WHEN I WAS VERY LITTLE, some of my favourite children's characters were The Mr Men by Roger Hargreaves. He drew in a style I could emulate... The Mr Men (and later Little Miss) characters were each named after some human attribute or habit or characteristic that endeared (or annoyed). Or both.
There was the tiny Mr Small. The accident-prone bandage-sporting Mr Bump. Wavy-armed Mr Tickle. Crazy Mr Topsy Turvy. Capacious-mouthed Little Miss Chatterbox ...
But my favourite, right from the very start, was sunny yellow Mr Happy. I wonder why!
I had a wind-up Mr Happy for my 7th or 8th birthday. I was so excited.
He smiled! And walked inanely on no matter what!
And eventually fell over! Or fell downstairs!!
Whether this is some kind of metaphor I frankly cannot be bothered to analyse...
Many years later (around 1988) the yellow smiley face would take on an altogether different connotation as the logo of "Acid House" ~ where drug-fuelled electro music was played in giant deserted warehouses ... and on the Spanish "party isle" of Ibiza. But in 1988 I was 16 and taking my GCSEs (lower school certificate, taken by 16 year olds). The idea of crowding to a deserted railway tunnel or barn full of "trendy" people on Ecstasy was a total anathema to me. (Until I was persuaded to pop the pill and see for myself what it was all about.) But that only happened a couple of years later.
And far from holding keys to any sort of lasting happiness that first "E" and that "Wow! So THIS is why people take drugs!!" moment actually sowed the first seed in my chemically-induced downfall.
In 2009, rights to the Mr Men and Little Miss series of books and character merchandising rights were bought out by the British "entertainment group" Chorion for £28 million (about $42 million) ~ and that must surely have made Mr Hargreaves' lucky offspring very happy indeed!
MR HAPPY (spoof)
LEONA LEWIS ~ Happy
MR HAPPY ~ official Mr Men cartoon!
D MOB ~ ACIEED
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