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Kung Fu Panda

July 10, 2008
tags: , , , ,

The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said “Bother!” and “O blow!” and also “stuff this for a game of soldiers!” and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat. Something loud and brash and with an accent! was calling him imperiously, and he made for the steep little tunnel which answered in his case to the graveled carriage-drive owned by animals whose residences are nearer to the sun and air. So he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged and then he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, “Up we go! Up we go!” till at last, pop! his snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a thin grass merge next to an enormous shopping mall.

“Er, OK,” he said to himself. “Well, it’s better than whitewashing!” The sunshine struck hot on his fur, soft breezes caressed his heated brow, and after the seclusion of the cellarage he had lived in so long the clamour of youthful screams and chavvy insults across the car park fell on his dulled hearing almost like a shout. Jumping off all his four legs at once, in the joy of living and the delight of spring without its cleaning, he pursued his way across the car park till he reached the first few shops on the further side.

“Oi! Big nose!” said a spotty youth outside a big sign that said ‘The Gap’. “Wot you fucken lookin’ at?!” He was bowled over in an instant by the impatient and contemptuous Mole, who trotted along the side of the shops trying to ignore the other kids as they peeped from under their hoodies to see what the row was about. “Onion sauce! Onion sauce!” he remarked jeeringly, and was gone before they could think of a thoroughly satisfactory reply. Then they all started grumbling at each other. “Fag, slag! Give us a toke on that J, you mong-” “Up yours, cockmunch!” “You gay-” and so on, in the usual way; but, of course, it was then much too late, and the Mole was out of ear-range.

It all seemed too good to be true. Hither and thither through the Mall he rambled busily, along the shopfronts, past the fast food joints and the pound shops selling needless tat , finding everywhere teenage mums, miserable kids, damaged pensioners, overweight yobs – everything grim, and boorish, and bored. And instead of having an uneasy conscience pricking him and whispering, “Whitewash!” he somehow could only feel how jolly it was to be the only happy being among all these hate-filled citizens. After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy dying inside.

He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a cinema. Never in his life had he seen a cinema before — this sleek, chrome, full-bodied corporate beast, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver — glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the cinema he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spellbound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he stood at the ticket office and bought admission to Kung Fu Panda, while the cinema still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea of tide-washed unwashed humanity.

As he stood there, a dark hole opened and swallowed him up. Screen 6. Dreamily he fell to considering what a nice snug dwelling place it would make for an animal with few wants and fond of a bijou cosy residence,. As he gazed at the swathe of adverts for cars and fat-drenched bad-for-you food, something bright and small seemed to twinkle down in the heart of it, vanished, then twinkled once more like a tiny star. The film was starting! But it could hardly be a star in such an unlikely situation; this was the panda, wasn’t it? Then, as he looked, it winked at him, and so declared itself to be comedian; and a small face began gradually to grow up round it, like a frame round a picture.

A white fat face, with whiskers.

A grave round face, with the same twinkle in its eye that had first attracted his notice.

Small neat ears and thick silky hair.

It was Jack Black!

Then the two creatures stood and regarded each other cautiously.

“Hullo, Mole!” said the Jack.

“Hullo, Jack!” said the Mole.

“Would you like to watch the movie?” inquired Jack presently.

“Oh, it’s all very well to talk,” said the Mole, rather pettishly, he being new to a cinema and cinema life and its ways.

Jack said nothing, but stooped and let down a drawbridge, and asked Mole to step on it and follow him into the screen…Then he held up his hand as the Mole stepped gingerly down. “Lean on that!” he said. “Now then, step lively!” and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the screen.

“This has been a wonderful day!” said he, as Jack smiled devilishly at him again, raising a naughty little eyebrow again. “Do you know, I’ve never been in a movie before in all my life.”

“What?” cried Jack, open-mouthed: “Never been in a — you never — well, I—what have you been doing, then?”

“Is it so nice as all that?” asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he felt the movie swagger lightly around him.

“Nice? It’s the only thing,” said Jack solemnly, as he smiled and gurned again out into the dark. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in movies. Simply messing,” he went on dreamily: “messing — about — in — movies; messing—”

“Yeah, OK, I get that” cried the Mole sullenly. “Messing. What else do you do?”

But was too late. The movie struck a rock full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous Jack Black, lay on his back his heels in the air, guffawing, well, devilishly. Again.

“— about in movies — or with movies,” Jack went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. “In or out of ’em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you say anything worthwhile, or whether you just fuck about pointlessly, or whether you never say anything at all, you’re always busy, and earning millions, and yet you never have to do anything original in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not. Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we make a movie together? You just have to shout and say silly things.”

The Mole waggled his toes.

“Is that it?” he asked.

“I think so,” said Jack, “there are other people involved, but really they’re only looking at me. I just riff on my usual shit.”

“Even dressed as a panda?”


But the Mole never heard a word he was saying after that. Absorbed in the new life he was entering upon, intoxicated with the sparkle, the ripple, the scents and the sounds and the sunlight, he trailed a paw in the gravy train and dreamed long waking dreams of graduating from Saturday Night Live and making fat wodges of dosh.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. William permalink
    July 11, 2008 12:46 pm

    A load of poop poop then?

  2. amner permalink
    July 11, 2008 5:18 pm



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