Muttley the cussing cartoon dog

Published 6:40 pm Friday, June 23, 2017

When Brother and I were little kids, we loved to spend Friday nights with Grandmaw. Any night was good, but she had a tv and if we stayed at her house Friday night, we got to loll around Saturday mornings in front of the set, eating cold biscuits and watching cartoons!

We had our favorites. I loved “Speed Racer” and “Johnny Quest,” and Brother liked “The Jetsons” and “Yogi Bear”. We both loved “The Flintstones” and “Scooby Doo.” Our favorite Saturday morning cartoon though, was about Dick Dastardly and his amazing cussing dog, Muttley.

Dick was tall and skinny and dressed all in black. He had a tall hat and a skinny handlebar mustache.

He and Muttley spent most of their time chasing a pigeon around, but they never caught him.

The real brains in the duo belonged to Muttley, who grudgingly went along with Dick’s dastardly plans, even though he always knew how goofy they were.

At some point in every show, Muttley would find himself in some fix or other.

He might be floating down to earth hanging from a parachute after barely escaping a crashing plane, or he might have a rocket strapped to his back, or he might just be ready for dinner, but when he got frustrated, Muttley cussed.

We loved hearing that little yellow dog cuss! Of course because it was a  show for kids, he couldn’t really say bad words, so he used a lot of nonsense words muttered under his breath. Naturally, brother and I began to do the same thing.

I don’t remember the year, but I know we were tiny, because Mama and Daddy squeezed us between them in the cab of Daddy’s green and white pick-up the summer we decided to go to Key West. It was a long trip, without air conditioning. And brother was touching me and looking at me, and scooting over to my side, and…

Somewhere south of Daytona, I did a Muttley.

Daddy about ran the car off the road! Mama turned purple and her cheeks puffed way out. Brother snickered, which was another thing Muttley was prone to do. Mama and Daddy started at the same time-

“What did you just say young lady?”

“Young ladies do not say that word!”

Somehow, I had mumbled and grumbled and imitated Muttley so well that I had actually cussed!

Not only cussed, but cussed the biggest word of them all!

Once I explained, we all had a good laugh. They wouldn’t tell me what the word meant though, and so in secret, brother and I always paid homage to Mutley with mumbled swears, and at least one word young ladies did not say.

Pepper Ellis Hageback is a resident of LaGrange.