Reflecting upon the role of cartoonism in so many avoidable deaths, I am drawn almost against my will to the sad case of Magilla Gorilla, an early victim of Hanna Barbera’s barbarous trade.
We've got a gorilla for sale
Magilla Gorilla for sale.
Won't you buy him,
Take him home and try him,
Gorilla for sale.
Don't you want a little gorilla you can call your own,
A gorilla who'll be with ya when you're all alone?
Take our advice,
At any price,
A gorilla like Magilla is mighty nice.
Gorilla, Magilla Gorilla for sale.
Week after week we watch Mr Peebles’ increasingly desperate and insensitive attempts to get shot of him. Discount after discount whittles away at his self-esteem, and time after time the sale that offers escape ends in a humiliating return to the shop window. How can one doubt that this is a deeply traumatised individual, ripe for an eventual explosion of irrepressible rage given frightening force by his sheer size and strength? And yet Mr Peebles continues to hawk this unhappy ape to any passing child for a nickel.
Naturally it would be perverse to blame Magilla for his sad situation or resultant state of mind, but one can’t help but fear that it will all end in tears…
All the signs were there, but we just didn’t want to see them.