Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pass The Roundi Doundi (On The Left Hand Side!)

It's time for a Thrift Shop Bedtime Story! Today's story is...

"A Hunt In The Jungle" by Edward Azmon. Copyright 1971. Featuring Roundi Doundi, Chim Cham, Aaxel, Wallie, Bobo, Rhinie, Emilie & Gigi! But, really just Chim Cham and Bobo.

"One fine day, Chim Cham goes to the zoo."

Like that.

"The first thing to see is the elephant."


That's just like that time we went to Busch Gardens the year that they opened the Big Bad Wolf roller coaster and when we got to the park there was a sign saying "We're sorry. The Big Bad Wolf is closed today." It's just as terrible as that.

"Chim Cham cannot believe it. Something must be done!"

I suggest a strongly worded email.

Wait a minute... is Chim Cham thinking of doing what I think Chim Cham is thinking of doing?

Are you telling me that the 'Hunt' mentioned in the title of this story involves our bird-like protagonist traveling to the untouched jungle depths to capture a majestic and beautiful creature of the wild and dragging it back to live out the rest of its days in caged display for the amusement of hot dog eating tourists?

I'm not sure that I'm okay with that, but I'll keep reading for now.

"Chim Cham buys an umbrella with big, bright flowers."


"And the biggest box of chocolates in the store."

He did just walk into a hunting supply store, didn't he? And he bought flowery umbrellas and a box of chocolates? I have to say that a hunting supply store would not be the first place to pop into my mind if I ever were to need flowery umbrellas and chocolates (and when do I ever not need flowery umbrellas and chocolates?), but Chim Cham obviously knows a little something about hunting supply stores that I do not.

"Chim Cham takes them straight to the airport. Soon he is flying to the jungle where the elephants live."

That is the trippiest aquarium that I have ever seen.

"Bobo the Elephant loves jungle flowers. He would like to flutter through them like a butterfly, smelling and tasting the sweet blossoms."

"Chim Cham finds Bobo asleep under a tree..."

"... dreaming of butterflies and flowers."

Wake up, Bobo! He's right behind you! And he has a... well... he has a flowery umbrella and some chocolates...

I really don't see where this is headed...

"Chim Cham leaves the box of chocolate beside Bobo and ties the umbrella to the elephant's trunk. When Bobo awakens, he thinks he is a butterfly inside a cluster of flowers."

"Bobo is happy that his dream has come true at last. He hardly notices that Chim Cham is leading him away. The chocolates smell as sweet as nectar."


What the f**k sort of pit-bred, demon seed is this Chim Cham creature that he not only knows our every secret dream and desire, but will also gleefully turn those most heartfelt wishes against us for his own dastardly purposes?

Foul, foul beast!

"A big ship carries them quickly across the sea. When they land, Chim Cham thinks of going right to the zoo. But then he has another idea. Chim Cham drives home."

Did anybody else just feel a cold chill run down their spine?

"There he takes Bobo's picture in color. It is very hard to make an elephant smile when you take his umbrella away."

No, no, no, no, no! No! The overcoat-clad, beret-wearing creepy guy has just taken the innocent elephant back to his damp basement apartment to take some pictures. In color.

This is not turning out to be the kind of bedtime story that I think is entirely appropriate for a blog that asterisks the f-word!

There is no way that I am going to keep reading this story to you. No way!

Maybe one more page...

"Soon, Chim Cham is waving goodbye. Bobo is sailing home to the jungle."

Wait a minute... Bobo's what? What about the zoo? What about all of Chim Cham's clever little mind games? What about the porn?

"Chim Cham goes back to the zoo."

"What a good place for a picture of an elephant!"

Aaaaaawwww! Look at that! Chim Cham never had any intention of turning poor Bobo over to the zoo! What a lovely, lovely story! And what a valuable and timeless lesson about man's place in the glorious world of nature in living color! Take only pictures, leave only footprints! Make love, not war! Zoos are unhealthy for children and elephants!

Of course, Chim Cham could have just taken his camera with him to the jungle in the first place and spared Bobo all of the mental manipulations, but if he had done that then he wouldn't be the Chim Cham that we all know and had never heard of before today, now would he?

We'll say our goodbyes for today as Chim Cham and Bobo share one last tab before going their separate ways.


LindaBudz said...

Brilliant! I must find the rest of the books in this series! Especially the one featuring Roundi Doundi himself (herself?)! Thank you for giving me a new purpose in life.

Steven A. said...

After an extensive internet search (I Googled for plum near five whole minutes) I am of the opinion that there were only two books in the series, this one and another called "Encounter on the High Seas" which looks even more whacked-out than this one.

However, the author's bio in "Hunt in the Jungle" says that Xenia Azmon, a toy designer and first prize winner in a national toy competition in Israel, actually created the Roundi Doundi characters so who knows what sort of cool Roundi Doundi junque is out there!

They may be the Israeli Care Bears of the 1970's!

LindaBudz said...

Welll, you Googled for three minutes longer than I did ... my life purposes tend to fluctuate pretty rapidly.

But Roundi Doundi action figures? OMG, THEY are my new purpose in life!

Ann said...

I have to tell you that this was my FAVORITE book when I was little! I googled "chim cham" and how happy was I that you had scanned in each page?! To this day, my parents will recite the first half of the story by heart, "One fine day, chim cham went to the zoo..." Thanks for the flash-back. :)

Steven A. said...

That's so cool, Ann! This blog is all about never leaving your childhood behind, so I'm thrilled that I was able to send you flashing back to yours, even if for just the length of one post!

And I always sing that first line, a la The Chiffons!