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The Flintstone Variations


by Peter Cherches


            "It's language that sets us apart from the beasts," says Fred Flintstone.

            "Nothing sets you apart from the beasts," Wilma replies.

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             On the radio three critics are discussing cave paintings. One contends that they're primitive, another that they're neo-primitive, and the third that they're not primitive at all, that they're as modern as the wheel. All this intellectual talk bores Fred Flintstone. Besides, he prefers Norman Rockwell.

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             Later that night, Fred and Wilma Fuck. Fred prefers the bronto position. In fact, most prehistoric men prefer the bronto position.

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            Fred and Wilma go to the movies. It is a foreign film, one by Stoneyoni. None of the cave men in the audience understand it, and when the film is over they all demand their money back.  A scuffle ensues in which several die. That's why the Flintstones like to go to foreign films─you can always count on a scuffle.

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            The Flintstones take a vacation. They go to visit the Grand Canyon. When they arrive they're disappointed. The "canyon" is nothing more than a shallow trench, hardly what you'd call "grand." They send a picture postcard to the Rubbles. The Rubbles agree that the Grand Canyon is nothing to write home about, but they're fascinated by the concept of picture postcards.

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            Though undeniably a "modern stone-age kind of guy," Fred Flintstone still retains vestiges of an earlier code. While he does speak English, a sure sign of civilization, he often interjects into his speech a particular pre-literate utterance─"yaba-daba-doo." What precisely is the meaning of "yaba-daba-doo"? This question has occupied the attentions of paleontologists and linguists alike for many years. What is perhaps the most plausible theory is that "yaba-daba-doo" is a mating call, a holdover from a time when Man could not express his excitement in a more socially acceptable manner, such as, "Ooh baby, you really turn me on."

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            The town of Bedrock is up in arms. A family of Barbarians is trying to move into this neat suburban community. An incensed Fred and Barney decide to take matters into their own hands. They storm the house that the Barbarians are planning to move into. Coincidentally, the Barbarians are inside, taking measurements. What a stroke of luck. Fred and Barney attack the Barbarians, rip their bodies to pieces with their bare hands, and eat of their flesh.

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THE DISCOVERY OF FIRE

            Fred Flintstone feels fresh fruit furtively. Fred Flintstone frames famous flemish frescoes. Fred Flintstone flaunts frilly feminine fashions. Fred Flintstone Frenches flaming Franciscan friars. Fred Flintstone fondles Frieda Fleischman, floozie. Fred Flintstone fears fever from festering foreskin. Fred Flintstone finds Fassbinder's films fascinating. Fred Flintstone finds Fielding's fiction funny. Fred Flintstone finds Flaubert's fiction fluid. Fred Flintstone finds Fitzgerald's fiction fabulous. Fred Flintstone finds Faulkner's fiction frightening. Fred Flintstone finds formalist fiction fulfilling. Fred Flintstone finds fire.

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            The doorbell rings and Fred runs to answer it. It's a couple of Jehovah's witnesses.  "We're not interested," Fred says and tries to close the door on them.

            "Wait!" one of the Witnesses says, "we know when the world is going to end."

            "Gimme a break," Fred says.  "It only just started a little while ago."

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             Something is bothering Fred Flintstone. He can't put his finger on it, but something is definitely bothering him. Wilma notices. "Is something wrong?" she asks.

            "Yes," Fred replies, "something is wrong, but I don't know what it is." And then, all of a sudden, he begins to cry, uncontrollably. Wilma tries to comfort him, and in time Fred stops crying. Embarrassed, Fred apologizes for losing control.

            "That's okay, dear," Wilma says. "These days it's all right for a cave man to cry."


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