Herald Journal Columns
June 17, 2002

Sponge Bob-mania -
'Bring it around town'

By DENISE ROSENAU

Who is this Sponge Bob-guy and why is he influencing our adults as much as the kids?

Sponge Bob Square Pants is a cartoon on Nick TV. He's a square-shaped, clothes-wearing sponge that lives in the ocean with his ocean friends and ocean scenery.

He has several friends, including a starfish, a squid, a squirrel, and a lobster boss.
His squirrel friend Sandy has to wear an oxygen helmet while underwater because she can't breathe without it.

Sponge Bob himself can't breathe out of the water, so he has to wear a water-filled helmet if he will be out of the water. At the same time, if he is out of the water with his helmet on and jumps into some water, he absorbs all the water and grows huge.

Oddly enough, though, fire burns just fine under water.

Hmmmmm ...

It's too hard to explain all there is to explain about Sponge Bob, so I will just have to ask you to sit down and watch it once to get an understanding of what is sweeping the nation in family humor. It is nice to see a cartoon without anyone fighting and without teaching kids new ways to smart off. Sponge Bob is just good, clean fun.

I come to work and hear "Did you see that Sponge Bob episode where (insert funny Sponge Bob episode info here)?" Looking around the office, I saw no children in the room.

We do occasionally have children of employees here at work, but these words are coming from adults.

My husband and I have a friend, a man in his mid-20s, that is often seen out wearing one of his several Sponge Bob shirts. It sure seems to be a good conversation starter for him, and he is a single guy. Coincidence? (Single, mid 20s, likes cartoons - perfect for a single mom, perhaps?)

What really made Sponge Bob-mania sink in for me was while shopping in Walmart with my family, I saw my quiet, reserved husband swinging his hips around and saying "Bring it arrrrroooouuunnnddd town!" Then I witnessed my oldest son practically falling on the floor in a fit of laughter.

I still don't get it, but then again, I haven't watched nearly enough Sponge Bob to be able to understand.

I realized at that point that I had better get with the program (literally and figuratively) and watch some Sponge Bob, because I didn't know what that meant or why my kid was losing oxygen. I'm still not sure, but I've been hearing more and more about "bringing it around town."

One of these days I do plan to take in a little Sponge Bob Square Pants on TV. I think then my kid might really think I'm cool.

After all, he is only 8-years-old, and it won't be long before I am just a dorky mom. I need to take the coolness when I can get it.


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