Tuesday 23 August 2011

Today’s Hanna-Barbera Newsreel

If the popular press is any indication, the Flintstones must be the most popular invention of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. There have been a bunch of TV series, endless appearances on cereal commercials, several movies and, of course, recent talk of a Seth MacFarlane version. And references continue to crop up in news stories.

Here’s a cool one that goes back a month but has only recently been noticed by fans on Facebook. Someone has built a Flintstones car. Here’s what the InAutoNews web site has to say:

A completely functional version of the world famous Fred Flintstone’s car is on sale on the internet.
The fanaticism has no limits when it comes to cars as it is best demonstrated by this fully functional replica of Fred Flintstone’s car which is on sale.
Even though we don’t exactly know all of the car’s features, we can see that wood appears to be the main “ingredient”.
According to the person who is selling the vehicle, the car has a 1.6 liter petrol engine and it “ran” for about 80.000 km, even though it was produced this year.
The car is a two-seater which can be ideal for cruising in warm climate on the coast. You will definitely attract all eyes on you.
If you have been convinced in buying Fred Flintstone’s car you should know that it isn’t expensive. In fact it is quite cheap. Like 2.200 euros cheap.

You can see the Flintmobile photo gallery HERE.

I’m not sure if the car has any brakes, but apparently it doesn’t need them, if you go by another news story from a couple of days ago. Someone made the Lighter Side columns by trying to stop his car with his feet just like you-know-who. One wire service story reads as follows (Warren Foster’s puns won’t make you cringe as much as the opening line):

DETROIT, Aug. 19 (Reuters) — It was a yabba dabba don’t that caused a bam bam, bam bam.
A 24-year-old man was arrested near Detroit this week after he tried to stop his pickup truck by dragging his feet—and ran into four other vehicles.
Police in Roseville, Michigan, say the driver resorted to the unconventional technique, pioneered by Fred Flintstone, the accident-prone lead character in the popular 1960s cartoon “The Flintstones,” after he discovered his truck’s brakes had failed but decided to go ahead and use the vehicle anyway.
The man’s desperate and unsuccessful efforts to stop the truck were captured on the video camera of the patrol car that ultimately pulled him over.
The driver, who police declined to identify because he has not yet been arraigned, was arrested on accusations of reckless driving and driving with a suspended license. His truck has been impounded.
No one was seriously injured in the four minor collisions.
Roseville Deputy Police Chief James Berlin said in a statement the man would be arraigned next month, when he would have an opportunity to “explain his moronic decision-making.”

We only hope this guy isn’t next to us at a drive-in restaurant. We know what’ll happen to his car there. By the way, aren’t drive-in restaurants kind of a Stone Age concept these days?

And, naturally, the whole thing is on video, thanks to another wire service.

The Flintstones came up in one other story over the last week. Britain’s Sun tabloid has breathlessly revealed that no less a personage than Simon Cowell watches the Bedrock bunch every morning. He’s told GQ magazine why: “It just puts me in a good mood. It’s less depressing than watching the news.”

Watching The Flintstones is normal, if not laudable, but there are some other of Mr. Cowell’s habits which are decidedly bone-chillingly creepy a tad unusual. If you dare, you can read them HERE. Some may suggest a fitting Flintstone tribute for Simon would be for the guy in Michigan to drive toward him and try to stop the car like Fred.

News stories that refer to the Flintstones show up once in a while. Same with Quick Draw McGraw and Huckleberry Hound. But it’s rare that TV’s funniest cat (note to Mark Evanier: for you, this reads “TV’s funniest cat that doesn’t eat lasagna”) and his prey should be referred to obliquely in the popular press. It’s happened. And in no less venerable a place than the New York Times crossword puzzle earlier this month.

A chap named James Lim concocted the puzzle below and must be a fan of Mr. Jinks. We’ve included the clue and have given you great assistance in guessing the answer.

See? Who says those puzzles are hard?

The people at the Times say it’s the first time the word ‘meeces’ has ever been used in its crossword puzzle. It didn’t even happen 50 years ago when Pixie and Dixie were seen weekly in first-run television. And this proves once and for all that Jinks’ grammar was correct all along and “meeces” is the plural form of “meece.”

Oh, if you’d like to see the whole puzzle, click HERE.


  1. It never would have happened 50 years ago: the previous crossword editors wouldn't let something this informal appear. It wasn't until the NYT's current puzzle editor WIll Shortz came along about 20 years ago that they really started using a lot more pop culture in their crosswords.

  2. Only a 1.6 liter engine? I always suspected the design for Barney's car would allow for a bigger engine block (or animal in the front part of the log to supplement the feet, making it the first 'hybrid' vehicle).