Hello once again Unk and Aunt and all you wonderful Traumatots out there who continue to brighten my journeys on the internet with your delightful Traumafessions and Name-That-Traumas that keep me constantly on the prowl for the gems you manage to dig up. It’s nice to once again be writing to you.
Ever since I sent you my traumafession about the Groke way back in…I think it was October or September… I have tried to think of something else from my childhood that had frightened me… but either I was a more hardcore kid than I thought, or my parents were just too protective of what I saw, or I am a forgetful ninny, since absolutely nothing came to me at all, both to my relief and my disappointment.
That is, until one day, searching for various nostalgic stuff on pages like Youtube, I stumbled across one of my favorite cartoons from a young age… COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG (I was 9 when this show was on. Bear with me – I am well aware that I am in the younger end of the Kindertrauma guests).
Anyway, I loved Courage. For one, the dog was a delightful character, second, even back then I had my delvings in the macabre with the writings of J.K. Rowling and Danish author Dennis Jürgensen and third, it was absolutely hilarious and wild.
For those who do not know the show’s premise, it is quite simple: Courage is a pink dog who lives in the middle of Nowhere (literally) with farmer couple Eustace and Muriel. Every day, something strange and creepy would happen, and it would be the cowardly dog’s job to save his owners even though he was scared out of his mind. The show was often just as creepy as it was funny, and is probably the straightest played horror I have seen for children in cartoon form.
I loved every single minute of it, but as I sat rewatching my childhood and laughing twice as much since I now understood ALL the jokes rather than just half, I would soon know fear… in the shape of the most frightening “monster of the week” from this fantastic show… Freaky Fred!
The episode was a nightmare unlike the others – the premise was basically that Muriel’s nephew Fred was coming to visit… but it turns out he is a loony barber with quite a strange fetish for cutting people’s hair. During some mishap, Courage ends up locked up with Freaky Fred in the bathroom while Eustace go to find something to fix the door with… and Freaky Fred just ADORES our dear little puppy’s hair and continues to shave him with childish glee.
And that childish glee was the frightening part. The entire episode were told in a rhyming, sing-song tone of voice with creepy children’s singing as background music. During these musings, he would tell of the various people he had shaved and described it as an urge that made him act…. “NAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHTYYYYYYY.”
That “Naughty” was the single scariest word in existence for me – it was said in a completely different tone of voice, a malicious growl from the very darkest pits of his throat. While I watched this in English on Youtube, I still distinctly remember his Danish voice… which was even happier and gigglier, just making everything worse.
Don’t get me wrong, it was as funny as every other episode… but Freaky Fred sure as hell freaked me right the frig out!
Today I recognize it as a delightful Sweeney Todd parody… but back then… good Lord, it was terrifying. Especially since you can hardly say Courage even wins, as he winds up completely shaven before Fred is taken back to the Looney Bin.
And thus ends my tale of the freaky barber that scarred my fragile psyche. I hope you enjoyed it.
Play nice, or I might get…. “NAAAAUUUUUGHHHTYYYYYYY.”