Festival of Fiendishness: WILE E COYOTE

There’s this motivational Successories saying about lions and gazelles—essentially the lion wakes up and knows it must run faster than the fastest gazelle or it’ll starve to death. And there is no greater example of that persistence, that stick-to-it-ness than today’s villain du jour: Wile E Coyote from the Roadrunner cartoons. My man right here is hungry. Like real hungry.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Chris, this isn’t a real villain. He’s no Pennywise or Poltergeist or Gremlin.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. But he’s still awesome, right? How many of you were up at some stupid time on Saturday mornings, watching the Coyote fall off a mountain or get run over by a truck, laughing hard enough to make the milk come out your nose? Too specific?

Until America got soft and decided cartoon characters blowing up or getting hit by trains or plunging off cliffs was too damaging to young minds, the chronicles of this inventive canine and his hunt for a 3-piece wing and thigh dinner made for Must-See TV for kids of all ages. And it wasn’t that we ever thought the Coyote would be successful—his track record is worse than the Trix rabbit—it was that he never gave up.

Saturday after Saturday, toon after toon, Wile E Coyote made a new plan, ordered a new kit from ACME, stockpiled more dynamite, and ventured out the kill the Roadrunner. You did get that part, right? He was adamant about catching, killing and eating the Roadrunner. In this case, he’s no better than Dr. Claw or the Predator, for that matter—he’s a hunter by trade. He’s just a poor one.

Could the Coyote have been more effective? Absolutely. He ran up his own national debt, racking up charges with the ACME Corporation to get supplies in his hunt. He could have just broke down and took the same money and went to Safeway, right? Or at least Old Country Buffet. Would have been a smarter play for someone with a business card that says “Super Genius” on it, wouldn’t it? And, for those of you who said, why didn’t he just pick another target? He did. Not only did he fail (as usual) when he pursued Bugs Bunny, but I had to listen to that long-eared jackass talk about how cagey he was for 6 minutes (If you didn’t know, I am NOT a Bugs Bunny fan; for once I wish Elmer Fudd would get the Duck Season/Rabbit Season thing right and blow that damn bunny’s face off!)

But that’s too far down the rabbit hole (oooh, I’m punny!) and this is about the Wile E Coyote, not a smart ass rabbit that KEEPS getting lost at Albuquerque. The Coyote is awesome because he represents an unwillingness to quit. I’ve talked about Voldemort’s focus and Michael Myers’ unstoppable nature, but a four-eyed nerd with a wand put Voldy down and Mike got toasted in the hospital. Wile E Coyote has fallen thousands of feet, been blown up, launched into space, and run over by every vehicle known to man and still gets up every day to chase that scrawny bird.

That’s the deal, folks. Tune in next time for deadliest lil bastard under 2 feet tall: Chucky!