at least according to the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.)

I also can tell you all about Jimmy Neutron, Danny Phantom, Drake and Josh, Thomas the Tank Engine and the Fairly Odd Parents. That doesn't even count Cookie Monster, Grover and (ugh) Elmo on "Sesame Street" or Henrietta Pussycat and Daniel Striped Tiger on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

And I can probably still quote "Horton Hears a Who," "The Lorax" and most of the Dr. Seuss canon, chapter and verse.

This is the curse of parenthood they never tell you about when you learn a baby is on the way. You thought you put away childish things? Ha! Your brain is overrun with talking animals and frightening images of train engines with human faces.

It seeps and creeps into your adult world. I can barely hear a story about politics without thinking, "Wow. That's, like, straight out of Yertle the Turtle."

I was at an art gallery recently, and it reminded me of the episode where Squidward Tentacles (he's an octopus, ya know) takes up sculpture.

My only consolation is that nothing lasts forever. Miley Cyrus finally, mercifully, grew up. That means just one more season of "Hannah Montana." That means being able to walk into stores without seeing her face on everything from backpacks to cereal boxes.

We adults have our equivalents. On a routine trip to the grocery store, I once counted seeing Rachael Ray's face 57 times. That phenomenon is blissfully waning. After hearing the rumor about "SpongeBob" going off the air, I thought my torment might be ending there, too.

No such luck. Just a rumor. I remember being sick of seeing Fonzie and David Cassidy everywhere I turned as a kid, but it seems to me that media is more omnipresent nowadays. I don't know. Maybe I'm just getting old.

It bothers me, however, that I could have told you almost every member of the Reagan administration when I was a young reporter. Now, I can rattle off the names of the Wiggles faster than I can the justices on the Supreme Court.

There are many wonderful blessings that come from parenthood. Being able to name the Wiggles isn't one of them.

Related: Is Cookie Monster Morally Superior to SpongeBob?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.