Anonymous said: Talk to me about Thomas the Tank Engine
All right, Anon Who Pays Very Close Attention To My Tags, your wish is my command! Herewith, my Grand Unified Theory of how obsessively watching Thomas the Tank Engine as a child was responsible for all of my major kinks[*].
[*That or I obsessively watched it because it played into so many of my underlying kinks, but who’s counting.]
For a start, there’s an awful lot of smashing into tankers/crashing through barriers/being pushed under hoppers/etc that results in the engines getting covered in mess. Here’s a random gif that I stole uncredited off Reddit to prove my point, and it’s not even from an episode I’ve ever seen:
But it’s not just that, it’s the way it’s done. The show is absolutely chock-full of hubris, humiliation, and heartless hurtfulness. An engine is nasty to another engine; he gets his comeuppance, frequently involving some messy substance or similar assault on his respectable appearance; all the other engines point and laugh; he sits there looking like he wishes the ground would swallow him up. (Assuming that that wasn’t already the mechanism of his comeuppance.) And that’s the moral! Don’t be mean, kids, or you’ll lose your dignity in some humiliatingly ironic way, and it will be the worst thing ever!
The bit of the narration that sticks most strongly in my mind from all the episodes I watched as a child comes from the very first episode: Thomas is cheeky to Gordon, and Gordon gets his own back on him by secretly coupling him to his back end and pulling him round at unbearable speeds all day (because, y’know, tit-for-tat is the name of the game on Sodor). The whole final minute of the five-minute episode covers in gleeful detail Thomas’s “roll of shame” (if you will) back to the engine shed, “feeling very silly and exhausted”.
"He went onto the turntable," Ringo intones, "thinking of everyone laughing at him." What happened to him wasn’t even that awful or embarrassing (or messy), but he’s still horrified by the slightest bit of ridicule, and chews it over obsessively! Excellent role model for my tiny warped mind, there.
Since this is a Grand Unified Theory, I’ll also throw in that not having any arms or legs, and being constrained to travelling on rails, is not unlike being stuck in bondage and unable to avoid anything that’s thrown at you (or, as is more usual in the engines’ cases, anything you’re thrown at). But the deep psychological scarring is the main bit. :)
I have also decided that Tumblr desperately needs more gifsets of the dozens upon dozens of occasions when various engines get covered in various types of mess, so expect one of those when I next have too much time on my hands.