The Lost Years of Elmer J. Fudd

***The apostrophe button on this computer is not working, nor is the upper case i***

Back then, he was known to many as Egghead, a nickname, most certainly not self-ascribed. The nickname was, in fact, the primary motivation for his trip to Dusseldorf; he wanted to reclaim his anonymity, to be a stranger to all but himself. He arrived on the eleventh of November, 1947, coinciding with the beginning of what Dusseldorfians refer to as the Karnival, or, the Fifth Season. The taverns overflowed with drunks and transvestites. He had trouble finding a place to set down his bags, since many inhabitants of the Rhineland made a drunken pilgrimage to Dusseldorf for the festivities. He had to settle for a small hotel at the edge of the town.

After a long nap, he set off to join the fray. He sat at the bar of an old brew-pub and ordered a pint of Fuchschen; a bit hoppy for his taste, but he figured when in Rome… By his third pint, he was feeling alright. His smile broadened; he recited the Lords prayer aloud three times before ordering another. Over the past several years, he had built up an almost inhuman tolerance for alcohol. His friends marvelled at how impervious he was to endless amounts of assorted varieties of liquor. He mixed drinks with incredible ease, switching from beer to bourbon to Baileys, never suffering the gastrointestinal consequences. But, to mix cartoon metaphor, the fecund air of the Rhine seemed to be Mr. Fudds kryptonite. After his fifth pint of Fuchschen, he was indelibly plastered.

Any hope of anonymity was smashed when Elmer started making out with the stuffed boar mounted above the Pubs roaring fireplace. One of the revellers later reported that in a private conversation with the boar, the animal confided that Fudd had slipped him the tongue. After this lengthy display of exhibitionism, Fudd made his way back to the bar, where he ordered a round for everyone. Fudds drunken impropriety reached a disturbing climax two hours later when he smashed a glass, gathered the shattered remnants and chewed on them. The sound of Fudds infamous party trick made the toughest of mens blood run cold. Blood seeped from the corner of Fudds wide grin. it was then that Chuck Jones pulled the plug, erasing his beloved creation from the pub and drawing him back into the comfortable bed of his small hotel room.

For years, Chuck Jones had struggled with his ability to play God in the life of his most beloved creation. Usually, he let Elmer do whatever he wanted to do: Jones often looked on in dismay as Fudd reached ever-increasing heights of debauchery. This was only the second time in twenty years that Jones had ever stepped in, but Elmer obviously forced his delicate hand. The following morning, Fudd awoke with a horrible hangover. His bed was floating in a lake of his own vomit. He rubbed his temples with the tips of his thumbs, attempting to alleviate his pounding headache. He decided that the only cure for his malady was another beer. He went back to the pub.

The staff and customers who had witnessed Fudds performance the night before were amazed by how quickly he had healed. The barmaid made him open his mouth: his pink gums were unscathed. By noon, Fudd was drunk again. He recited Novalis in a Berlin dialect to all who would listen:

Into the bosom of the earth,
Out of the Light’s dominion,
Death’s pains are but a bursting forth,
Sign of glad departure.
Swift in the narrow little boat ,
Swift to the heavenly shore we float.

Blessed be the everlasting Night,
And blessed the endless slumber.
We are heated by the day too bright,
And withered up with care.
We’re weary of a life abroad,
And we now want our Father’s home.

What in this world should we all
Do with love and with faith?
That which is old is set aside,
And the new may perish also.
Alone he stands and sore downcast
Who loves with pious warmth the Past.

The Past where the light of the senses
In lofty flames did rise;
Where the Father’s face and hand
All men did recognize;
And, with high sense, in simplicity
Many still fit the original pattern.

The Past wherein, still rich in bloom,
Man’s strain did burgeon glorious,
And children, for the world to come,
Sought pain and death victorious,
And, through both life and pleasure spake,
Yet many a heart for love did break.

The Past, where to the flow of youth
God still showed himself,
And truly to an early death
Did commit his sweet life.
Fear and torture patiently he bore
So that he would be loved forever.

With anxious yearning now we see
That Past in darkness drenched,
With this world’s water never we
Shall find our hot thirst quenched.
To our old home we have to go
That blessed time again to know.

What yet doth hinder our return
To loved ones long reposed?
Their grave limits our lives.
We are all sad and afraid.
We can search for nothing more —
The heart is full, the world is void.

Infinite and mysterious,
Thrills through us a sweet trembling —
As if from far there echoed thus
A sigh, our grief resembling.
Our loved ones yearn as well as we,
And sent to us this longing breeze.

Down to the sweet bride, and away
To the beloved Jesus.
Have courage, evening shades grow gray
To those who love and grieve.
A dream will dash our chains apart,
And lay us in the Father’s lap.

All in the pub were completely captivated by this pot-bellied wanderer who spoke with the authority of a demented king. They anointed him with precious oils, hoisted him upon their collective shoulder and headed out on to the street to lead the parade.

All hail, the new king of Germany!

Fudd drank deeply from the cup of his newly acquired fame. He slept with a different woman every night, ate the finest food, drank the best beer Germany had to offer. His previous American life now seemed a horrible dream from which he had finally escaped; the spell of Bugs Bunny had finally been broken.

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