#194: Fresh Up Freddie Sez…

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194.1  So what’s Fresh up Freddie have to do with anything? He was a cartoon spokescritter for 7Up, created by the Disney studios for their prime time TV series Zorro…debuting in October, 1957. And it’s interesting to consider how our ideas about the past differ from the way things really were at the time. It’s fair to say that today Zorro is considered a children’s show…and for its 2 seasons it did air at 8pm, early enough for most schoolchildren. Yet the 7Up commercials, many of which you can see on YouTube, were aimed at adults and older teens…despite the fact that soft drinks were one of the few consumer goods kids could purchase on their own. Then again, one of the earliest sponsors of The Flintstones was Winston cigarettes!

194.2  But the reason Fresh Up Freddie pops up today is his catch-phrase…”Right now you’re probably asking yourself…” And right now you’re probably asking yourself if I’ve said all I care to about step-cousins…and the answer is: almost. Because when I was rooting around the Yahoo! Answers website, I found several posts worth commenting on…which is what we’ll do today…starting with…

inset 1194.3  Here we assume that the cousin grandpa married was his 1st cousin, giving us the diagram on the left side of Chart 693. Your grandpa’s 2nd wife B is your dad’s step-mother, so to that extent she is your step-grandmother. They state that B is also their 3rd cousin, which is wrong, but in an interesting way. It has been my experience that people who make the mistake of thinking the child of their 1st cousin is their 2nd cousin have not thought out the implication of this mistake…namely that this would also make your parent’s 1st cousin your 2nd cousin. Likewise, calling your 1st cousin’s grandchild your 3rd cousin makes your grandparent’s 1st cousin also your 3rd cousin.

chart 693

194.4  But this person here has grasped that concept…presumably considering C their 2nd cousin, along with D  of course their 1st cousin. It’s interesting simply to see this cousin mistake taken back to past generations…usually it’s made going forward to succeeding generations.

chart 694

194.5   And this person then carries the cousin mistake forward to his generation in a consistent manner…X, which he calls his “step-auntie,” would be his father’s step-sibling and also his father’s 3rd cousin, so his 4th cousin. And X‘s child Y would then be his 5th cousin. As I said, wrong but at least consistent! I took the trouble to draw all this out to emphasize once again that this cousin mistake gives you an even/odd cousin system…members of your dad’s generation, like C and X, are your 2nd and 4th cousins respectively…even. and Y are members of your generation, and as such are your 1st and 5th cousins…and C‘s child would be your 3rd cousin…odd. The point being that when somebody calls their 1st cousin’s child their 2nd cousin, they don’t realize that in one fell swoop they’ve established this awkward even/odd system…I’m just sayin’…

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194.6  So in Chart 695, multi-godzillionaire A wants to leave her vast fortune to Z…and wonders which of 3 ways to describe lucky Z would be best…answer: none of them!

chart 695

With something as important as a will, you want to identify beyond all possible doubt the exact person you’re talking about…full name, address at the time the will is written, and a detailed description of how this person is related to you. Anything less, and you’re asking for trouble in probate. Trust me, if you left everything to “my 2nd cousin,” intending that to mean your 1st cousin’s child, there isn’t a court in the land that wouldn’t give it all to your parent’s 1st cousin’s child. D’oh!

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194.7  “…nothing wrong with the face”…they almost certainly meant “fact” not “face”…back in the day there used to be such a thing as proofreading. Which is not to say a pleasant countenance isn’t always appreciated…let alone the minor detail that this isn’t your step-2nd cousin but your step-1st cousin once removed descending.

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The part I like is where they lose control of their pronouns, and have their grandfather marrying his great grandmother…replace “his” with “my cousin’s” and you’re back on track.

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194.8  What’s cool here is the mention of a brother who is on another side of the family…thus he can’t be a full brother, with the same parents as you, since in that case there is no other side of the family. Could he be a half-brother? Possibly, but then one might think he could be at least a little bit on your side, which he evidently isn’t.

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I’d reckon he’s your step-brother…and with step-brothers like that, who needs — oh, never mind. But you’re right…none of the steps are blood relatives of yours, so go for it, sez me.

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194.9  I’m commenting on this only to point out the superfluous use of the word usually…which you see a lot these days, along with its step-double half-2nd cousin generally. I came across this recently on Uncle Wiki, where is was said: Expletive infixation is a process by which an expletive or profanity is inserted into a word, usually for intensification.”  What they’re talking about, using mild oaths, are such constructions as “in-frickin’-credible” and “un-blasted-believable.”

194.10  One of the most famous comes from My Fair Lady, in the song “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”…”abso-bloomin’-lutely.” Now where Wiki says “usually for intensification” …this means sometimes NOT for intensification, but for something else…and I’ve wracked my brains trying to think what what that something else might be…and come up dry. Likewise, “step generally means married into the family” means other times step means something else…but what could that be? How do you get a step without somebody somewhere in your family being hitched? Search me.

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194.11 Sure, it’s easy to chuckle at people who don’t know what removed means…here they think removed can somehow move horizontally…which it can’t, only vertically. Let’s just call this an entertainingly mistaken shot in the dark.

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Now by “technical term” they mean, whether they know they do or not, the genealogical jargon or short-hand for a complicated (agreed!) relationship. And the suggestion in the box at the bottom is utterly sound…just spell it out for what it is and be done with it. I would make just one modification: “step-son of my cousin’s aunt on the other side of the family.”  Because after all, your cousin’s aunt could be your aunt, or even your mother, nez pah?

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194.12  okay, I’m not a 15 year old girl, but I can still draw pretty pictures. And I hope nobody minds that we assume cousin means 1st cousin…and further, her step-cousin’s cousin is a cousin by blood. Recall that there are 3 different things that can conceivably be called your step-1st cousin…

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…and here they are…X is the one you like. Notice that in Chart 699 I got sloppy and made you a boy instead of a girl…but then this is 2014, so I guess nobody is supposed to notice “that”…if you get my drift, and I think you do. Anyway, X is of no blood relation to you, so you’re in the clear as far as that goes. You’re being a minor, I dunno how far that should actually go, but there you go…

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194.13  And finally…one of the challenges in helping people with their kinship queries is in figuring out what they’re talking about in the first place. The “2nd cousin mistake” is so rampant that you have to watch out for it…still, I will assume they are using it correctly unless there is evidence to the contrary. Here, interestingly enough, there is evidence they are using “2nd cousin” correctly…it’s slim, but it’s there.

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It hinges on the wording “my 2nd cousin’s mom”…using 2C correctly, that would be your parent’s 1st cousin…incorrectly, it would be your 1st cousin. And in the latter case, why not just say that your 1st cousin got married while you were dating the new spouse’s daughter, whom you now consider some sort of step-cousin to you. So it suggests they’re using 2C correctly…but like I said, it’s slim. But correct or not, step-cousins no matter how you construe them are simply not blood relations and everybody ought to quit worrying about it…and that’s pretty much been today’s message. Next week, we rekindle the Coyfield and McHat Feud…woo hoo!


wicked ballsy


Back to Fresh up Freddie…above are the stars of the 1944 Disney film The Three Caballeros…Donald Duck…Brazilian parrot Jose Carioca…and Mexican rooster Panchito.  And as you can see below, the look of Freddie was patterned very closely after Panchito.


So why is it often said that Freddie is a combination of Panchito and another character from the movie, the Aracuan Bird? Altho he has limited screen time, Aracuan steals every scene he’s in. A frenetic cross between Daffy Duck and Robin Williams, he went on to star with Donald in 2 more short features…and see below, he looks nothing like the Brazilian speckled chachalaca, locally called the aracuana…nor does he bear the slightest resemblance to Freddie…so what gives?


Well, I had the presence of mind to actually watch the aforementioned cartoons, and the mystery was solved. The Aracuan Bird has a signature song that includes an infectious hoot which is similar altho not identical to Fresh up Freddie’s trademark “doot’en, doot’en, doot’en!”check here…and reinforcing the Disney connection, in this commercial Fred’s adversary is none other than Mickey Mouse’s old nemesis, Black Pete.


Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved


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