The underestimation of Midge

Thanks to the Barrelhouse Boys for inviting me, the singular Jill Alexander Essbaum, to blog. A handful of Barrelhouse Boys plus the singular Jill Alexander Essbaum and the even singularer Jessica Marie Piazza equals a veritable Barrelhouse Brat Pack.

It's 5:26 am in Dietlikon, Switzerland, about 11km outside of Z├╝rich, Switzerland. I'm watching a bittorrrented AVI of King of the Hill and nursing a coffee. In this hemisphere, it's already Valentine's Day.

Waiting for my return flight to Switzerland from AWP at JFK (XYZ, OPP...) I stopped into a Hudson News to get something to read on the flight. I wound up with a bunch of Archie comics digests, configuration thus: two Tales from Riverdale, one Betty and Veronica Double Digest, one Jughead Double Digest, an Archie Pals and Gals, and one plane ole Archie Double Digest.

Did you know they don't call Big Ethel "big" anymore? She's just Ethel. I guess her feelings were starting to get hurt.

Regarding Betty versus Veronica. Betty should just hang it up. Yes, Veronica is spoiled. But she's also really, really hot. And, underneath it all, she usually comes around to being decent. Those black locks! Damn, baby! And who says blonds are more fun? Archie clearly likes it a bit rough, likes to be bossed around. Betty could never do that.

But-- and here's my main point-- Midge. They've never really given Midge her time and place to shine. She's the only gal among the gang to dare wear those curly tresses short. Quelle gamine! Though it would do any potential suitors well to be reminded that her man Moose is a jealous fella. Reggie is perennially trying to get a smidge of Midge and it usually ends in him getting clobbered. What kind of game she playing? Moose is good-hearted enough but dumb as a (this?) post. Something traumatic may have happened to her in her past that she feels safest in the arms of big, protective men? Show us on the dollie, Midge, where he touched you? Ok, that's a stretch. But why if she's in love with Moose, does she allow Reggie to come his ons and make his love? Clearly a hint of the shrew in her. So she, like Veronica, has a calculating side.

And why-- a tangent-- is Josie (of the Pussycats) 's boyfriend always referred to as Alan M, when there are NO OTHER ALANS in the cast?

In any case-- Midge is also really hot. Perhaps not as hot as Veronica, but to be fair, her lack of perceived hotness could simply be due to the fact that her character has never been fully fleshed out.

The heart: it wants what it wants.

So Betty wants Archie and Archie wants Veronica and Reggie wants Midge and Midge wants Moose and Ethel wants Juggie and Juggie wants a hamburger.

And I want YOU to have a Very Riverdale-ey Valentine's Day.



jill alexander essbaum said...

Oh, and if you didn't already know, Midge's full name is "Midge Klump."

In Scotland a midge is a wee sort of gnat or fly.

Neil Ellis Orts said...

Ah, Archie Comics, the gateway drug to Batman, Wonder Woman, and on to a lifetime wasted with books, both with and without pictures . . .

I love them.

Midge is a total player. Don't let that sweetness and light act fool you. She likes 'em big and stupid because she likes to watch small and stupid guys get pummeled. She's also, no doubt, an extreme fighting (or whatever it's called) fan. Blood turns her on. If Moose had any brains, he'd see he was just being used to fulfill her bloodlust. If she could beat up Reggie herself, she would. One day, she's going to learn martial arts and there'll be terror on the streets of Riverdale. Mark my word.

RE: Betty vs. Veronica: I guess I don't have much to say, really. I could see both going with me to the gay bars, if I went to the gay bars. Betty would worry if I drank, Veronica would buy my drinks . . . hell, I can't pretend. I'm totally a Betty fan. I don't go to gay bars and I don't drink. Of course, I'm going to want the wholesome chick for my gal pal.

How do you feel about Dilton? Those nerdy glasses do it for me a little bit . . .

jill alexander essbaum said...

Lookie here:

It's a wikihow to act like Midge. Check out the side bar, how to act like Betty, Veronica, Sabrina.

Dilton is ok, but while I dig nerdy boys a lot, he's a bit short for me. I mean, he'd come up right to my, er, bosom.

Heh. I said "bosom."

I'd have to say that of all the Archie gang, I'd prolly go for Juggie. Is that weird? Or Chuck. In all of Riverdale, there's only one black dude?

JP said...

I think Midge is sort of dykey-hot, don't you? You know, all athletic with the short hair, playing the boys off one another....but you can so tell that at any minute she might turn around and show Betty a thing or two about being "girlfriends."

Just a thought.

dave said...

An excellent post! Now this (and, of course, the Leader of Men, Jessica Piazza) is what this blog has been missing.

An interesting dilemma, Betty v Veronica, in that is brings to mind similar issues, such as Maryann v Ginger and the more obscure Jennifer v Bailey (WKRP in Cincinnati). Most guys will actually side with the girl next door type, in my experience: Maryann, Bailey, Betty. This might have more to do with the type of dude that I tend to hang out with than general male preferences, but still, an interesting phenomenon.

But Betty v. Veronica seems different in one important way: dont they look exactly the same? Like, one is blond and nice, and one is brunette and mean, but other than that, don't they look pretty much the same? Interesting, then, that I always preferred Betty. Probably that just means I'm some kind of overthinking, underachieving pussy.

jill alexander essbaum said...

Bailey's too mousy-- an even low-renter version of Julie Kotter.

Did you know that Dr. Johnny Fever was the first person to ever use the word "Booger" on television?

And that Gordon "Mr. Carlson" Jump was, in addition to being the Maytag Man, was a devout LDS?

My favorite WKRP was the one where everyone was going on about Herb Tarlek a hard worker, a loyal husband, an all around fine person. You gotta love Edie McClurg.

Veronica-- if you look REALLY closely-- is built a little (a scant but significant little) sexier than Betty.

The list could really go on, you know. Darlene or Becky? Jo or Blair? Brenda or Kelly? Dawn or Rachel (British Office)? Karen or Pam (Ami Office)? Blanche or Rose? Julie or Barbara (One Day at a Time)? Jackie or Sara (Too Close for Comfort)?

Back to WKRP. What the hell happened to Gary Sandy? Did he ever get a haircut?

A new pair of jeans?

Neil Ellis Orts said...

Well, you know there is a similar discussion in certain circles about "Archie or Reggie?" The Reggie lovers are often after a quick fling with a bad boy. Personally, neither suits me.

Jughead? Eh. He's a little to asexual.

And you know, here I am, talking about these 50 year old teenagers, when Jill and I both know that it's really Mr. Cooper that I dig. I'd hang out with Betty in the hopes that maybe I'd get invited to a family camping trip. They'd only have two tents, Betty and Mrs. Cooper would share one, Mr. Cooper and I would share the other . . .

On the other hand, Mr. Lodge has that silver fox thing going on.

Actually, who in Riverdale is the most sexually repressed. Juggie doesn't count---he's just asexual. But whoever is the most repressed, most emotionally unavailable, most unlikely to go on a date with anyone, much less me . . . that's who I'd want. Call it a pathology. I call it my love life.

And don't knock short guys. They always say dynamite comes in small packages . . .

JP said...

I'm sorry, Jilly, but I have to clarify something. While compiling a list of the major pop-cultural hotness battles of modern times, did you just actually include two of the GOLDEN GIRLS!?!?

Dude. Really. I mean, yes, I like some cheesecake on the lanai as much as the next, but let's get reasonable.

(PS - Sophia would win anyway.)

Mike said...

OMG, I can't believe you just used the word lanai. Awesome.

I was always torn between Rose and Blanche. On the one hand, Blanche could probably teach you some crazy moves invented by Charles Lindbergh in 19-dickety-2.

On the other hand, Rose is probably dumb enough to be VERY open to suggestion.