The Little Outdoors

I’ll admit, I kinda like camping. It can be quite relaxing. The day-to-day bustle of modern life can get excruciating over time, so the chance to get away from it, and just relax in the great outdoors, can be nice. Assuming you can still get an internet connection.

Then there’s light pollution. Next time you go camping, try looking up. You may notice something quite spectacular: Stars! I know! Amazing, isn’t it? You don’t get those in the city. I can spend hours just looking in awe at the night sky. With the Milky Way arching across. On occasion I might see the moon in all it’s brilliance, like a second sun. You can even pick out planets, nebulae, even galaxies if you try hard enough.

I might be genetically hardwired to appreciate the inherent beauty of the universe. Just the fact that I can spot the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye just leaves me euphoric, and awestruck. In that moment, I’m witnessing of trillions of stars, and perhaps even millions of alien civilizations, all at once.

And that’s why I love camping, because of astronomy.

But there are certainly other reasons. Dozens of reasons, in fact, to go camping. Which must have been why everyone was so excited to camping on last week’s episode of Littlest Pet Shop.

After an opening scene at the pet shop, during which Blythe smiles way too much, Roger bursts in exclaiming that he finally did it! He finally killed that bitch who rejected him in high school!

Wow, that joke was dark. No, actually he just bought a pop-up camper. Wow, exciting times. I understand the appeal, tent camping might be a bit too rustic for some tastes. But apparently for Roger, it’s an ego thing. As a kid, all the rich campers had fancy trailers, and he was stuck with fucking tents. But now he has money so he bought one! Hey, you know what’s fancier? A house! … At home! Half the reason to go camping is to be as unfancy as possible. Otherwise, why go?

But I guess it strikes a nice balance. The great outdoors, with a nice bed, a fridge, and a proper toilet.

So, of course, Roger wants to break-in the new tent trailer, and what better way than by going camping!?

And of course, because the plot requires it, Blythe suggests the pets come with them. But first, Twombly reminds her, she has to get permission from their owners.

Hey, here’s a question: Why are their owners so cool with their pets going on these trips with some random pet shop clerk? First Shanghai, then Rio, and now to the National Forest. At least they had good reason to go to Shanghai and Rio. The pets were kinda needed. But here, there is no need, it’s purely recreational. Not only that, why don’t at least one of their owners say, “Hey, yeah, you know, I haven’t been camping in a while, maybe I’ll come with!”? Which brings up a related point. So far, out of all of them, we’ve only met John and Clarissa, Zoe’s owners. We haven’t met the owners of the other pets, or even gotten their names. It’s starting to weird me out. Do they even exist!?

So, Roger’s really excited about this, after all, there have been so many Bigfoot sightings in the area maybe they’ll-wait… What!? Oh, fuck me!!!

Alright, I’ll sum up my thoughts regarding the Bigfoot phenomenon, as succinctly as possible. To start, it’s bullshit! There is no Bigfoot! It doesn’t exist! If you think it does, you’re wrong! There are several reasons why this is true, but the biggest is that we would’ve found him by now!

This is actually true of all cryptids (hidden animals). The fact remains that we have more or less scoured the globe. Every inch of this planet has been explored by mankind, and I’m pretty sure if anything like Bigfoot, or the Chupacabra were real, we would’ve found some evidence of them by now. And no, blurry photographs of people in ape suits don’t count.

Not to say we’ve discovered every animal species that’s likely to exist on planet Earth. I don’t believe that for a second. But I don’t see any of these ‘cryptozoologists’ actually looking where new species actually are. You don’t see these nuts in the deepest parts of the ocean, where we’ve spent very little time. Nor do you see them looking at insects. Not only can insects scoot by mostly unnoticed, but individual species deviate from other species in ways the average human would never spot. If you see an ant, you’re gonna think, ‘oh, that’s an ant.’ You’re not gonna think, ‘oh, that’s linepithema humile.’

Secondly, the United States is not the only nation that has a tall, hairy, biped myth. There’s the Hibagon, from Japan; the Yeti, from the Himalayan mountains; the Yeren, from the Hubei region in eastern China; and the Yowie, from Australia. There have been dozens of sightings of these ‘animals’ throughout the years, and there are many people who spend their lives researching them, because fuck getting a real job. But that doesn’t mean they actually exist, it just means that the first people who ‘sighted’ them weren’t very creative. It’s much more likely that saw some other animal, and they didn’t get a good look, but thought it didn’t look quite like an animal they knew of, so they assumed it was some type of biped like them, and monsters are always tall, so so was this thing.

And these myths build off each other. People hear about this one guy who saw Bigfoot, so they go to the same area that guy saw Bigfoot, and they see some hairy mass, and assume it’s Bigfoot, because they were hoping to see Bigfoot! And if you go out looking for Bigfoot, and see something that looks kinda like Bigfoot, thinking that you really did see Bigfoot means you didn’t waste the fucking day looking for Bigfoot!

And even if you didn’t go out searching for Bigfoot, but are pop-culturally aware of Bigfoot, if you’re in the woods and see something that looks kinda like Bigfoot, you’re gonna go, “Holy shit! I saw Bigfoot!”

Those who think they saw Bigfoot, have an exciting moment where they think they saw Bigfoot. I mean, how many people get to see Bigfoot!? Zero! That’s how many!

Then you have the fact that Bigfoot sightings have occurred as far west as California, and as far east as Ohio! Now, unless Bigfoot took a plane or something, it can’t be the same creature. So this would mean that it’s not just one creature, but a whole species. And to maintain a viable and diverse breeding population, we’d have more than just a dozen or so. Which means we’d probably be seeing a lot more of them.

Then we have the guy who recently claimed to have killed Bigfoot, and is bringing the body on tour. But hasn’t allowed the body to undergo independent testing, to confirm it wasn’t fake, like the last Bigfoot corpse he produced. And that’s the thing, while I’m sure many Bigfoot sightings are sincere testimony, and some Bigfoot footage was filmed by someone who sincerely thinks they captured Bigfoot on camera, when it was actually a large dog or something. Most of them have been straight up hoaxes, conducted by people trying to garner media attention, and/or money. And it’s piss easy to fool the general public, because the general public don’t often know to ask the right questions. And those who specialize in Bigfoot will just take these people at their word, since they want Bigfoot to be real, and they want the evidence to prove them right, and they don’t want to jinx it!

And a lot of these people want to hunt Bigfoot. Why? For the same reason the medieval knights wanted to slay dragons. So they can return as the conquering heroes! They want fame, fortune and book contracts. It’s not about science, it’s about ego.

So, basically, if you think this photo of Bigfoot is real, you’re an idiot.

So, I just spent 700 words explaining why Bigfoot is bullshit, because my life is just that exciting. Now let’s talk about Roger’s quest to find Bigfoot.

So the whole gang arrives at the campsite, and of course, no one’s more prepared than… Zoe?

She quickly gets to work, gathering firewood, marking out nearby hiking trails, and making a dowsing rod so she can find-Dowsing’s bullshit too! They’ve done double-blind studies on these things, and-it’s just bullshit. I don’t want to spend another 700 words on the dog shite that is dowsing, but this really pisses me off because the Iraqi government actually bought 85 million dollars worth of glorified TV antennas to detect bombs, and because of that, people died! And I don’t think a kid’s show should promote the use of anything that kills people.

Anyway, dowsing aside, Zoe shows an affinity for camping you wouldn’t normally expect. Especially considering John and Clarissa didn’t seem like the camping type either. Though given that she appears to be such an avid camper, you’d think she’d know that dowsing doesn’t work. I expected better out of you, Zoe. But at least she’s not trying to detect bombs with it.

Meanwhile, Sunil and Vinnie are quite intrigued by Roger’s Bigfoot talk.

And by ‘intrigued,’ I mean scared shitless. Apparently, they’re buying this bullshit. So, they start building a Bigfoot trap by digging a big hole and covering it with brambles. And for some reason, Russell’s helping them, while trying to tell them that they’re stupid.

At least Russell got his skeptic back.

Then suddenly, the gang starts to hear some mysterious moaning sound. And once they realize no one, not even Blythe, can understand it, they go to investigate and find the most horrifying sight imaginable!

AH! It’s the Biskits!

Yes, thanks to Sod’s law, the Biskits also happen to be in the area. having arrived in this monstrosity!

But why are they here? Well, it seems Fisher decided to visit the National Forest to grind up trees. Wait… WHAT!?

Okay, since when is Fisher Biskit a Captain Planet villain? Did he not know that logging was illegal in the National Parks!?

You know what the biggest problem with Fisher Biskit is? The writers don’t seem to know what to do with him. In the past, he’s always seemed to be nothing more than an uber-focused business man. One whose priorities are a bit skewed, but never filled with malice. He’s actually a good guy, and an honest man.

But now, he’s just a prick!

He doesn’t own any of these trees! He’s literally stealing trees! And for what!? A single drop of pine oil! Does he not know he can synthesize the same stuff in a lab in much higher quantities!? I know, I did it once in my high school chemistry class! Alright it wasn’t pine oil, it was oil of wintergreen. But still! My point is that it can be synthesized.

And even if it can’t. Even if he needs it from a real tree because of ‘energies’ or some bullshit like that. He’s rich! Why doesn’t he have his own tree farm!? Or better yet, why isn’t he contracting this stuff out!?

I guess because otherwise he wouldn’t have a reason to drag his daughters to the middle of the National Forest.

By the way, I understand their pain. One must have Wi-fi at all times. Otherwise, how could they update their blog!?

Actually, why are they out here!? Well, turns out they were watching the giant flat screen TV in their RV, when their father just drove off in it without warning. They weren’t there spying, as Blythe initially suspected.

“Why would people like us bother spying on people like you!?” asked Brittany.

For the same reason the two of you bothered to run in an election she was running in, when you never before expressed any prior interest in anything political?

But just as they’re about to leave. Roger shows up and asks the Biskits to keep an eye out for Bigfoot.

“There’s no fucking such a fucking thing, as a fucking monster, you fucking asshole!” – Penn Jilette

So, that was an embarrassing moment for Blythe. But whatever, the team begins their camping adventure in a musical montage, where we get to see Pepper bring out her pump-action stinkgun.

They keep pulling out some great gags with her tail, which I love.

If I have one beef with this song, it’s the line: “This is the time of your life.” Which repeats three times and does nothing but annoy the hell out of me because it’s the same thing that adults keep telling kids over and over again, and it’s a lie. The greatest time of your life is not when you’re a kid, unless your adult years end up being shit. Traveling from dead-end job to dead-end job, or doing a single job that you hate. The greatest time of your life is whenever you make it. For me, I think the greatest time of my life is right now, because I didn’t have internet when I was eight. And in my teen years, I had to go to high school, surrounded by twats. Now I’m in college (again), and sure, there are a few twats, but I can drink now so it’s great. And I know more now than I did then. I’m more aware of the world around me, and I can more or less do what I want with my life, and I have more direction than I did when I was younger. If that doesn’t trump living in Hicksville, unemployed, on social assistance, with an overbearing parent who makes fun of you for liking an animated TV show, I don’t know what is.

You know, I wouldn’t blame anyone if they skipped over that paragraph.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest.

What the what!?

Who? How? What? And Why?

Well, I guess we know ‘why.’ It’s because he’s been poaching trees, because he’s a dick! But this is certainly overdoing it.

They even stole the engine! All that’s gonna do is keep the three Biskits there longer.

But who could’ve done this? Well, Whittany blames Blythe because of course she would. After all, Blythe is such a mean person. That’s always been her thing. She’s so mean.

You know, it doesn’t surprise me that the Biskits think this way. Partially because their definition of ‘mean’ is probably a bit skewed.

I think it’s about time I did a proper character analysis on these two. You see, the thing about the Biskits, and more specifically their relationship with Blythe, is that they kinda remind me of how a five-year-old boy might act around a five-year-old girl he has a crush on.

You see, when the Biskits first met Blythe, they tried to offer the olive branch of friendship. And true, they could’ve been a bit less dickish about it. But the thing was, Blythe rejected them. Blythe rejected them. Some may wonder why the Biskits are so mean to Blythe. This is why.

The thing about rejection is that it always hurts, it always fucking hurts. And according to them, that was the first time they were ever rejected. So they weren’t used to it, and have been holding a grudge ever since.

A few episodes later, this rejection was overlooked, possibly because of what they might have interpreted as anti-rejection, and the three of them became best friends. But this eventually dissolved, as the Biskits were rejected once again, this time in a much more blunt, brutal, and dramatic way. From best friends, to anti-friends. It’s a sharp and shocking turn.

Different people react to rejection in different ways. As for these two, they react with hostility. But they’re also stupid, so they often forget why they react with hostility. Remember when Whittany tried to become friends with Blythe one more time? The dissolution of that probably activated a vein of bitterness in her, that she started misdirecting from the person responsible, onto the girl who should be her best friend. Which is probably the reason she’s the one who says Blythe is so mean and nasty in this episode.

Which brings me to my core thesis: The Biskits want nothing more than Blythe’s approval. They just don’t know how to get it. They don’t know how to be friends with someone. Nor do they even realize what they really want. Subconsciously, they want to be her friends. But they tell themselves they hate her because it’s easier for them to understand. These are two girls who have everything! …Except Blythe’s approval. She’s the one girl who rejected them. Wouldn’t you occasionally lash out as well? Wouldn’t you be a bit bitter?

And obviously they have a selective memory, or merely see their own ‘mean’ episodes as purely reactionary. Or opportunities to take that arrogant Blythe, and her arrogant friends, down a peg. They’re also not self-aware, I might add.

And this is why I love the Biskits. They’re so interesting, and have so much potential. I just wish the writers did more with them.

So with the trashed RV being repaired by Fisher, who has a replacement engine for some reason…

Yeah, I don’t know either. Other than the engine getting stolen (which yeah, happened in this case, but is beside the point), what possible scenario could there conceivably be that would require a backup engine!?

Anyway, as that’s happening, the twins decide they need to plan a bit of revenge on Blythe, for destroying their RV.

That night, the gang gathers around a rustic campfire for snacks, which are chocolate-free s’mores. I’m glad they finally brought up the issue of animals eating chocolate. They’ve spent a lot of time in that sweet shoppe, and I’m sure they’ve eaten quite a bit of chocolate. Which is a problem, since chocolate is quite lethal, to dogs in particular. I’ve also just learned that it’s even more lethal to cats, but cats don’t eat chocolate since they can’t taste sweetness. Which makes me wonder what the fuck is up with Sugar Sprinkles. Actually, we’ve never seen her eat any of the sweets. Alright, that settles that!

Anyway, as Blythe prepares the s’mores, she suddenly remembers that Russell has a fear of marshmallows.

Ah, yes, this was established just a few episodes ago. And it’s finally funny. This, combined with his fear of ghosts makes me want to see his reaction if and when he ever decides to watch Ghostbusters.

But that’s not the only thing to be afraid of.

Ah, what the hell is that!? Two people dressed in ghillie suits? Of course they claim to be Bigfeet, which takes the air out of their claim, doesn’t it? Since you wouldn’t expect Bigfoot to speak so eloquently.

Yes, it’s the Biskits, who suck at coming up with pranks. Then something appears behind them, which turns out to be a real Bigfoot that scares them off.

Wait, what!?

Bit small for a Bigfoot. Her name’s Mushroom, and it turns out she’s the friend Penny’s been hanging out with, which is a storyline I couldn’t be asked to mention until now.

Yes, throughout most of the episode, Penny’s been hanging out with a new friend, whom we never meet until now. And that’s probably why no one believed her until now. They assumed she made the whole thing up for some bizarre reason… like last time. Hey, call backs, that’s nice.

But why she didn’t try to shut them up by just pulling Mushroom out and saying, “hey, look, here’s my friend who’s real! Suck it!” Is beyond me. That’s always been my philosophy with Bigfoot and other bunkable material. If you have evidence that it’s real, bring it forward! If only to shut me up!

But I like Mushroom. She’s nice. However, she doesn’t really fit in with the traditional mythology of Bigfoot. She actually fits in with the traditional mythology of Harry and the Hendersons.

Fuckin’ loved that movie! Of course, she’s still a lot smaller, I’ll grant you. But she’s nice, she eats flowers, and she’s super strong, as evidenced by the fact that she’s apparently the one who trashed the Biskit’s RV.

Don’t mess with Mushroom.

And with that, the show’s over, and I loved it!

The entire episode was just a fun ride, in a single location. It didn’t try to be a big, epic adventure, and it makes me think that they need to do more episodes like this one. In the television industry, this is typically known as a ‘bottle episode,’ which is produced on a reduced budget, using sets and backdrops they already had, or are already freely available, so they can spend more money on the big-budget, action-packed, season finale with lasers and robots! And I’ve always liked those smaller, self-contained episodes. They’re more subdued, and more cerebral, and I’d like to see more of them on shows like Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Pony. I’d actually love to see an entire episode taking place exclusively on the PetJet. Likely during a storm or something. I guess it wouldn’t technically be known as a ‘bottle episode,’ but I would like to see more episodes that are similar to ‘bottle episodes.’ And this certainly had the feel of one.

I know some assumed I’d get my pants in a twist over the fact that they actually showed Bigfoot. But I’m cool with it. Because, yeah, Bigfoot doesn’t exist… in reality. But the mythology behind it is relatively interesting. Like I said, I really loved Harry and the Hendersons, I think it was a highly underrated film, though that could just be the nostalgia talking. But it’s important to separate mythology from reality. Bigfoot ain’t real. There we go. It doesn’t exist. But still, it’s an interesting idea. We can examine the idea of Bigfoot. I like it when people discuss complete hypotheticals, because it’s interesting to see where they go. But then crazy people take it too far, and waste their lives. Which is a problem, but I don’t care. It’s their fault for being idiots.

But overall, a great episode, with good jokes, and a really good musical number. So, thumbs up writers!

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