What can one learn from cartoons? Why, everything. But Ren and Stimpy is not your average cartoon. Indeed, the skinny angry chihuahua and the stupid fat cat with a brain the size of a peanut make for some interesting learning. As Cher Horowitz once said, “They’re way existential.” Ren and Stimpy is the cartoon equivalent of Twin Peaks in that it’s hilarious and terrifying. And like all the best things that delight and horrify, Ren Höek and Stimpson J. Cat have taught me oh so much.
1) Body parts always look 100 times more detailed and more gross when viewed from close up.
It seems obvious and yet I never really thought about it until Ren and Stimpy brought it to my attention. They taught me never to get up close and personal unless I wanted to be supremely disgusted. Just look at this. It’s probably the reason people kiss with their eyes closed.
This rings so true in the real world. I’m never more grossed out then when I feel the need to examine my pores up close and personally. Or when someone has a cold or has some weird injury and wants you to look at it, for God what knows reason. It’s horrifying. I feel really badly for dermatologists, dentists and all medical professionals. Ren and Stimpy definitely deterred me from pursuing any sort of medical career. And from looking at my own face too close up.
2) Don’t whiz on the electric fence.
This is a lesson to follow the rules of board games. In life, rules never need be followed that closely, but in board games, they should be. Ren didn’t respect the rules of the game and BLAMMO! He deservedly gets sent to hell. There’s nothing more repugnant in the whole of the world than someone who doesn’t follow the rules of a board game. Exceptions should never be made. Not for children, not for grandmas and not for friends or family. There’s a reason there are rules. Next time you let someone out of jail free just because or you let your little cousin Suzy back in that game of Twister after falling flat on her fat face, think of Ren flagrantly disregarding the very title of the game he dares violate and remember what happened to him.
3) Never eat your powdered toast before Powdered Toast Man farts on it.
Now, you don’t necessarily have to have someone fart on your food before you eat it, but this should be a lesson in opening your mind to the world of condiments. Lord knows I love bland food. But if Ren and Stimpy need a man with a face of toast to fart on their meal to make it worth eating, maybe I can go out on a limb and finally try that spicy mustard.
Spicy mustard is basically the fart of the condiment world.
4) Never eat a bar of soap because you’re hallucinating.
In one episode, Ren and Stimpy go to space, as cat and dog are wont to do, and they become afflicted with space madness. This leads to Ren eating a bar of soap, hallucinating it’s an ice cream bar. As a child, that soap bar looked super delicious to me for some reason. And I may or may not have bitten into a Dove bar. It may or may not have been revolting. It seems like you should know not to eat a bar of soap – but this is not always the case.
In the event that you’re planning on hallucinating, remove all bars of soap from the area. You’ll thank me.
5) Log is a gal’s best friend.
“What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs? Rolls over your neighbor’s dog? What’s great for a snack and fits on your back? It’s Log, Log, Log!” Log is awesome. You can literally do anything with Log. It is the perfect toy. The toy of one’s dreams. You can play with it outdoors or indoors. You can dress it up and beautify it. You can roll it. You can stand it up. What’s not to love about Log? “It’s Log, Log – it’s big, it’s heavy, it’s wood. It’s Log, Log – it’s better than bad it’s good! Everyone wants a log! You’re gonna love it, Log! Come on and get your Log! Everyone needs a Log!”
So if you’ll all just excuse, I’m going to get me a Log. Because it’s better than bad. It’s good.