Barney, Say It Ain’t So

I heard on the radio that Tinky Winky of the Teletubbies played by actor Simon Shelton Barnes passed away.  He was 52 years old.

In the same breath, the announcer spoke of Barney.  A purple dinosaur who came to be in April 1992.  The same year Clinton became president. He was the perfect ambassador for toddlers. Big, bright, bouncy and silly.  Barney has since hung up his costume to become a tantric sex healer because well “I love you, you love me we’re best friends as friends should be.”

I wasn’t sure what I thought about this.  Never a fan of Barney nor his sidekick “Baby Bop,” who now has an entirely new meaning for me, I felt it was a stretch. To go from a brand that merchandised toy stores everywhere to one that is better suited for an x-rated adult only store.

With the world-changing daily, my compass is officially messed up.  No sooner I deposit my trust in one place it is then systematically transformed, becoming something I don’t ever recall signing up for, at least, not to my knowledge.  I will never be able to view Barney again as anything but a horndog.  Charging $350 for tantric sex, Barney’s playground is no longer a landscape painted in primary colours, but a boudoir which I suspect is filled with alcoholic beverages along with that after sex smoke.  

When Vanity Fair wrote about Sting and his take on tantric sex, I was all over it like a fat kid on a smartie. It made total sense to me as it was congruent with who he is.  Gorgeous, sexy and talented not to mention a great sense of humour.   After seeing him in concert, it validated for me that should he wish a career change in this area, he was only one of a few who could realize it.  The man could have a stamp named after himself should he choose to become a tantric sex healer.  And if that happened, I’d be damned if anything that required post didn’t have his image on it.

I remember when Lawrence Welk retired.  He syndicated his show for several years, made a shitload of money and faded into the horizon.  Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and even Goofy, though punch lines at one time all disappeared into the background. I could imagine Bugs Bunny posing in a Hugh Hefner smoking jacket seeing that he possessed aspects of the quintessential bachelor, aloof and detached. But Barney?  No way.  He was smothering and campy and needed a good friend.  With Tinder, I suspect he’s since found many.  

I had Rocky and Bullwinkle, Yogi and Boo-Boo. All of them, faded in the modern cultural history books with fond associations and memories of a warm and cozy time.  I cannot hold the purple dinosaur in that same company.

I suppose that the only thing these days that is purple on Barney’s new career path is his ‘dinky winky.’