< Doesn't this class go by the rule?
Next >

[Comments] (6) Obscure reference explained: Sumana requested an explanation of "Doesn't this class go by the rule?", which shows up (now) three times on my site and nowhere else on the web. Prepare to be disappointed. It's one of those phrases that only sticks in my head because it sounds like it means something. It's from an old cartoon commercial for Fruit by the Foot. I saw this commercial 2022 times when I was in about 4th grade. I had to go get babysat after school but all the other kids (like Susanna) were in 1st or 2nd grade, and it was dismal. Kids' TV was playing all the time, and it was hot and there was no grass in the backyard.

Oh, you want to know what was in the commercial. Let's suppose there was a health-and-safety video where a kid named Joe hates Fruit by the Foot. But he lives in a universe where Fruit by the Foot is everywhere! Everyone's constantly chowing down on the stuff. It's disgusting. Joe summons a Coily-type spirit and demands that said spirit delete Fruit by the Foot from his universe.

But Coily is very lazy, and rather than carrying out this task in detail, he finds an alternate universe where there is no Fruit by the Foot, and swaps Joe with the corresponding Joe-prime. The health-and-safety video has Joe in his new universe, coming to terms with the disastrous consequences of his Fruit by the Foot-deleting bloodlust. The commercial, however, is about Joe-prime.

Joe-prime's story is the exact opposite of those health-and-safety-videos: he is thrust unprepared into a universe where everything depends on Fruit by the Foot (or, as they called it in olden days, Fruit by the Foote). "Never heard of it," he admits. "Am I the only one?" Yes, Joe-prime. Yes you are.

The lad is understandably confused. After some initial mishap (which I don't remember but which must be there because of the rule of threes), he hails a cab to take him away from the scene. "Doesn't this cab go by the mile?" he asks. "No!" cries the cabbie enthusiastically, pulling out an infinitely long stripe of the maybe-you-can-convince-your-parents-it's-not-candy device. "I go by Fruit by the Foot!" I envision the cabbie as a jovial Topol-type fellow who knows not what torment his words inflict.

Panicking, Joe-prime flees to the safety of the classroom. But in class, everyone's swilling down Fruit by the Foot like it's going out of style. What fresh hell is this? There is no learning here, no order; there is only Fruit by the Foot. Rending his garments, Joe-prime cries out: "Doesn't this class go by the rule?" I think you can guess the punchline. Yes, I just told you a shaggy dog story and omitted the punchline. Don't say I didn't learn anything from my father.

Filed under: ,


Posted by Susie at Mon Mar 26 2007 21:11

I remember going to that place to be babysat, but the only place I ever remember watching TV growing up was at the ranch.

Posted by Leonard at Mon Mar 26 2007 21:16

There were two places, the place with no grass and the Learys'. The TV was on in both places all the time, but it was awful kid stuff. TV at the ranch was more memorable because it was grown-up TV with plot and whatnot.

Posted by Susie at Mon Mar 26 2007 23:53

We watched The Land Before Time at the Learys'. And they had grass, and a "pool"

Posted by Rachel at Tue Mar 27 2007 09:45

I remember a place with no grass... was it right by sierra vista? I had to walk over with two boys who saved their twinkies for me.

Posted by Leonard at Tue Mar 27 2007 09:48

Yeah, that's the one. I didn't know you were there too.

Posted by Susie at Tue Mar 27 2007 15:08

Me neither... Rachel had all the boys in kindergarten wrapped around her finger, apparently.


Unless otherwise noted, all content licensed by Leonard Richardson
under a Creative Commons License.