That is All: Betty Rubble still rocks at 50

First Posted: 11/6/2010

Like a rock …
Bob Seger

The other day as I struggled to reprogram my television with a remote control the size of a skateboard, I couldnt help but long for the good ol days when life was simpler.
Not the 60s, not the glory days of radio, not the roaring 20s, not even the 1700s when America was just a dream.
Im talkin way back, to the Stone Age, when real men like Fred Flintstone walked the Earth and barefooted at that.
Oh, to be alive when the planet was still cooling and the dinosaurs roamed. When women wore skimpy leopard skins and you could order a brontosaurus burger at any diner along the unpaved roads of Bedrock.
Men were men, women were women, and dogs were purple dinosaurs.
A wonderful, simple, humble time when we all lived in stone houses, worked down at the quarry and could crack open a cold one down at the Water Buffalos Lodge at the end of a tough day.
No television, no cell phones, no pants.
God what a life!
Oh sure, the boss Mr. Slate could be a tyrannical Tyrannosaurus rex at times, but that fat paycheck big and heavy because it was made of stone sure came in handy when bill-paying time rolled around.
And you know, a dollar stretched a lot further back in those days, when our cars relied on fast footwork and not vanishing stocks of polluting crude.
The Flintstones celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, a milestone reminder for those of us living with Google maps, facial recognition software and digital music files that the Stone Age wasnt all that bad.
Simple can be nice. Simple can be sweet.
Simple and sweet, much like the lovely disposition of one of The Flintstones vastly underrated characters: Betty Rubble. This dark haired damsel was unfairly limited to a small supporting role in the long running popular animated series that launched in 1960.
For years, Betty was mere background noise to the music of Fred, Barney and Wilma. She was a tagalong, a wannabe, a better-seen-than-heard player in this prehistoric comedy-drama.
Short-changed and underestimated, this raven-haired gal held her own in the shadow of bigger-than-life neighbors Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
And lets be honest here: Wilma was hard to love.
Wilma was often a snooty, uptight, whiny wench with lifeless, black shark eyes. I think her hair was wound too tight in that bun on the back of her noggin. Or perhaps her golf ball sized rock necklace cut off the blood supply to the parts of her brain in charge of kindness and humility.
Its a bit difficult to have a yabba-dabba-do time when youve got to spend it with an uppity, judgmental shrew.
For many of the same reasons to hang out with Mary Ann instead of Ginger, its Betty over Wilma every time.
Any self-respecting caveman who doesnt appreciate the delicate beauty of Betty has rocks in his head.
Shes a stone-cold fox.
Im nominating Betty as the sexiest cartoon character ever, sexier even than bombshell Betty Boop.
And I dont want any e-mail from Betty Boop fans out there. Listen, the reality is that Boop was overly-flirty, disproportionately doe-eyed and exaggeratedly eager.
Betty Rubble was a quiet, unassuming beauty. She didnt need to bat her eyes and talk like a baby to get attention.
Betty helped to solidify a theory wed considered for some time: Brunettes rock.
That is all.

Managing Editor John Charles Robbins can be reached at (910) 272-6122 or [email protected]

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