Wednesday, March 04, 2015

JOT



So then there's this little bit of 1960's weirdness, a religious cartoon that they used to toss in among secular cartoons when I was a kid. The five-minute animated shorts centered around the adventures of a little white blob called "Jot." He'd do something evil like break a toy or not wash his hands before Sunday school and then some off-screen authority figure would make him answer for his sins and wrap it all up with a Bible verse at the end. There was also--weirdly enough--some very flower child psychedelia thrown in with his escapades, like in this short where he lies to his mother about stealing a cupcake and then has some sort of trippy freakout when his conscience gets the best of him. 


Due to his meltdown, Jot never gets around to eating the cupcake. Personally, I think it would have awesome if they had the little guy eat the cupcake and then start tripping balls. That would send a fun message: "Kids, don't steal sweets from authority figures because they'll put hallucinogens in the ingredients to catch you out, you thieving little bastards."



I'm pretty sure I hated Jot, probably because I resented having preachy morality lessons crammed in between secular weekday cartoons. It would have been one thing if they'd confined it to the Christian channel, but having to endure creepy religious crap when you just wanted to watch Caspar the Friendly Ghost really sucked.   

My most significant Jot-related memory was playing ping-pong with my friend Heather, age 8 or 9, in the basement of my neighbor's house (our elderly neighbors across the street regularly invited us kids in for snacks and games; if I remember correctly their grandchildren lived out of town, so us neighborhood urchins were sort of their grandkid surrogates). Heather and I would take turns slamming the ping pong ball across the table as hard as we could, pretending it was Jot the Biblical dot-goblin.

Well, what do you want? We didn't have violent video games back then. We had to use our imaginations. 

I'd still probably wear this t-shirt, though. For kitsch value.