For those of you not yet familiar with the mind-numbing Sprout television show Caillou, quit bragging, you lucky a-holes. My daughter can barely put a sentence together, but she can screech “MORE CAILLOU!” at volume 60 in three different languages.
To quote Charlie from How to be a Dad, “For those who don’t have a permanent black mark on their souls from watching Caillou, it’s a cartoon show centered around an insipid four-year old Canadian kid with a sister named Rosie, two parents without any recognizable personality traits and a cat named Gilbert… We follow this pseudo-Charlie-Brown as he whines, kvetches, barks orders at people, hurts himself, throws tantrums, causes trouble and generally shares his self-centered, pathetic, purposeless outlook on life to thousands of kids all over the world.”
Even though this Canadian toddler is the epitome of aggravation with his whiny voice, obnoxious giggle, and incessant pouting, I think we as parents are failing to acknowledge the power that is Caillou. On the surface, the show appears to glorify a spoiled brat and his Ginger sister, but peel back the layers, dear readers, and uncover the invaluable life lessons within…
1. Drugs Are Bad. Constant snacking and a lesson in tie-dying? Someone’s been taking hits from the bong and it’s Caillou’s Grandma. This pothead Granny illustrates the negative influence of drugs through her overzealous narration (CAILLOU WAS FEELING VERY FRUSTRATED! WEEEEE!!!!) and by allowing wild birds to peck at her in the park. Just say no, kids.
2. Accessorizing the Home. Caillou’s house is an acid trip gone wrong (and, I think, to blame for his childhood baldness). With a daily dosage of Caillou, kids are sure to opt for home décor that is both aesthetically pleasing and soothing to the soul. Accessorizing rule of thumb: when in doubt, choose earth tones over a-rainbow-took-a-shit-in-the-playroom tones.
3. Stay in School. Poor Ms. Martin. If she wanted to be a real teacher, she should have taken college a little more seriously. Now she’s stuck working as a glorified babysitter, taking Caillou and crew on nature walks to find pine cones and raccoon crap. She deserves it for wearing overalls after 1985.
4. The Dangers of Child Luring. With creepy neighbor Mr. Hinkle as Exhibit A, young children will learn to recognize the signs of child luring and pedophilia. “No, Mr. Hinkle, we do not want to visit your ‘sister’s farm’ and ‘milk some cows.’” Perv.
5. Affordable Health Care. Mommy rarely loses her shit on her demon spawn; in fact, she’s usually humming to herself or peacefully reading on the couch while her kids play in the street. Caillou teaches children the direct correlation between accessibility to Prozac and successful parenting.
6. Equality. Caillou’s pals hail from wide-ranging backgrounds which acclimates his young audience to different races and religions. And nothin’ screams genuine ethnic diversity like a black kid playing the tuba or a red-headed Jew. I got 99 problems, but Mazel Tov, son.
7. The Importance of Personal Hygiene. Daddy needs a haircut. Caillou needs a wig. Mommy needs to get off of her frumpy ass and make the iron her friend. And Grandpa needs a new diaper; he soiled himself three episodes ago, but Grandma has been too stoned to notice. After witnessing this hot mess of characters, children will be begging to brush their teeth.
If the aforementioned lessons aren’t enough, let us not forget the most beneficial side effect of Caillou: Kids in a TV coma for 25 minutes. Can’t beat that.