Oct/Nov 2006  •   Fiction  •   Special Feature

Looney Tunes

by Tom Conoboy

Photo by Jim Gourley

Photo by Jim Gourley

Once I was Yosemite Sam. "Do it again, Sam, I dare ya," they'd say, and I'd do it again. Whatever it was. Whether I wanted to or not.

"Bang your head on the wall."

Bang bang.

"Shoot yourself in the foot."

Shoot shoot.

"Set up a stall in the nearest yard sale and sit on it, naked."

Flash flash.

This would be 1974. I thought Tina was impressed. She wasn't.

Once I was Elmer Fudd. I was vewwy, vewwy quiet. I would cweep thwough the woods, chasing wabbits—sowwy, chasing women. Chasing wisdom. The wotten thing is I pwobably found it once (Diane, 1976) but I was too stupid to know. I lost it (her).

Once I was Daffy Duck. I was crazy, man, like I was compleeeetely crazy. I was vain. I was jealous. Know what I mean? I talked fast cos there was so much to say that needed to be said that only I could say and only in my way. And so utterly, utterly over-the-top, my god, my god, a drama queen, I wassss a draaama queen. I was so in love with myself, I couldn't see the beauty for the beast. I did some terrible things (mostly to Jane, 1982).

That sound, can you hear it, boy? Blaring in the distance, I-I-I say can hear it, boy, blaring in the distance? That's the sound of my ego, son, Foghorn Leghorn, at your service. And if I say so myself, service is what I do, it's what I do, I say it's what I do. That and woo. Miss Prissy woo, Miss Prissy (Jennifer, 1990), my very own wonder gal.

Oh, I lost her, too.

I was never Bugs Bunny. I was never that smart.

Seen from above, they look so small, so flat, these lives of mine, my looney ways. Someone once told me what larger than life meant, but he lied. Too late, I find that out. Larger than life needs three dimensions, four if you include love. I never managed that. I never rose above slapstick. Bugs would have chomped his carrot, tossed me a sardonic smirk, and dismissed me with the rest of the losers.

Fucking wabbit.