Even writing George the Mean Yellow Dog saying, ‘I hate that’, and having him be generally unlikeable, I always felt context was of utmost importance in Fluffy Gardens.
In his own first-series episode, George learns that being rude and grumpy gets him nowhere. His grumpiness is made look foolish and pretty pointless. In many of his other appearances, we hear him saying he hates things but then we see he secretly really likes those things. There are times it becomes very clear George the Mean Yellow Dog is, in fact, a big softie.
I have always wanted to show with George that mean, grumpy behaviour is unacceptable and gets you nowhere.
But that requires context.
Imagine my surprise when I saw a proposal for Fluffy Gardens soft toys that included a George toy that shouted, ‘I hate that!’
What parent in their right mind is going to buy a toy for their child that repeats the phrase, ‘I hate that!’ over and over? It would have to include, at the very least, a booklet on the context of the phrase and some tips on how to stop your child repeating it at every opportunity. That booklet would drive up the cost of the toy, making it an even less likely purchase. And I’m not sure it would have been enough.
I’d really have to pledge that I would personally visit the household of everyone who owned one to explain what on Earth I was thinking when I corrupted their children and turned them into social pariahs because every act of kindness was being greeted with a loud and cheerful, “I hate that!”
I wasn’t a fan of the idea.
After some conversations, it looks like the ‘I hate that!’ George is unlikely to ever appear.
Hey, but what do I know? It could be the worst decision of my life. What if the ‘I hate that!’ George had turned out to be the next Tickle-Me Elmo? I could have cleaned up this Christmas.