I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting on my neighbor’s couch, watching MTV with her and her older brother (I was about six, she was about nine, and her brother was 19). We’d gathered around to watch the BRITTANY SPEARS video for “Lucky” (our favorite song), and were about to go off and play Barbies and leave her brother to his teenaged business when we heard a song that we both liked. It was the Gorillaz’s “Clint Eastwood.” We were both far too young to understand the drug induced lyrics, but liked the beat/tune and had been dancing to it in her room a few minutes beforehand.
The video started off with the band’s name being written across the screen, as some creepy laugh played in the background. It then went on to show cartoon people (avatars of the band members) singing. Innocent enough. All of a sudden, this creepy fat blue lightning Rastafarian man starts rapping. That got our attention right away. As the song goes on, the white background turns into a graveyard. Then, mid-song, this monkey arm shoots up from the ground, and the screen becomes filled with thousands of zombie apes, all marching to the beat of the song. I’m not sure if I remember correctly, but I think that the video ends with one of the adorable cartoon people kicking a zombie ape into outer space.
I didn’t sleep a wink that night, afraid that the zombie apes would take out my bedroom wall and squash me, and I refused to watch MTV until I turned thirteen.
MTV betrayed me AGAIN at age 14. A few of you may remember my traumafession about Happy Tree Friends. Well, the incident had terrified me so much that, all through puberty, I had a constant fear of coming across Happy Tree Friends on T.V./in a movie’s coming attractions. If I had even the faintest clue that there WAS an actual T.V. show right around that time, I don’t think I would have turned on the TV at all.
I was watching the morning wakeup countdown before going off to school, and the screen announced that the next video would be “The Carpal Tunnel of Love” by Fall Out Boy. This was during my Fall Out Boy phase that I refuse to speak of.
(AUNT JOHN SEZ: Umm, too late, you just told everyone.)
Well, you can imagine my joy when I found out that my television was about to deliver a song from their not yet released CD. That joy ended as soon as the video started. It was as if God was bitchslapping me through my TV, because staring back at me was a familiar yellow bunny, flirting with the little pink rodent that had haunted me for so long. Totally forgetting the fact that it was 5:30 am on a Monday morning, I screamed at the top of my lungs and hurled my cup of o.j. across the kitchen, fleeing to my bedroom and hiding under my covers. I didn’t stick around long enough to actually watch the video, but, needless to say, I didn’t watch MTV until I was SURE that nobody liked that song anymore.