Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Mr Men characters, anyone?

The other day, Pa was visiting blogger Sydney's lively home base, Deadlines and Diapers, when he noticed the Little Miss Late logo on her sidebar. Turns out it was an in-joke of sorts between Sydney and her pals, but Pa was reminded of the enduring popularity of the Little Miss and Mr Men series, featuring characters named after sundry personal characteristics (hence Mr Lazy, Mr Uppity, Little Miss Wise et al).

No fewer than 45 Mr Men and 39 Little Miss titles have been published. Yet we suspect that anyone who's ever been a parent could cook up a few new characters. So here are two new and updated Mr Men, complete with plot outlines, distilled from the 14 weeks we've spent with Sonny:

(a) Mr Changeable

(inspired by Sonny's wild mood swings)

Mr Changeable, who lives in Alter Manor, takes drugs every few hours to keep his unpredictable temperament within controllable limits. But his friend Mr Clumsy comes to visit, and knocks his supply of pills into the fire. The story develops into a frantic dash for the nearest pharmacy, but before long Mr Changeable's moods begin to switch and succeed each other madly, leading to a series of detours and hairy encounters. It takes the combined efforts of Mr Impossible, Mr Happy and Mr Grumpy to steady Mr Changeable enough to get him to the local Boot's, where a happy ending reinforcing the importance of taking one's meds closes things off.

Visually, Mr Changeable is unlike all the Mr Men who've come before him, in that his essential features morph as his moods change. He can appear like a thunderstorm when unhappy, a huge smile when pleased and a pair of spectacles when meditative.

(b) Mr Whack

(inspired by Sonny's flailing, uncoordinated arms)

Mr Whack is a nice enough fellow. He has a decent job as the village telephonist, but he's always getting into trouble because he has no proper control of his arms. Someone will be talking to him, when - suddenly - his arm will swing out and (whack!) clock the unsuspecting conversation partner. A complete medical check-up at the local GP's has failed to explain why, so his neighbours are convinced he's doing it on purpose and shun poor Mr Whack.

One day, however, Mr Whack has a chat with Mr Clever, who suggests that he go to the big city and take an MRI. So begins Mr Whack's adventure. Along the way, he meets people whom he antagonises through ill-timed slaps and grabs. He reaches the city with a posse hot on his heels, but after many close shaves reaches The Big Hospital - where doctors put him through his paces, scan and diagnose him and are able to cure him.

However, the story ends on a bittersweet note: Mr Whack isn't insured, so he has to sell his house to pay for the bills. Luckily, he moves in with one of the few neighbours who's never avoided him - and indeed always sort of understood him - the accident-prone Mr Bump.

Anyone else have a Mr Man or Little Miss to proffer?


Sydney said...

Thanks for the mention! I'll have to think on this one for a while, I'm sure I can come up with a new one!
Maybe Little Miss Mood Swing... I think she would be pretty self-explanatory!

Ruth said...

How appropriate! I was just visited by three of these characters yesterday as I (Little Ms. Frazzled) was trying to unpack some boxes and locate the silverware.
A noise came from the other room, and I peeked around the corner to see Mr. Instigator pointing a finger at the window broken by Mr. Impulsive, who had thrown a toy truck in a fit of anger.
Upon returning to the kitchen I almost tripped over Little Miss Industrious, who had unpacked a box of her own, and was carefully lining up coffee filters and drinking straws across the dirty floor.

Cloudsters said...

Mmmmm, 'Little Miss Mood Swing' feels like the beginning of a nursery rhyme:
'Little Miss Mood Swing
Flew on a Lark's wing
Drinking a bottle of Coke...
She tossed it away
It fell on a jay
Ooh, thump! its noggin it broke!'

Hey, 'Mr Instigator' is really catchy, Ruth! You could spin the Mr Men series' first espionage tale out of that one.

Ruth said...

I was at the bookstore, and even though I know my mom has pretty much all of the books in this series, I just couldn't resist buying "Little Miss Helpful." My kids and I were all cracking up!