For the longest time after SpongeBob SquarePants premiered on Nickelodeon, I couldn't stay in the room past the theme song. I did, however, stay in the room long enough to change the words of the theme song--for example, "absorbent and yellow and porous is he" became "especially annoying to people like me," etc.
I'm not sure exactly when my feelings about the show changed--probably around the time Doc upped my meds or switched me over to that new neon pill...um, no, it was actually the episode where SpongeBob is trying to rally everyone in Bikini Bottom around Squidward, who's locked in some battle of one-upmanship with, I think, his long-lost and very successful brother, or maybe an old friend or something...it doesn't really matter. SpongeBob was giving that speech, you know the one you've seen in a hundred corny old movies. Going around to each person in the crowd saying things like, "When you were stuck on your roof, who helped you?" and so on. Of course, in the corny old movie, the answer would've been Squidward. Squidward would've been quietly heroic and richly deserving of SpongeBob's loyalty and the help of everyone else in town. But, thankfully, Squidward is NOT that kind of squid.
No, Squidward is grouchy, cantankerous and antisocial. And I love him. I love him so much I have a Squidward collection--molded plastic figurines from gumball machines; a stamper that came in an Easter egg; a TY Beanie Baby that keeps me company at my computer, when I can find him amid the clutter left behind by three teen boys and a tween girl.
Daughter-Only says, "Why do you like Squidward? He's mean!" There is some evidence for this argument: in his character description on the Nickelodeon site, "mean" is the first word they use. But I would say that "mean" is not exactly accurate. Squidward never goes looking for trouble. He doesn't seek out any of the nitwits in Bikini Bottom, they all find him. His description on the Nickelodeon site makes much of how "annoyed" he is by everyone and everything--I submit that everyone in Bikini Bottom is so annoying that being annoyed isn't a character defect, it's a perfectly logical response. So even though Squidward is a cartoon character and one who would no doubt find me as annoying as he finds everyone else in his life, I love him.
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