Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Shouldn’t there have been a point at which Wile E. Coyote, super genius, realized that maybe he wasn’t actually that bright and was never going to catch and eat the Road Runner?
Over the course of about 50 cartoons, that stupid coyote devised more and more elaborate plans to catch his nemesis or, on a few occasions, Bugs Bunny. Once in a while, the coyote was able to catch the Road Runner, briefly ... but the Road Runner always got away.
The coyote was his own biggest enemy, oftentimes falling prey to his own traps and looking foolish in the end.
In his book “Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist,” Chuck Jones said that there were certain rules to which he and the writers adhered strictly when scripting the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote stories. One of them was that “The Coyote could stop anytime — if he were not a fanatic.” According to Jones, “A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.”
Jones also said that the coyote should be a sympathetic character. He wanted us to want Wile E. to catch that Road Runner. He wanted us to feel bad when he fell off cliffs. Or dropped a boulder on his own head.
I guess I should have read the rules when I was a kid, because I didn’t feel bad for the coyote. I never wanted him to eat the Road Runner. Just like I never wanted Sylvester to eat Tweety. Or Tom to eat Jerry. Or the dog to get the best of Foghorn Leghorn.
I just got increasingly angry with the coyote for being such a numbskull. I mean, how many times do you have to make yourself look stupid before you realize that you look stupid? Can we agree that 50 times is enough? What about 40?