The sisters and I gave my parents this canvas photo of Adelaide for Christmas as a placeholder for an extensive family photo book we intend to create.
Going through boxes of old family photos over the holiday, we found this similar picture of me.
I’m pretty sure my father took this photo, not just because that’s likely his silhouette in the glasses but because those aviators were a staple on him pretty heavily through the 80s. Those and a pair of seriously ratty gray corduroys.
DAD: (after I mentioned the pants) Oh yeah, whatever happened to those?
Arthur Recap Season 13 Episode 6 When Carl Met George
AKA The One About Autism But More Specifically Asperger’s Syndrome
There are two things about this title: 1) The Arthur Wiki claims an alternate title for this episode is “George and the Missing Puzzle Piece” and 2) The title is a “When Harry Met Sally” reference. Whether that means Carl and George will one day down the line become friends/lovers and hold many important conversations about love and friendship, I don’t know. But I do know that it is a damn shame that no one, not even once, says the line, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
George is playing with his friend Carl. They draw pictures and George shows off his picture of a lion. Carl’s only comment is that he doesn’t like brown. Everybody’s a critic, eh? George explains that he loves George’s honesty and the fact that he’s a great artist. He shows of Carl’s drawing of a 1904 steam engine, which, not to be rude or anything, just looks like a cartoon train.
Albeit much more detailed and neatly colored than anything I’ve ever done.
Carl starts talking about all the parts of the train and George gets up and tells us as Carl describes the train’s pistons and whatnot, he will tell the story of how the two met.
It was 1977, the summer after college graduation and the two were driving to New York City from Chicago to start their adult lives…
Oh wait, that’s “When Harry Met Sally”.
Mr. Lundgren is teaching a woodworking class at the community center and asks George, who is his helper, to fetch more glue from another classroom. In his quest, George meets Carl when he notices Carl’s cool puzzle. Carl explains that it’s some fancy French train and George is intrigued. He asks Carl to hang out but Carl doesn’t get the slang. “Hang out of what?” he asks. However, George thinks that is just Carl’s sense of humor and laughs. His laughing knocks over the puzzle pieces but he doesn’t notice. He gets the glue and tells George that he will see him around.
That is just a cute way for friends to meet. Can’t you just picture them as one of the couples from “When Harry Met Sally”?
At home, George realizes he accidentally took a piece of Carl’s puzzle and decides to return it. Wally (EW) insists on coming along. George, didn’t we learn a lesson about using Wally to make friends?
Back at the community center, Carl remembers George and compliments his backpack. However, seeing Wally causes him to have a sensory attack. Carl’s mom arrives on the scene and in between comforting Carl, she explains to George that Carl has Asperger’s and sometimes reacts badly to unfamiliar situations.
Especially try hard dummies like Wally.
George is confused and distressed; he didn’t want to upset Carl but now he has and there goes their late night phone conversations about love and romance.
George drowns his sorrows at the Powers’ ice cream shop (does that shop have a name? I’m just going to call it Cheers for now) and Brain reveals that his uncle has Asperger’s. He uses the analogy his uncle gave him to explain to George what it’s like:
Imagine that you are on a strange planet. It’s like Earth but it’s a little different–people talk louder, say weird things, and some things are funnier to you than them. It’s hard at first because the people don’t understand you and think you’re weird. However, you learn to adjust. Sometimes you find a special interest that helps you cope to life on the planet. Eventually, you and the people find ways to understand each other: they speak quieter and you use their slang. Although you might fit in, you will always feel a little different but that’s okay. (This isn’t the exact explanation in the episode, but just a condensed version.)
George decides that he wants to try to be friends with Carl again and ditches Wally at home.
Hopefully George will continue to ditch Wally in the future.
George can’t find Carl at the community center and worries Carl is off somewhere crying because the puzzle piece is missing. However, Carl arrives and is fine. He even doesn’t seem to be mad at George about the Wally thing. George gives him the puzzle but it turns out Carl and his mom made their own. George tells Carl that he has a surprise for him. “If it’s a wooden giraffe, I don’t want it!” says Carl and literally everyone on the planet.
However, it’s a book on trains! Carl enjoys the present and George leaves him.
Back in George’s room, George explains he kept the extra puzzle piece as a memento of their friendship. George also adds that he and Carl have taught each other stuff: George taught Carl some polite small talk and Carl taught George how to speak quietly and not to take it personally if Carl ignores him for trains. Also, how to stop relying on a dummy to make friends.
George asks Carl if he wants apple juice. “I’ll have what she’s having,” says Carl.
Okay, no he doesn’t but he totally should have.
Grade: A+ (I think this was a really great explanation for Asperger’s for elementary school children without being condescending or overly simplistic. I can’t remember if Carl has been present in other episodes but he totally should since it’d be great to have more autistic regular characters on children’s televisions. Many people in the YouTube comments of the video also praised this episode for representing Asperger’s in media, especially praising Carl’s mother for being there for Carl during his sensory attack. Also, the friendship between Carl and George was super cute with George being especially considerate of Carl’s feelings and interest. Again, why isn’t Carl a recurring character?)
Rating: 89% intense. Friendship is intense. (1989 is also the year When Harry Met Sally was released.)