I yam what I yam. Hewwhhgh. A runnersk and a cyclisk. Hek hek hek.

By Christopher Cudworth

We could all use a little Popeye in this world.

We could all use a little Popeye in this world. Here he sets off for his morning run.

“Hewwwgggh. Hi theresk, mateys.

Gladsk to sees yah’sk.”

Heck eck eckeck. 

Ahhh, Popeye. You could hardly understand a word he said, but that was the point, wasn’t it?

Popeye was a man of action. Once he got around to it.

Sure, it took a little provocation from Bluto at times, and Popeye would sometimes take a lickin’ before he fought back. Guess that’s another

Bluto. The perfect bully.

Bluto. The perfect bully.

great moral lesson for us. Be slow to anger. Then eat your spinach and teach the bad guys a lesson. Heck eck eck. But we’ll get to that spinach thing later…

Let’s talk about the physiques and psyches of the Popeye cartoons.

Olive Oyl

Olive Oyl. The height of feminine internal conflict over which man to choose.

Olive Oyl. The height of feminine internal conflict over which man to choose.

It appears to me that Olive Oyl might have been the the first role model for the hyper-thin female runner. I mean, look at that build! She was one skinny chick. Yet Popeye loved her.

So did Popey’s big rival Bluto, in his way. Seems like he almost crushed Olive Oyl half the time, yet  Olive Oyl sort of seemed to like all that brusque attention.

Were we witnesses to the early version of 50 Shades of Gray?  Kinky girl, that Olive Oyl. Wonder how she got her name? 

Ahead of their time

Those cartoon characters were a lot more kinky and progressive than we sometimes give them credit for. Olive Oyl with her model-thin body and Popeye tanking up on spinach. Was that spinach simply an early

One hot little Olive Oyl, Sheryl Crow is reputed to have known about Lance Armstrong's use of "spinach" to win bike races.

One hot little Olive Oyl, Sheryl Crow is reputed to have known about Lance Armstrong’s use of “spinach” to win bike races.

form of steroids? If so, was Lance Armstrong really doing anything wrong by doping up to win the girl? After all, he hung out with that Cougar Sheryl Crow for a while.

Alice the Goon

By comparison, the truly breathtaking character in the Popeye cartoons was Alice the Goon. Talk about your politically incorrect depiction of the not-so-lovely female! My brothers and I would completely freak out when Alice the Goon showed up on Popeye. She literally made our skin crawl. Some protective mothers even protested her presence on the show, because she was so domineering and persistent. But you know, if you’re the Sea Hag and need an Amazonian warrior on your side in a fight or a pursuit of hidden riches, you couldn’t do much better than Alice the Goon. There was a woman who could have broken the glass ceiling with ease.

What was in that spinach that Popeye always ate? Did someone ever dope-test that pop eyed sailor?

What was in that spinach that Popeye always ate? Did someone ever dope-test that pop eyed sailor?

Was Popeye a doper?

For all the challenges he seemed to face in life, it all seemed to work out in the end for Popeye. He ate his spinach and won the day, thumping his rivals in a swift and fearsome pounding that included the famous “twister punch.”

But we really need to consider whether that spinach was laced with some sort of performance enhancer.

I mean, consider the forearms on Popeye. You don’t get those by lifting weights alone. Honestly, we’ve probably let Popeye off the hook for a little too long. Perhaps it’s time to call in the USADA and strip away a few victories over Bluto from the good old days. You know, our heroes sometimes never change.

Makes you wonder if we should be so rough on the dopers in the pro peloton, or those Olympic sprinters like Ben Johnson cranked up on steroids. It’s all just about going faster, getting stronger and whupping our rivals, isn’t it? Would you take something that you knew would guarantee you victory? Don’t you eat your spinach? Take a bottle of something good (Gatorade, whatever…) with you on your rides? Gobble a Gu during a marathon?

Popeye on bike

Could Popeye ride to victory in the Tour de France, or win the NYC Marathon if he ate his spinach?

Are we hypocrites here? Are we ignoring the lesson of Popeye, Bluto, Olive Oyl and Alice the Goon? Is anyone really clean and innocent in the end?

Hecck eck eckkeck. C’mon over heresk, Olive. I’ve gotsk some Baby Oyl I wantsck to use on yer backsk.

Heck eck eckeck.

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About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @genesisfix07 and blogs at werunandride.com, therightkindofpride.com and genesisfix.wordpress.com Online portfolio: http://www.behance.net/christophercudworth
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