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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

A Day in the Life of a Dinosaur

Speaking of lost treasures found on the Web -- when I was a little kid I had a record about a "chrononaut" who goes back in time and meets a brontosaurus named Bronty. They have a few adventures, and then the chrononaut leaves. It's sad at the end, because you know the dinosaurs will become extinct.

I remembered the cover, but almost nothing about the record, nothing that would help in Googling. Every once in a while I'd google on "Bronty children's record" or something like that, but got too many hits to sort through.

But finally, I found it: A Day in the Life of a Dinosaur. But it was a "terra naute", not a chrononaut. My adult mind must have supplied the proper terminology.

This one is on CD, and I got it the other day. Man. It's amazing how many of the words and little musical snippets I can remember. Every once in a while a fragment of music bubbles through my memory, and it bugs me trying to figure out where it comes from. When I heard the title song, I finally identified a tune that has occasionally haunted me.

There's one bit where the brontosaurus becomes stuck in the swamp, and he calls for his dinosaur buddies to come help him out, and another place where they are attacked by allosauruses (allosauri?). My mother's parents had a pond that took up a good chunk of their property, and there were places where it came near the fenceline. Sometimes those places could get pretty soggy. Once, my grandfather pretended that he was stuck in the mud, and I had to pull him out, "Help! Help! The allosauruses will get us! Boooy! That was close!" He must've gotten that from the record.

Some of the dialog is kind of weird. For example, there's a discussion of dieting ("Your problem is glandular," the terra naute tells Bronty.) Early on, Bronty says something like, "I'm tired of dragging around this fat flesh. It would be a relief to be a skeleton." Uh, sure, just ask Karen Carpenter.

After the allosaurus attack, the mental problems of allosaurs are discussed, and Bronty says of them, "You'd rather fight than switch from meat!" This is a reference to the slogan for Tareyton cigarettes, "I'd rather fight than switch", an ad campaign that featured Tareyton smokers with black eyes. (Unless the Tareyton ad itself was alluding to something. That's been known to happen.)

I think this record led to my very first ambition: I wanted to be Queen of the Dinosaurs.