Bugs Bunny was born in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York; long before either my husband or I were gleams in anybody’s eyes. As children growing up during the 1960s, we had three channels to choose from on Saturday mornings and at least one always showed Bugs Bunny cartoons. Our weekends were not real days off from our grueling school schedules without a healthy dose of Yosemite Sam, the Tasmanian Devil, Elmer Fudd, and Wile E. Coyote. “Eh, what’s up doc?” became as much of a well-known phrase in our lives as “Far out,” “Groovy,” and “Can you dig it?”
On a recent weekend morning after too many cups of coffee and too much bad news on cable television, my husband suddenly stopped cruising through the channels as fast as George Clooney has been speeding through girlfriends for the past few years. “Hold on!” he exclaimed excitedly, “Bugs Bunny is on Channel 6,096!”
I hurried to sit next to him on the couch where together, we began watching the famous episode “Bewitched Bunny” when Bugs Bunny runs into Witch Hazel who has captured Hansel and Gretel and plans to eat them for dinner. Just as Bugs Bunny releases the children, Witch Hazel ingeniously realizes she can whip up a delicious rabbit stew instead and sets her sights on Bugs Bunny. As we watched her whistle for her broom, my husband shouted, “This is where she flies on her broom and all the bobby pins fly out of her hair!”
I turned to look at him and wondered how he could remember such a seemingly insignificant fact from a cartoon he watched forty years ago but yet, couldn’t remember what I sent him to the grocery store for just moments after he left the house. Sure enough, Witch Hazel sat on her broom and as she sped off in hot pursuit of Bugs Bunny, several bobby pins escaped from her hair and landed on the floor.
“See?” my husband laughed. “I told you!”
“Quick, what year did we get married?” I grilled.
A blank look crossed his face that quickly transformed into panic and then he did what any husband would do in his place. He changed the subject.
“I wonder how Witch Hazel ever planned to eat those two children. Look, she only has one tooth!” He pointed to the television where it was slowly becoming evident that Bugs Bunny was orchestrating yet another creative escape while using Witch Hazel’s own magic powder to change her into a hot female rabbit.
“Bugs Bunny was a darn genius,” my husband remarked. As Bugs Bunny and the hot rabbit became quickly acquainted, my husband grabbed my hand, squeezed, and asked, “Going my way?”
Somewhere, in the background, I heard Bugs Bunny say, "But aren’t they all witches inside?" but suddenly I didn’t care as I remembered the quote by Catullus, “Nothing is more silly than silly laughter.” Right then and there, I made a promise to stop riding my own broom around the house and start having more fun.
“Don’t turn the channel ever again,” I said to my husband.
He smiled, leaned back against the pillows, and said, “I do love a good Bugs Bunny marathon."
I couldn’t have agreed more. As we sat next to each other on our couch and enjoyed a morning of silly laughter, I realized that we had it right when we were kids–life is so much better when we start the day with a great cartoon.