There’s something that’s always sort of irked me about Sylvester and Tweety cartoons. Not the fact that you could practically feel droplets of kitty spit go splat on your face as you sat there, cross-legged before the TV Saturday morning, every time Sylvester said something. (He had a lisp. Be nice.) Nor the smug mannerisms and sly maliciousness of Granny’s abnormally large-headed canary. (Actually, they irked me a little.)
But what never seemed quite right to me was the lack of culinary hijinx. Here’s a cartoon predicated on a hapless cat plotting time after time to pounce on a plump little specimen of poultry, yet there was no mention of a frying pan. Or a stock pot. Or a rotisserie. Or a sauteuse. Nothing of the sort. Only the telltale feather clinging to Sylester’s lips. Just like that. Down the hatch.
Is it just me, or does anyone else find that to be a little anticlimactic? Disappointing, even? I mean, I know that’s what cats do. But c’mon. This was, after all, Looney Tunes. I think I sort of expected Sylvester to have super-shopper status for kitchen equipment from ACME—or at least a fake mail-order culinary school diploma.
Yet many of us, in our own way, pull a Sylvester every once and again. Driven by the need to put something in our bellies for dinner, yet crazed by a comically zany day, we think no further ahead than the catch. Despite the potential in that package of chicken breasts before us, we forget and revert to what’s most familiar and instinctual, whatever that may be. Broiled. Pan-seared. Roasted. Over and over and over again. No matter how anticlimactic or disappointing.
And that’s what’s truly loony when you consider jut how darn versatile chicken and duck and turkey and their feathered kin can be. I’m thinking Parmesan-crusted cutlets sizzled in a skillet or bone-in, skin-on parts slowly coaxed to tenderness in the oven or…well, that’s not all, folks. —Renee Schettler Rossi