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Postmodern Village
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Scooby Doo
by Francine DuBois

What thoughts of you I have tonight, Velma Dinkley, as I peer from behind the curtains, spooked by specters and aggravated by two guests who eat all my food.

You learned everything from Hamlet (that other Great Dane) and know that skulls are just the remains of a jester and that the tapestries have ears. You can read Ophelia's flowers, Chinese laundry receipts, the Rosetta Stone, ingredients of Scooby Snacks.

How blissfully stoic you are, trapped in your 1972 orange turtleneck sweater, unaware that the white powder you deem flour could be cocaine, the projectors simply Andy Warhol props, the chase music a reminder to keep your calves sleek.

A Sestina For Velma

What do you do with a girl like Velma?
Brain like a computer, pristine vision
With smart glasses, ready for the chase
In sensible shoes, spotting the machine
That makes those awful sounds of crash and bump,
Unmasking the villains pulsing with greed.

Scooby and Shaggy embody hunger, greed,
Unquenched desires for snacks that dear Velma
Can resist. Oh yes, her heart may bump
With fear at the spooky, gauzy vision,
But she blames the social machine:
A snubbed man's revenge or landgrabber's chase

For gold, property, fame. Velma will chase
Truth. She operates not out of base greed,
But desires to reveal the machine—
The film projector, the mirrors. Velma
Explains all, projecting a clear vision
Of how the transparent ghost could just bump

Into Scooby without making a bump,
How the ghost could run through walls and chase
The gang, how the ghost used his night vision
To advance the evil villain's greed.
It is she who solves the riddle: Velma.
But Velma Dinkley is not a machine.

She's a blossoming woman, not machine.
There will soon be a day when Fred will bump
Into her, and her heart will pound. Velma
Will fall in love with a man who will chase
Helpless Daphne, his eyes filled by lusty greed,
And who, tragically, will find the vision

Of studious Velma vile. Her vision
Will change in time; she will meet a machine
Maker who creates for fun, not just greed—
Some Battlebots player who likes to bump
Up against her after a flirty chase
Around their ghostless living room. Velma—

There's a life for her that does not go bump
In the night, a life without a machine
Throwing shadows on the wall. Viva Velma!


Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's Version -- Inspiration
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