Cartoon of the Month – Dexter’s Laboratory

A bespectacled boy genius-cum-inventor-cum-bully to his sibling Dee Dee (“Stay out of my laboratory!”), who has a secret elaborate laboratory down in the basement of his very own house, Dexter’s Laboratory is a cartoon which has always been way ahead of its time – concealed buttons and switches such as the one which can be activated by pulling out a specific book from a bookshelf, passwords which need to be spoken out loud in order to gain entry into a particular room in the lab and so on.  Right from the time the cartoon caught my fancy, I’ve been thrilled at the way his secret laboratory was unknown to his parents too; I mean, here I was trying (unfortunately) to have a secret drawer to myself, and this young superhero had a whole, extensive laboratory. Not fair.

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Image courtesy: YouTube

  • The popular cartoon series holds the distinction of being the first original animated series in the history of Cartoon Network.
  • It may sound absurd, but the idea for Dexter started off with a drawing of a ballerina; definitely the stark opposite of what our cartoon hero is. However, it is precisely this play of opposites which came to the mind of creator Tartakovsky – ‘a short little brother with a love of science’.
  • Apparently, it was three different women (and not men) who voiced our little genius – Christine Cavanaugh, Candi Milo and later Tara Strong (credited with voicing cute little Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls).

Such is the popularity of Dexter’s Laboratory that speculation about the cartoon series refuses to die down. For instance, some people claim Dee Dee is not actually his elder sister but his ‘time-traveling daughter’, sent back in time to prevent poor old Dexter from working on an invention that had ultimately blown the world to smithereens in the past. Sounds possible, now that one comes to think of it. Wotsay?

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The Big Easter Spring Clean

Like every year, Easter has come and gone in the blink of an eye. There were many firsts this year with regard to the festive occasion – the whole family was together for once (grandparents included) and we had a gala karaoke night yelling ourselves hoarse; I didn’t think I would manage but I did (thankfully) cook up a storm and it was appreciated; and last but not the least, we had a massive clearing-out (read: spring cleaning) of the house before extended family members arrived at our place. The best part? The entire family pitched in. Happily. Believe it or not, cleaning up every nook and corner was less of a chore, more of a fun time.

Sigh. I’m so relieved and so happy and so de-cluttered that I’m lying back on my bean bag, taking in all the squeaky clean sights and smells of our home and playing my son’s favorite pet games on my tablet (yes, that jobless I feel at the moment). What’s more, I’ve made a promise to myself to have an annual spring cleaning ritual every year. For those of you who are apprehensive of the long drawn-out hours it requires, I promise you it’s all worth it in the end. Here are a couple of ways we tried to make the entire process more enjoyable (the aim was to make it bearable initially but it eventually turned out to be fun). Here goes.

Shopping spree

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Bucket” by Clker-Free-Vector-Images is licensed under CC by 2.0

Not exactly Easter shopping; we went cleaning supplies shopping a week before D-day. Each one of us was to pick the object of our choice in our favorite colors. Brooms I had aplenty, so what we needed were cleaning liquids, dusting cloths, tissue paper, a dustpan (our original one is lost at home somehow; gasping for breath under all the trash which we need to clear out, I’m sure) which turned out to be two dustpans bought in neon yellow and pink (kids’ wanted one each so I let them) and floor mats. We came back laden with stuff, obviously enough to last us for half a dozen Easters in the future.

Teamwork

Together Everyone Achieves More – that is what a TEAM is all about. So we split up into two teams. Daughter and I one, son and dad the other. The former team was entrusted with the more intricate task of going room by room, shelf by shelf. We had three huge boxes with us – keep, throw and give away. Once done with a particular room, the latter team came in to dust, sweep, mop and reach the upper shelves and hard to reach corners of the windows and even door knobs with their dusting cloths. In the meantime, team one moved on to other rooms and team two followed.

Goodie breaks

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Bake” by Pexels is licensed under CC by 2.0

It is but obvious that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to cook wholehearted meals the entire duration of the designated cleaning day. Hence, we decided we would have a goodie break (from ‘food supplies’ which we had bought along with the ‘cleaning supplies’) once we were done with every room, even though that made it a whole lot of breaks. This way we had something to look forward to in spite of the hard work. Well, who is complaining when there are marshmallow mini cakes, lemon and sugar cookies, macarons and carrot cake rolls to be wolfed down every hour or two? Needless to say, it was a no-holds barred cheat day for all of us. Ironically enough, the kitchen took us the longest to sort and clean!

The perfect end

Speaking from this recent personal experience, giving the house a thorough clean-through is totally cathartic. It is tiring obviously, and many a time it will be extremely tempting to just do away with your broom and dustpan and have a nap on the living room sofa. But then if you go on and actually finish up, it’s like wow! We did, and of course we were totally pooped out at the end of it all. Hence, there simply had to be the perfect end to this very hard worked day. And as they say, there’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap! So a family pizza party it was, to mark the occasion.

Hope you had a great Easter too, spring cleaning or not. Till next time, then!