I must confess I've never really "gotten" Spongebob Squarepants. I remember seeing it when it first came on Nickelodeon* and just really missing the early days of Ren & Stimpy. Plus, I've never been able to shake the sense that it's somehow an ornately disguised dirty joke.** I'm getting old, I guess.
One thing's for certain though, and that's the fact that my niece and nephews have all been massive Spongebob fans at one time or another. Even if, it turns out, they haven't actually seen the show!
What follows is a loose transcript of a conversation I recently had with my three year-old nephew...
(Spongebob ad comes on TV)
Nephew: Look! It's SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!
MP: Hey, that is Spongebob!
Nephew: I love Spongebob. He is so funny!
MP: How do you know about Spongebob? Your brother told me you'd never seen his show before.
Nephew: Well, I haven't seen the show, but I watched his movie one time in my dream.
Nephew: Yes, I saw it it my dreams. Except Spongebob was dressed up as Batman and Robin...I was about to see it all but then I woke up. When I went back to sleep it was a different movie.
MP: Wow, that sounds neat!
Nephew: It was awesome. I would love to buy it in a store. You could go look for Spongebob toys and it would be Spongebob dressed up as Batman and Robin. I wish I could see the real Spongebob because I've seen the commercial and it was long but I'm not old enough to see the real one. I'm only three.
(Holds up three fingers)
I emailed a copy of the drawing to his family and he reportedly recognized it on the spot, regaling his parents with newly-recalled dream details.
*Has it really been 10 years? I AM getting old.
**See the link? Apparently I'm not the only one.