Yabba Dabba Don’t

Flintstones Great Gazoo

Many TV critics will say that the introduction of The Great Gazoo was the moment when The Flintstones jumped the shark, when in truth, it was the introduction of Joe Rockhead, the Ted McGinley of the world of Stone Age animation.

There was a sublime calm in Bedrock this afternoon, an overwhelming sinister silence, which could not be penetrated. It smelled like aftermath. Like elegance unraveled, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble stood beside a lifeless The Great Gazoo. Here’s something you only discover after it’s far too late: a Zetoxian’s green flesh turns to the color of human flesh when viciously deprived of oxygen. After all, it’s one thing to kill a green alien, and it’s another thing to kill your fellow man, as chronicled in the tragic episode, “The Jeffersons Move On Up To Bedrock.”

“You shouldn’t have strangled him so hard, Fred.” Barney laughed, more out of habit and the sake of cadence.

“This isn’t my fault, Barn. He usually disappears before I can even touch him.” For the first time in their long relationship, Fred thought it slightly queer that he references his best friend as a housing fixture found on a farm.

“Gee, what if… what if he wanted you to kill him? Aliens can be weird like that.”

“That’s preposterous, Barn…ey. No one in their right mind would…” The cogs and gears in his caveman head crunched, straining, sounding more like crumbling stones than anything resembling a thought process. “Wow, without seeing other life forms from his home planet, who’s to say Gazoo was sane or insane?”

“You’re getting a little too profound for me there, Fred.”

As Fred was prone to do, he ignored his little pal, and plowed on with his viewpoint on alien behavioral ecology, for he thought his own words carried much more significance. “Without seeing the society Gazoo came from, we cannot possibly define a norm of sane behavior.”

“Fred. Fred! Snap out of it. Your words are words, but when you put them in that order, you sound bonkers. Fred!” Barney clapped his hands in Fred’s face, hoping to retrieve the simpler version, the one who shouts Yabba Dabba Doo while sliding down the tail of a brontosaurus. Quite frankly, this Fred was unsettling.

Fred was possessed, as he paced back and forth, gesticulating like the classical Greek philosopher who died from hemlock, Rockrates. “So as far as we can ascertain, Gazoo could have been clinically depressed to begin with, or worst, an emo trust fund alien here on some crazy flight of whimsy.

“Look Fred, all I know is this. You killed someone in cold blood. I’m an accomplice, and I’m too pretty for prison.”

Fred dropped to his knees and dug into the ground with his stubby fingers, picked up the tiny alien as if it were a freshly snapped Polaroid® picture, and gingerly placed the corpse in the hole. Standing up, he slid his rotund feet over the dirt, covering up The Great Gazoo, followed by a lot of tamping. “There. No muss, no fuss.”

Barney wept and said, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we are all sinners, who do what we must.”

Twenty years later, The Great Gazoo II materialized where his father was so crudely buried. He was armed to the teeth, and yes, he was pissed off with a hunger for bloodthirsty revenge. “Prepare to die, dumb dumbs.” It was eerie that he sounded like Arnold Quartzenegger.

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