‘The Cartoon Cat and Hammer Test’

Here is another excerpt from Volume II in the Falcon Boy series, The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests.

Ch. 49 ‘The Cartoon Cat and Hammer Test’

Another possibility here is to take the Cat and Hammer Test as a guide to how we should treat any potential violence that may or may not be lurking ahead of us in the books we read (and write). Concerned sociologists from around the world recently assembled in a small conference centre on a busy bypass south of Panic Town for a three day debate about the history and use of violence in children’s cartoons or, as the keynote paper given by the world-renowned authority on this and many other subjects, Professor Emeritus Tern Perforate was called,

‘Understanding Digital and Analog Animated Mixed Media Spaces for Imaginative and Other Reactions from Past, Present and Future Visual Limited Responders.’

Now, and especially knowing the special relationship that our very own Wes Gordy of the Interesting Twins has always had with violent behaviour, I am delighted that this conference did not take place in an episode of the original Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Wonder Detective Comic Book Super Series for I fear that Wes would have taken Professor Tern Perforate to task simply for daring to read the title of his presentation out loud. As it happens the conference hall was picketed by a small group of the charmingly-titled and in no way sinister-sounding No More Thinking Forum and Professor Tern Perforate was hit on the nose by a paper aeroplane as he waited to be introduced to the assembled audience.

Though he was somewhat stunned Professor Perforate did have the wherewithal to unfold the paper aeroplane to discover the slogan ‘No More Thinking’ cut out from old newspapers and glued to the page – a process which, by the way, would surely have required far more thought than a simple scrawl from a felt-tip pen.

Nevertheless, and central to our main narrative concern regarding the threat of violence in books, Professor Perforate’s key argument was simply that if a cartoon cat is hit by a cartoon hammer and the cat’s head goes flat as a result then the violence inherent in hitting the cartoon cat with a cartoon hammer is probably acceptable due to the impossibility of the whole scenario but with some very notable exceptions that the learned Professor would be delighted to share with the audience but only on the understanding that they signed up to a year-long series of online lectures on this and many other matters.

Volume I in the Falcon Boy series is available in paperback below.

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