Sunday, September 17, 2006

Brain Surge/ Short Circuit

Whether it be too much cheese, lack of sleep or some suspect fumes emanating from within the hole I call my bedroom, I have been experiencing some unusual (mis) firings in my brain mainly surrounding the section in charge of memory.

It started with the image of a cartoon character printed on a badge which was part of a mass collection from my childhood. (It was the 80' playstations, iPods or gameboys...oh no...we had badge collections) Said badge was a headshot of a girl wearing a yellow hat with a red feather in a three musketeer style, on an orange background and the part which had my memory in headless chicken mode was that I recalled obtaining the badge as a freebie when I hired a video. By means of astounding observation I deduced that there may have been a connection between the badge and the video, and my neurotic brain was not going to let me rest until I'd figured it out.

The information my addled brain had released to me was beyond useless; the description of character in a cartoon film released somewhen between 1977-1985, possibly French dubbed, with not even one word of the title to work with....A lesser (or smarter) person would have cut their losses at this point, relegating the memory to the 'slightly annoying but completely unreachable goal' section (which is where all attempts of trigonometry have been shelved.) But I like a challenge...and have plenty of time on my hands.

Online forums can be a useful source for information....thousands of folk, each with specialist subject information which they are more thant willing to share at the drop of a hat. So first stop in the research was classickidstv forums, consisting of various misfits who in their childhood spent way too much time in front of the TV and, no doubt, have those square eyes that your mother was always warning you about.

Alas the info I could provide was too limited even for them and so I decided that the answer would be found if I could identify the character on the badge....which meant finding the badge amongst the 20 years of junk in the loft. A job then for good 'ol dad, who loves nothing more than crawling and clawing his way round the masses of bags and boxes in the elevated heat of the roof space area on a Sunday afternoon. The old boy did come through however, the process only taking a few minutes and causing me to wonder if his constant moaning about carrying out tasks in the loft space is slightly over exaggerated.

Delving through the box of badges was a trip down memory lane in itself...birthdays, holidays trips to Wimpy, local events and shoe fitting at Clarks...yes the retro accessory of a badge is a must for every occasion.....but I digress. With the discovery of the cartoon character badge came a breakthrough. It wasn't only a picture, there was also the words 'Princess' and 'Astra Video' which at last gave me something to work with.

Less than ten minutes after finding the badge I had a eureka moment: the cartoon was of a Japanese TV series which was made in 1967 (released in the UK on video in 1983) and called The Adventures of Choppy and the Princess (how I could forget that title I'll never know). And once I had the name of the cartoon there was no stopping me, finding links to detail synopsis of the series on Wikipedia (, a collection of screenshots (, the video intro, albeit in Japanese, on youtube ( and even the DVD at Play should you wish to purchase.

So, it was a series not a film, Japanese not French and initally I thought the picture on the badge was a boy not a girl....obviously my poor brain is being addled from mobile phone waves, but still Addled brain 1 'slightly annoying but completely unreachable goal' section of brain 0. In conclusion a very productive Sunday.

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