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Day: September 12, 2008

The Man With the Yellow Hat is a Very Peculiar Man

My oldest son loves him some Curious George. The books, the show (on PBS) and even the toys, but he wouldn’t buy one of those toys because it’s not a superhero or a Planet Hero, but if those didn’t exist he probably would buy some Curious George toys.

He and I read Curious George books probably twice a week thanks to the library. Curious George Goes to a Restaurant. Curious George Plays Baseball. Curious George Flies a Kite. Curious George is Bored. Things like that. You know the drill.

And no one in this country or world would know about Curious George if it wasn’t for his ubiquitous friend, the Man With the Yellow Hat (MYWH for those in the know). He has no name, no history, he just exists as the Man With the Yellow Hat. We do know a few things about him though. He is an explorer, as we know from the first Curious George book. He also appears to be wealthy, having an apartment in “the city” and a house in “the country” and because if this he is a man of leisure. There are no real world locations in Curious George, but one can assume that given the history of his creators, the husband and wife team of H.A. and Margret Rey, who fled Nazi Germany to eventually live in New York City, that New York is “the city”, but I’m completely and totally getting off topic.

The Man With the Yellow Hat is ALWAYS wearing yellow. He never wears blue. He never wears red. He never wears black. Only yellow. And it can only be yellow or else part of his persona and psyche is gone, like a war veteran who lost a limb that can still feel it itching when he gets back to “the world”. This weird character trait would make it difficult for a normal person to shop for clothes, but he does live in “the city”, so he probably gets his clothes tailor-made at some haberdasher, being a wealthy gentlemen and all.

And for the love of all that is holy, don’t lose his hat. Few things are worse than this scenario. As he said in one of the episodes of the Curious George show, which I watch with my oldest, “Without my hat, I’m just not…me.” No kidding, Man With the Yellow Hat. Then you’re just “The Man”. A generic plot point in a children’s book. He. Is. Nothing.

The Man With the Yellow Hat also seems strange just for the fact that he’s a strapping young guy in a city full of available ogling females who lives with a monkey. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! And he’s always leaving George by himself, saying things like, “Now I’ve got to conveniently go over here. Don’t get into trouble!” What does this moron think is going to happen, George is going to just sit there? Everybody in the books calls the monkey CURIOUS George. There is no “Mild-Mannered George” or “Dullard George”.

But all in all the Man With the Yellow Hat seems to live a pretty cool life. He’s an explorer, he drives a convertible, he flies a plane, he has a pet monkey. My oldest would kill for that life.

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