Do you remember the Berenstain Bears books? It’s this series of children’s books written by – wait for it – a couple named Berenstain. Yeah, they named their creations after themselves. Not the humblest bears, are they?
There are roughly eleventy billion books in this series. I think after the 90th book or so, the Berenstains just started calling them in. Recycling old books into new ones. Getting ghost bear writers, etc. After a while, you gotta run out of didactic topics to write about. You see, most of the Berenstain Bears books are designed to teach lessons to children, yet they don’t answer some of the most basic questions themselves. For instance:
What were Mama and Papa’s names before they became parents? Girl Bear and Boy Bear? Likewise, before Sister Bear (creative, am I right?) was born, Brother Bear was called Small Bear. Which means he had to change his name because of a sibling. That’s just asking for sibling rivalry right there. I mean, giving up your freaking crib is bad enough, but your name? Jeez, people.
But then, having exhausted every other idea, they decided to have the Bears have a third cub. Well, there’s a problem there. I mean, there’s only two official sexes, at least when it comes to bears. So what to call the third bear? Other sister bear? Other brother bear? Number Two? It’s not like they could just start calling the bears Thing One and Thing Two or something I mean who would do that to their children?
The third one was named Honey. Unfair. This kid gets a name. And that’s not all. Brother and Sister have friends with actual names but they are stuck with Brother and Sister, at least until they get married and then I guess they become Mama and Papa, though hopefully not with each other. Also notice their last name is Bear. That’s like saying my name is Alice Human. Hi, Mrs Human, how are you? Just fine, come meet my children: Brother, Sister, and Other.
But what does this have to do with cake? I’m getting to it. See, I remember one of the Very Important Lessons they taught to children was one about eating too much junk food. In fact, the book was called The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food. There’s also one called The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday, which could also fit, but I’m going to concentrate on the junk food one because that one just ticks me off.
See, in the story, Mama notices that Papa and the cubs are getting too fat. I think that’s a bit presumptuous of her. She ain’t exactly Kate Moss herself. And wtf with always wearing her nightgown? Like, get dressed already.
She gets a bee in her bonnet, so she goes all Michelle Obama on the family and takes them all to the doctor to hear about healthy food. Because doctors totally do that. My question is like, why wasn’t she just serving it in the first place if she’s so healthy? Oh, wait, I bet Papa bought the food, and as you know, dads are almost always buffoons in cartoons and TV shows. So Mama buys them healthy food like carrots and the kids actually eat it.
Back the truck up. I want to know how she got them to do that. There is no mention of ketchup in the books, so what caused the sudden change?
At the end of the book, they all run in the Bear Marathon. Whoop-te-poop.
You know what I say? I say the Berenstains need to quit being so judgmental. How many of these books can you take? The Berenstain Bears and The Truth (I can’t handle that book), The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV, The Berenstain Bears Beat a Dead Horse. I mean, enough already. I don’t want any more lessons. I want cake.
I might have had a little too much cake, though, because wow I just totally powered through this whole post in no time flat! So toooo much birthday for Alice! Tooo much cake! But how to stop? I read all these Berenstain self-help books and they have not cured my sugar addiction. For realz, I mean, I cannot stop eating cake. I actually stood at the table and ate cake with a spoon. I forced Thing One to help me, which didn’t take much forcing, so that I didn’t eat another two pieces myself. I have a cake problem.
I’ve heard it said that sugar can give you the serotonin rush you need, thus turning you from a Sad Pony into a Squirrel. It totally does. But this isn’t such a good thing, because my stomach hurts and I just injested like 5,000 calories and I’m afraid that typing and vibrating in place doesn’t burn nearly enough of these calories off. So what now? How do I solve this problem?
One more birthday to go this month – mine. More caaaaaaaake!
Check out Papa Bear’s face on the “Mama’s New Job” cover. He is SO SKEPTICAL. Why? Does he think this is just another one of her harebrained schemes? Does he doubt her ability to work well with others? Does he think she’s incapable of working outside of the home? Does he know her quilts are actually made by child laborers in Thailand?
There’s something hinky going on in Berenstein Bear land, and I think we need to hire the Scooby Gang to crack this case, yo.
Yeah, Papa Bear is a total jerkwad. But Mama – wow, that bear is intense. And the number of covers where one or both parents look like they are seriously going to murder one of the cubs – holy crap.
I think the Scooby gang would run in terror.
I had a bunch of those books when I was a kid, but I don’t remember what any of them were about. So, it seems I learned my lessons well.
After looking through these books again, I’m ready to enjoy my bad habit of sitting in front of the TV eating junk food.
I really HATE when people talk to their kids and refer to their other kids as “sister” or “brother” – as in ‘go give sister some cake and a guilt complex’; ‘go get brother and sneak some gummy worms to Mama’ – ‘Other, tell brother & sister to get me a new nightgown’. Pisses me off… makes me eat cake.
Haha, yes, that is irritating. It’s one thing when they are little and can’t say names so they come up with “Sissy” or something like that, but continuing it when they are older? Ugh. Also calling each other Mom and Dad when not referring to children. Hey, Dad, can you do this? I did that once and it was just weird, like why did I do that? He’s not my Dad oh gross!
Cake? Sign me up!! I just polished off my birthday cake a few nights ago, and before that there was chocolatey caramel brownies, and before that was chocolate chip cookies… Hmm, I forgot to mention about the cake, we found the recipe online, it was called “too much chocolate” cake. It wasn’t… it was juuuuuust right. (Oops, wrong books.) I remember loving the Berenstain Bears books as a kid and now you have ruined them for me, er, um, I mean, and now I can totally see how mostly ridiculous they are. No TV? No junk food? That’s crap. There’s problem one about drinking too, right? And we all know that “No TV and no beer make Homer something something.”
For burning off extra calories I suggest baking… lots and lots of baking. Having the oven on for so long turns the kitchen into a sweat box and helps you burn off calories. Mixing things by hand? Yep, major calorie burning going on there. Lifting cake filled pans in and out of the oven rounds out the whole process with more burned calories! I think I’m going to write a book on how to bake away unwanted calories… Good idea?
I like it. I also like the idea of a The Berenstain Bears’ and Too Much Booze book.
“And wtf with always wearing her nightgown? Like, get dressed already.” Indeed… I’ve often wondered about her dress sense. I thought maybe she belongs to some religious sect that requires her to dress like that. But even the Amish look better dressed than her…
True. I wonder if she’s got a whole closet full of the same dress or if she just washes the one. Papa and the kids are always dressed the same too. Maybe there should be a Berenstain Bears and Not Enough Fashion Sense book.
My name is Four Eyes and I’m a cakeoholic.
It’s hard to stop. First it’s just one small piece, a little bite, maybe another, then your down 2lbs of cake and you absolutely must have more! I get it Alice, I so get it.
I don’t have a solution, but if you ever need someone to help you finish a cake with a spoon (I don’t get people with plates. What is wrong with them?! A cake is meant to be eaten straight from the box!) I’m here for you! If you need references, I have a friend that doesn’t let me in a room alone with cake.
Yeah, I mean, if there’s just like a fourth of the cake left, you use a plate and you’re just being wasteful, right? And the starving people in China – we can’t let them eat cake, so we must. I feel so much better now. We can join the same 12 step program and then enable the hell out of each other.
Good evening, Alice Human. I hope your tummy is okay filled with all that yummy cake. Did you save any for me? I think those books are annoying. So preachy!! Excellent review of them. The mom is always ticked, too. That’s like at the center of every story…the conflict, if you will.
It was filled – a little too much. I really should have saved some. I bet if Mama Bear ate more cake, she might not be so cranky.
I reckon there should be a book where “Brother” or “Sister” goes mental and kills off the parents and possibly the baby because it’s got a real name and the parents are silly.
And then eats cake.
Which reminds me. We’ve got chocolate cake for our afternoon tea today. I might just have to sneak in early and snaffle a couple of pieces!
I love that you are so twisted. You complete me. 😀
Enjoy your cake!
I did. I had a piece and a half at afternoon tea, and then another piece at suppertime. Sundays are usually good days for cake.
I like how I can let out some of my twisted stuff here without being looked at too oddly. It’s quite difficult having to keep it under wraps in community!
I wish I had some cake.
Me too. Always.