Sunday, March 23, 2014

Knowing the Battle

There was a Facebook post that had the following statement:
It has come to my attention that despite the many parodies that have been done over the years of the GI Joe "Knowing is half the battle" PSAs, nobody has ever made an attempt to do any kind of straightforward parody and/or homage using the Cobra characters to give the advice rather than Joes. 
This, in an era when Arthur Burghardt, Michael Bell and Morgan Lofting are still alive and working and perfectly happy to do silly things for fans at cons, and in which several well-known actors can at least do a passable rendition of Chris Latta's voice as Cobra Commander. 
The thing practically writes itself and could be done with a little relooping of existing footage. YOU HAVE FAILED ME FOR THE LAST TIME, INTERNET.
While this might be true of recent submissions, that doesn't account for parodies that were done in the past.  The recent axiom of "The Internet never forgets anything" is only true up to a point.  There are countless conversational forums on various subjects that oftentimes derail their subject headings and go off into uncharted territory.  Back when I had more free time, I would venture out onto various Newsarama forums among others, and copy / paste the best results to save them for later.

Now, first off, some admissions:

  • I've always been more partial to Transformers than G.I. Joe.  I identified more with the giant fighting changing robots than the diverse cast of fighting humans.  I simply couldn't tell which side was which, since they all pretty much looked the same to me.  I wasn't a fan of "serious" animation, and had no idea which one of these people were "Joe".
  • It also didn't help that neither franchises were captioned (save for the movies), and I could only catch some of the episodes while over at a friend's house who got the channels I didn't get at home.
  • The only thing I really enjoyed about G.I. Joe was the opening for the first season, which was a wild roller coaster, and more exciting than the actual show.


Some context for the following is probably required.  There was an incident in the news at the time involving a kid who stuck Oreos in a toaster, and when they got stuck, got electrocuted when trying to dig them out with a fork.
And then you find out that yes, kids are just that dumb. 
This whole Oreo incident reminds me of another stupid parent that blamed her own negligence on the companies that she bought from.  Her name was Maria Rovella (Actually Ellie Rovella) and one day Ms. Rovella was in the store with her little boy.  We'll just call him Billy for now.  Little billy saw a video game that he really wanted called "Primal Rage" the one-on-one- dinosaur fighting game!  So he begged and whined and yelled and shrieked and hollered until finally his mother, now sick of his voice, doled out the money to get him the game and make him shut up. 
Later that same evening... 
Little Billy was playing Primal Rage to his heart's content when his mother walked in and saw him perform one of the game's finishing moves where a big ape pees on his beaten opponent.  Well!  That was all Ms. Rovella needed to see and in that instant she ripped the game out of the console, stormed back to the store, and not only demanded her money back, but demanded that all stores everywhere in the entire world stop carrying this game!  Obviously, it was the game designer's fault for making such a horrible game!  Why, it couldn't be Ms. Rovella's fault for not checking the warning label on the game that said it was meant for kids 13 and up  But of course little 8-year old Billy wanted the game so baaaaad!  And it couldn't be Ms. Rovella's fault for not reading the label that said the game had violent and objectional content.  Nah, she's a busy parent, she doesn't have time to read important messages that affect her children. 
And the sad thing is she actually got the store to pull the game.  And not just that store, but a couple hundred stores nationwide.  Then there's the hotline she started to spread the news about this horrible game.  I'm dead serious here, people!  This is one hundred percent true.  Why even Mrs. Clinton and (then Senator) Lieberman spoke out on violent games shortly after Rovella took her complaints straight to the White House! 
And not one person in the media, in the stores, or in the White House asked, "Why did you buy your kid that game then?"

This then led to a various number of parodies of the G.I. Joe PSA at the end of every episode, including a few from the Cobra camp:

(A 4-year old sticks some Oreo Cookies in a toaster.  When they don't pop up into tasty treats, he attempts to pull them out with a pair of scissors, but before he can, Bazooka from GI Joe turns the corner, startling the boy...)

Billy: AAAAHH!!  A Stranger!

Bazooka:  Don't you know who I am?  I'm Bazooka!  (Geez, Alpine never had this problem with lost kids at the carnival...) Uh... Hey Billy, don't you know that putting metal objects into a toaster is dangerous?  Always have an adult or Police Officer help you with appliances at home so you don't end up toasted!  Heh heh, I made that up myself!

Billy: AAAAHH!!  Mommy, this strange man with a Big Gun knows my name!  AAAAHH!!

Bazooka:  Wait, Kid!  You're supposed to say "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle..."  Ahh, the heck with it!  I'm outta here!

G.I. JOE!

(Little Billy sits trying to dig Oreos out of the toaster with a pair of scissors)

(Voice from around the corner) No, child, you mustn't do that!  (Billy looks up and sees Dr. Mindbender)

Billy: Dr. Mindbender!

Dr. Mindbender: Billy, don't you know that shoving metal objects into electrical devices is dangerous?  You could be hurt or killed.

Billy: Wow, I never thought of that.

Dr. Mindbender: Yes, Billy, that's why, if you have an object lodged in the toaster, you should always use your mind control device to force someone else to dig it out for you.

Billy: But I don't have a Mind Control Device.

Dr. Mindbender: Well, you could always make a synthoid clone of yourself and have him do it.

Billy: What's a clone?

Dr. Mindbender: Hmmmm.  You could try using the Weather Dominator to force the President to dig them out.

Billy: (Blank stare)

Dr. Mindbender: Bah!  Have you any worth at all?  Very well, proceed with your digging, and don't stop until every crumb is out.  If you don't, you know I'll be back.

Billy: I know...

And knowing is half the battle!

GI JOE!

(Jerry's in a store, eyeing the newest hottest toy)

Jerry:  I really want this toy, but I don't have any money.  If I stuck it under my shirt and walked out, no one would know.

(Two aristocratic voices in unison speak behind Jerry)  Are you crazy?  You'll be caught before you get to the door!

Jerry: (Spins around) Tomax & Xamot, the Crimson Twins!

Tomax:  That's right, Jerry.  This is a very petty crime you're pulling.  You should be ashamed.

Xamot:  Very sloppy indeed.  (Points to the ceiling)  Don't you see all of these cameras?

Tomax:  Yes, and the sensor tag glued to the side of the box.  You'd set off all of the alarms.

Jerry: Gee, I never thought of that.

Xamot: Besides, there are much better ways to get what you want.

Tomax: That's right.  You should be at home using your computer to embezzle money from Online Bank Accounts and committing Credit Card Fraud.

Xamot: It's rather easy, you know.

Jerry: I know now!

Tomax & Xamot: (In unison) And knowing is half the battle!

GI JOE!

Jerry the Shoplifter: Take 2

(Jerry's in a store, eyeing the newest hottest toy)

Jerry:  I really want this toy, but I don't have any money.  If I stuck it under my shirt and walked out, no one would know.

(The rumble of motorcycles are heard as tires screech through the store.  Jerry looks up and sees the Dreadnoks riding towards him through the aisle)

Jerry: AAAH!!

Torch:  Blimey!  We've a daft wanker 'ere!  (Shoots a burst of flame at Jerry's feet)

Ripper: Indeed we do!  What the slag were ya thinkin', Jerry?!

Jerry:  I just wanted this toy so bad.

Buzzer: Well bloke, ya don't think they're gonna just let ya walk out wif it, do ya?

Ripper: 'At's right.  Whatchu need, me boy, is a diversion!

(Scene change to the Hardware Aisle, Ripper & Buzzer are seen dousing the area with Kerosene while Torch & Jerry lean over some Propane bottles)

Torch:  ...and ya connect the De'onator here.

Jerry:  Wow, I never thought of that!

Torch: Now light the fuse an' wait for the fun to start.

(The Dreadnoks step back as Jerry lights the fuse)

Jerry: (Trying to light a match) Something smells funny guys.  (The match lights)

Torch: GOR!

BOOM!

(Torch, Ripper & Buzzer are seen bursting through the front glass of the burning store on their motorcycles)

Buzzer: Poor lil' wanker couldn't recognize the smell o' Propane.

Torch: Ah, well, let's go to Lane Byrant.  Y'know 'ere's some saucy wenches there!!

Ripper: Now I know!

All three in unison: An' knowing' is 'alf da Bat'le!  Har! Har! Har! Har!

(The Dreadnoks ride off into the sunset)

GI JOE!

(Little Johnny sits on the toilet in a public restroom doing his business when he notices that there's no toilet paper)

Johnny: (Looks around frantically) Oh no, what am I gonna do now?!

(Suddenly the stall door bursts open and a clearly inebriated Shipwreck staggers in with Polly on his shoulder)

Johnny: GAH!

Shipwreck: Gah!

Polly:  Gah!  Gah!  Stupid Mother&*%$er!

Shipwreck: (Slurring his words) Shut up, bird!  What's the matter Johnny?

Johnny: (Trying to cover himself with his shirt) This stall's outta toilet paper.

Shipwreck: (Barely able to stand) Heh.  I've been there before kiddo.  There was this one time in Okinawa when I met this cute little Geisha.  Man, did she have the nicest...

Polly:  Dirty Mother&*%$er!  I'll kill you where you stand!

(Johnny looks frightened and bewildered)

Shipwreck: Shut up, bird!

Johnny: What can I do, Shipwreck?  My legs are going numb.

Shipwreck: (Staring off into space, thinking of the Geisha)  ...huh?  Wha?  Oh yeah.  Well, you could always just use a dollar.  It's not as soft as toilet paper, but it gets the job done.

Johnny: Gee, I never thought of that.

(Scene change to outside the bathroom) (Shipwreck leans against the wall, looking down over the trash can, wiping the bile from his mouth, his stomach still heaving, as Johnny walks out of the Bathroom)

Shipwreck: (Noticing Johnny's look of disgust) (Still slurring his words) Whassamytter, Johnny?

Johnny: I used a dollar like you said, but my hands still got messed up.

Shipwreck: That's odd, a dollar bill usually works fine for me.

Johnny: A bill?  I used four quarters?

Shipwreck: Y'know, that's &*%$ing gross, kid.

Johnny: I know, now!

Shipwreck: And knowing is half the mother&*%$ing battle!

GI JOE!

(Late at night, two young ladies of the evening, Liz and Connie, walk the street)

Liz:  Ya Connie, that guy tried to take off without paying, so Sugarbear cracked him over the head!

(A Sports car pulls up to the corner)

Connie: Hah ha ha!  Oh look, a car's pulling up, maybe another John!

Liz:  Or a cop.  Heh.  (Leans towards the window) Hey Sugar, want a date?

Connie:  I'll break your heart, baby!

(The window rolls down revealing the Baroness)

Liz & Connie: The Baroness!

Baroness:   Yeeeees, it is.  Don't you girls know how dangerous it is to be on these streets at night?

Connie: Yeah, my frien' Donna got cut up last week.

Liz: Oh, and they still haven't found Susan.

Baroness:  That's right, and then there's the dangers of disease and bad... ahem... management.

Liz:  Yeah, Ol' Sugarbear sure does take a lot of my money.

Baroness:  Indeed.  There are many other options for your line of work.  A better way to trade your favors for power and money is to marry a Politician or a Corporate Executive.

Liz: Yeah, I see what you mean.

Baroness:  And if those don't work, there are plenty of girls like you two in acting.

Connie: Gee, I never thought of that!

Liz: Now we know.

Baroness:  And knowing is half the battle!  (Drives off in her sports car)

GI JOE!

(Young Billy walks out of the school restroom to go home when he sees a dark man looking at him)

Billy:  Hey, it's Snake Eyes!

Snake Eyes:  ...............

Billy:  Bye Snake Eyes, nice seeing you!

Snake Eyes:  ...............

(Later, as Billy walks home, he looks over his shoulder to see Snake Eyes staring at him from the corner)

Billy:  Is there anything wrong, Snake Eyes?

Snake Eyes:  ...............

Billy:  Well... okay then.  I gotta go home.

(Billy breaks out in a quick uneasy walk.  He turns and looks over his shoulder once again to see Snake Eyes gone)

Billy:  Oh... heh, he must've had to report back to Joe HQ to fight off the evil Cobras!

(Billy turns back around to see Snake Eyes 3 feet in front of him)

Billy:  AAAHH!!!  What's wrong Snake Eyes?

Snake Eyes:  ...............

(Billy runs frantically back to school to see his principal leaving with one of the young school children)

Billy:  Principal! Principal!

Principal:  Erp... Uhh, hi Billy.  I'm just taking Johnny home, that's all.  Nothing else.

Billy:  What?  Oh, hi Johnny.  Principal, Snake Eyes is following me and won't leave me alone!

Principal:  Well, get in the back seat and I'll drive you home.

(Billy gets in the backseat and they go towards his house when there is a loud thump on the car roof)

Billy:  AAH!  He's coming to kill me!  Mommy!

(The Principal stops the car and steps out to look at the pounced Snake Eyes clinging to the roof of the car.  Snake Eyes jumps off and opens the door to the car, much to Billy's disapproval)

Billy:  I didn't mean to steal that pack of gum, honest!

Snake Eyes:  ............... (points at Billy's pants)

Billy:  Huh?  (looks down)  Oh, you were trying to tell me that my fly was down the whole time!

Snake Eyes:  ...............

Billy:  Thanks Snake Eyes, now I know!

Snake Eyes:  ...............

GI JOE!

(Sally, a young girl, stands hitchhiking on an Alabama roadside, when a Lincoln pulls up with Roadblock driving)

Sally: Hi Roadblock.

Roadblock:  It's dangerous, standin' on the road, raiting' on a ride from a guy you don't know.

Sally: Yeah, I guess so.

Roadblock:  Hop on in, and I'll take you home, 'cause you never know where a psycho could roam!

Sally: Thanks Roadblock!  (gets in the car)  Oh maaan.  What is that smell?!

(A loud belch is heard from the back seat)

Roadblock:  That's just Shipwreck, he's kinda drunk.  He reeks so much I should put him in the trunk.

Shipwreck:  I heard that &*%$face!

Polly:  &*%$face!  &*%$face!

(As they drive down the road, a Highway patrol car pulls up behind the Joes & Sally, siren screeching)

Roadblock:  Seems like there's a snag in our plan, better pull over and listen to the man.

(Sally looks at Roadblock strangely)  (The Policeman swaggers up to the window)

Roadblock:  Is there a problem officer?

Cop:  I'll ask the questions, boy.  Git outta the car.  Keep yer hands where Ah kin see 'em.

(Roadblock gets out slowly and talks to the Patrolman)

Shipwreck: (rising up from the backseat, slurring his speech, looking drunkly at Sally in the front) So sweetheart, you got a boyfriend?

(Sally recoils from his alcoholic stench)  (Polly flutters out the window and lands on Roadblock's back)

Roadblock:  You see Officer, it's all okay.  I'm just helping this young lady on her way.

Cop:  Well, Ah don't see much reason to keep you here any...

Shipwreck:  Dammit, RB!  You don't hafta take any &*%$ from that &*%$ing PIG!

Polly: (On Roadblock's back)  &*%$ing Pig!  &*%$ing Pig!

Cop: (Looking at Roadblock)  Is that so, boy?!  (Tasers Roadblock.  Roadblock drops to the ground in convulsions)  And why don't you join yer friend, ya Village People reject!  (Drags Shipwreck out of the car.  Shipwreck takes a drunken swing at the Cop, missing him by a mile.  The Cop beats him into submission with his nightstick)

(The Cop shoves the two Joes into the back of his car)

Roadblock:  Look officer, it ain't played that way, y'see.  Ain't we innocent until proven guilty?

Cop:  Don't give me none of that Jive talk, boy.  (Slams the car door shut)  (Turns to Sally)  Young lady, I'm taking these two in.  You should have known better than to catch a ride with weirdos.

Sally: Now I know!

Polly:  (Riding on top of the Cop Car) And knowing is half the battle, &*%$ing Pig!

GI JOE!

(Johnny is walking down the street, rubbing his shoulder)

Johnny:  Ow, that bully really gave me a beating today!

Storm Shadow: What happened Billy?  You look like you got beat up real good.

Johnny:  Wow!  It's Storm Shadow, ex-Cobra ninja turned over to the forces of good!  I could sure use your help, Storm Shadow.  Billy the school bully steals my milk money then beats me up!  What should I do?

Storm Shadow: When a ninja confronts an enemy greater than himself, the ninja remembers the teachings his Sensei taught him.

Johnny:  Gee whizz, you mean like that stuff that says never get into a fight unless you have to or to think before you act?

Storm Shadow: Baka!  That's only fluff to appease your parents.  No, what you do first is to deliver a swift right knee kick to your adversary's groin.  As he doubles over, place your descending right foot to the back of your opponent's stance, following with a sweep to the right side by your left feet.  You should be right behind the brute.  Next, with your left arm, wrap it around your victim and tilt your head right, leaning it on the left hand.  Then with your right hand, give a strong push to the left on your adversary's head.  You should hear a faint but audible snap of his neck breaking.  If done quickly and properly, this attack creates little noise and no traceable evidence to you.

Johnny:  Golly, now I know how to stop Billy for good and to defend my lord's honour!

Storm Shadow: And knowing is half the battle!

GI JOE!

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