If "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" wasn't already my favorite cartoon for adults it certainly is now.
The late-night show on Cartoon Network about the exploits of Shake, Frylock and Meatwad - an egotistical milkshake, a well-meaning box of fries with death-ray eyes and a lovable if not-too-bright meatball - boasts a brand of edgy humor that is definitely not for everyone. At the top of the list of those not laughing is the city of Boston.
Boston officials this week charged two men with disorderly conduct and placing hoax devices after someone mistook promotional electric signs around the city for explosive devices.
The signs, most of which were made up of batteries and bulbs designed to light up at night to display one of the Hunger Force's enemies giving people the finger, were placed in high-profile areas such as bridges in an effort to promote the show.
That mission has now been accomplished, thanks to Boston, because Beantown immediately sensed a threat.
Officials in a city that blamed its inability to win a World Series on a curse, in a state where lawmakers debated the proper amount of marshmallow Fluff in a Fluffernutter sandwich, dealt with the signs in the only way they knew how, which coincidentally is the one way pretty much guaranteed to generate the most publicity possible.
They called the bomb squad.
Boston, a city not exactly known for its good traffic flow in the first place, shut down roads, bridges and the Charles River and called out explosive disposal experts to deal with the killer advertising. They detonated one before determining the "devices" were actually promos for a cartoon.
After the signs were deemed harmless, city and state officials couldn't wait to take down the alleged culprits.
The Boston mayor wanted blood from Turner Broadcasting, which owns Cartoon Network. Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens, who were hired by a marketing company to place the signs, were arrested and immediately started taking shots from everyone from the governor on down. Boston officials wanted to make it clear that they weren't about to let anyone get away with promoting a cartoon with an electric sign in their town.
''It's clear the intent was to get attention by causing fear and unrest that there was a bomb in that location,'' Assistant Attorney General John Grossman said at the pair's arraignment Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
Um, isn't that exactly what Boston did by calling out the bomb squad?
And "fear and unrest?" They're marketing men, Boston, not al-Qaida.
The signs, you see, were there for two to three weeks before anyone noticed them. The signs, in fact, had been in several major cities, where they had gone largely unnoticed for weeks.
New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco and Philadelphia - the signs were in place in similar fashion in all of these cities. Only Boston found the need to shut everything down and blow them up.
The real joke in all this, of course, is Boston's inability to take responsibility for its actions.
It's just like Boston's tired whine about the curse of the Bambino: Boston couldn't accept that the Red Sox just weren't good enough for eighty-something years. It had to be the ghost of a dead Yankee. Now it's the network who's to blame, not Boston's leaders, who are basically saying if the signs hadn't been there in the first place they wouldn't have mistaken them for bombs.
Give me a break.
According to the AP, Berdovsky told the Boston Globe: ''I find it kind of ridiculous that they're making these statements on TV that we must not be safe from terrorism, because they were up there for three weeks and no one noticed."
They've noticed now. I can't wait to see the ratings for "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," and I'm sure it will help the upcoming movie as well.
In the meantime, Boston, you're banned from making stupid redneck jokes about Southerners for a while, even though you might have the same opinion of us, that we're not that bright.
But at least we know dim bulbs when we see them.
E-mail Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays.
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