if it weren’t for you meddling kids
a scooby-doo autobiography
Content Warning: Mentions of eating disorders and body hatred
I’ve got a bump on my head the size of an egg and a cartoon dog is to blame. So what if I slipped racing back to the television? I wanted to see the climactic reveal! Finding out who’s really under the creature mask is the most important part of every Scooby-Doo episode. It’s the moment where we are reassured—in the wise words of various Tumblr users—that “the real monsters are humans…and if that isn’t deep, I don’t know what is.” To be fair, at age four, I was mostly concerned with the show’s bright colors, slapstick comedy, and Shaggy’s impressively bottomless appetite. All the philosophy came later. No matter: The good guys won, the bad guys lost, and we laughed along the way. That was as deep as any show needed to be, and surely Scooby was worth the occasional bump to the head. My parents may have thought otherwise.
My father looks at me with a twinkle in his eye and asks if I want to say something. And I do—I’ve just come back from one of the coolest days of my life. But where to begin? Everything was incredible! Definitely better than the first movie. The monsters looked so different in real life. That part where Shaggy and Scooby changed bodies was so funny! And the tar monster was super scary. For a moment there, I really thought Mystery Inc. was in trouble! And I felt a little weird watching Velma in that red bodysuit, but I don’t know why! Also, that rock version of the Scooby-Doo theme song? SO COOL! It sounded just as good as it did in the first movie—and I would know— I’ve listened to the soundtrack exactly 200 times.
My father somehow comprehends enough of this flurry of thoughts to suggest we see it in theaters a second time. My expression tells him all he needs to know.
I’m on my second grilled cheese and fourth handful of Scooby Snacks. These luscious cinnamon-flavored graham crackers are the perfect companion to a Saturday morning spent in front of the television. Should I start with my GameCube and dig into my third play-through of Scooby-Doo: Night of 100 Frights? Or perhaps I should finally settle the eternal debate: Monster of Mexico or Cyber Chase—which is the superior film?
A soft, distant thudding interrupts Shaggy’s nervous mumblings. I peek out the window. It’s my friends again. Tommy, Mark, and Stephen. They’re all playing basketball.
All I have to do is go outside and join them. But I don’t. Scooby’s more fun, anyways.
I’m about a quarter done with a delicious milkshake inexplicably called an “Awful Awful.” My best friends flank me on either side—the perfect ending to a summer Monday. The sludge of ice cream dripping into my stomach reminds me that I shouldn’t eat like this anymore. Subconsciously, I clutch the side of my stomach, pinching the excess flab. I could, I should stop at half.
Tommy looks up at me. “Bert,” he chuckles, “guess what I watched this morning.”
I let go of my side, a smirk creeping up my face. “Chicken Run?”
“Scooby-Doo 2. It was on Cartoon Network”.
The smirk becomes a smile.
“TRICK OR TREAT!”
The lady opens the door with contempt, and I couldn’t care less. We’re here for a good time. So what if we’re seniors and my candy will ultimately be left untouched? Tommy’s Scooby-Doo tail looks a little worse for wear from the mud that has caked across the road, but he doesn’t notice. The fact that we’re in the middle of the street re-enacting the dance sequence from Scooby-Doo 2 shows we’re not exactly fixated on appearances. Tommy giggles as he puts on an original song from the first movie’s soundtrack—inexplicably written and recorded by Outkast. Yes, that Outkast. Thank god for the early 2000s.
Steve looks a little ridiculous in his Velma costume, but it gets the job done; Mark actually looks good in an ascot. Together, as Mystery Inc., we order burritos at Chipotle—or, rather, “booritos.” My burrito bowl looks delicious, yet deadly. I shake off the nerves and convince myself to indulge. After all, I’ve avoided the excess carbs of the dreaded tortilla.
Anyone who showed up to Chipotle in costume would get their food for half-off; my friends swore up and down they were only dressing up this year for the discount. I know better—I can see it in their eyes. As Tommy proceeds to order in a spot-on Scooby impression, the only thing I can think about is how there’s no place I’d rather be.
Fat. You’re fat. You can feel it, can’t you? All that useless chub. That’s why they’re laughing. You’re small and ugly and fat and a waste of space. They keep you around because you’re a relic to them. You’re not like them anymore. You’re just someone to put in situations like this and laugh at. They don’t love you. Why would they?
That’s why they told you that you would be safe. That this wasn’t too much to inhale for your first time smoking weed. You idiot. Did you see how large that bong was? Have some f***ing brains!
Calm down. Don’t think about your heartbeat. Stop clutching your stomach. Relax. You need something to soothe you. Music? Maybe.
Wait. The Scooby DVD! Get them to watch with you! They promised they would tonight!
They laugh as I stumble onto the deck. They laugh as I ask them to watch Scooby with me. They laugh as pain flashes across my eyes. They laugh as I walk back inside and put in the DVD. Alone.
Don’t they remember Halloween? Don’t they remember all the car rides? Don’t they remember how much this means to me?
Why can’t I grow up?
She sits across me wearing a smirk. In her hands is a bag full of goodies she has purchased for my birthday. I don’t feel very deserving of it—we still barely know each other. Though it is flattering that she feels strongly enough to get me something.
First, the card. A picture of a guy working out. She laughs and promises I don’t talk about exercising too much, no matter how much I worry.
Next, a journal. “Not a diary.” Her clarification, not mine.
I open the last item.
Cinnamon graham crackers, with a certain cartoon dog plastered across the box.
Huh. Guess she knows me after all.