Previous Article - X-Entertainment - Next Article --- By Matt - 9.26/'02
The Smurfs shared what'd have to be considered a utopian society - a small-scale Babylon. These tiny blue creatures have managed to learn English, turn mushrooms into fully functional houses with ovens, not to mention the development of a modified caste system where every Smurf plays an integral role to the village's overall tranquility.

We could probably learn a lot from the Smurfs, but it seems some people think the whole ''what Papa Smurf says GOES' thing is too close to a fascist dictatorship, so instead we just watch their exploits and giggle because they're so gosh darn cute and shirtless.

But even utopias are flawed sometimes. The Smurfs combine all the elements of a wonderful society almost with ease, but there's one small problem that's a constant source of worry and concern: the food supply. While normal people can survive on Saltines found half-crushed under couch cushions for weeks if they really pushed themselves, the Smurfs' only available form of sustenance lies within the tart juices of a branch fruit called 'Smurfberries'. Without these delicious little red flavor balls, the Smurfs will grow weak, starve, and eventually make a last ditch effort at eating each other before the whole race is simply wiped out.

The emphasis on 'personal responsibility' in Smurf Village is only partly an effort to build each individual Smurf's character - in truth, the balance of their livelihood dangles on shaky webs, and if they're not especially careful, they'll go extinct. To date, they've been pretty good about keeping the Smurfberry harvests plentiful. Sure, there's been a few setbacks, like that one season where a flock of crows shat all over their crops and no Smurfs would eat the berries, even after repeated washings. A few minor sticks in their spokes, but all in all, it's been running smooth as Baby Smurf's baby blue ass for almost a millennium.

Until today.

Meet Gargamel, one of the Smurfs only true enemies. An old, grizzled witch who lives with his cat in what's supposed to be a castle but quite obviously is a shack, Gargamel is, in truth, a desperate pauper. You probably think the guy could attain riches beyond his wildest dreams with his command over magic, but the sad fact is that all his spells have to do with turning Smurfs into gold. More of a victim of circumstance than a true villain, Gargamel has no choice but to hunt the Smurfs down - the food chain doesn't apply to just lions and antelopes, we must figure Gargamel and trolls into the equation, too.

Sometimes he skips the whole gold-making part, usually when he's more in the mood to just eat Smurfs. You'd think they'd taste awful, but with the voracity of Gargamel's hunt, the clear suggestion here is that Smurfs taste better than cake. That's what happens when your diet consists solely of sugar berries. They're 95% delicious.

Worse yet, some of Gargamel's spells call for Smurfberries as a chief ingredient. And on this fateful day, he's actually managed to steal all the berries, leaving our blue heroes without food, without a prayer, and without justification for Greedy buying all those extra pie crusts. Times are tough, and the situation is dire. What will the Smurfs do?

Well, they're not really sure what to do. Unless flailing their arms wildly while screaming for Papa Smurf can be construed as a solution. Another problem in the Smurf Utopia is the total dependence on the good Papa - without his aid, everything seems to fall apart. This really becomes an issue because Papa Smurf so regularly goes on extended vacations to play chess with that old guy in the yellow slip. Plus, it's a whole lot of stress, having to watch over seventeen hundred Smurfs. Especially when only a fourth of them seem to have names or differentiating personality traits. Papa Smurf's wise, but he ain't Thanos with a Gauntlet. If there's one thing that could bring the village to a whole new level of greatness, it's a chain of leadership.

Fortunately, Papa Smurf is here, and he has a solution. A pretty strange solution, too. Not typical Papa Smurf 'let's go around the campfire and sing till things are Smurfy' crap - we're talking sheer witchcraft. After considering the situation and the available options, our leader suggests that perhaps the Smurfs were going about this whole 'eating' business all wrong. By eating Smurfberries and only Smurfberries, they were cheating themselves out of a whole world full of meals. He doesn't suggest that they go all out and start slaughtering cattle - merely that they look around and see if there's something else in the world to eat besides small, possibly poisonous fruit.

But see, it's not really that simple. Smurfs, as a whole, are a pretty elitist group. They don't partake in much unless the word 'Smurf' is somehow included. They only reason they eat Smurfberries is because they're named after them. Truth is, they much prefer blueberries but are far too proud to switch. Papa Smurf realizes this. His little Smurfs would never eat a bag of Doritos, unless he could convince Frito Lay to tie the 'Smurf' title in there somehow. He tried. He failed. But in Smurf Village, there's always an alternative.

With one wave of his hand, a new food for the Smurfs materializes, and by God, is it ever Italian!

Yes, Smurf Pasta. It existed. Pretty much the same as Spaghettios, only allegedly shaped like Smurf heads. Of course, they don't look much like Smurf heads at all, more like props for an ovary study. On the plus side, at least our friends won't have to starve now. Better yet, we could eat just as they did! We could eat Smurf Pasta!

The rare delicacy came in three flavors - this was back when canned pasta goods were still trying to persuade people to try the variety spirited with 'golden chicken sauce.' If you've never tasted golden chicken sauce, just try to remember the last time you ate someone else's vomit, and you've got yourself a pretty good indication. One of the less-chickenish versions came with meatballs, but according to the Smurfs, they were 'Smurfballs'. Wow, I'm eating Smurf balls. I'm not a virgin anymore.

Smurfette gives it her seal of approval. That's good, because she's the only one in Smurf Village able to bear children, and she'll need the energy. Town whore.

Ever notice how the cartoon showed Smurfette's only 'job' as being keeping the flowers watered? That's baby speak for 'keeping the libidos satiated.' We all know what her real job was - they just couldn't show it on a program meant for six-year-olds. There's a reason the girl walks like she's got a palm tree between her legs. She's totally worn out.

Elsewhere, Gargamel is pissy because his Smurfberry-stealing plot didn't work out according to plan. Hey, I thought Smurf Village was hidden? How can he see it from the window? I guess the normal rules of continuity don't extend to the Smurfs' pasta commercials. By the way, every time I see that hole in Azrael's ear, I get this intense craving for Swiss cheese. Somehow I doubt I'm the only one.

Thank Goodness For Chef Boyardee?!! Papa Smurf...I thought you were the one who brought life to Smurf Pasta. Were you lying? Was that whole fairy dust/hand-wave a mere parlor trick? I'm disappointed.

The sort-of edible stuff didn't last long on store shelves, because even dumb kids knew they were the same as Spaghettios. It really wasn't worth paying an extra dollar just so the word 'Smurf' would be on the label. Fifty cents, maybe - but not a whole buck. Don't think the Smurfs were the only ones to have this distinction, either. Chef Boyardee forged cross promotion deals with everyone from Pac-Man to the Ninja Turtles. Who knew a fat, dead Italian chef could be such a strategic marketer? I mean besides Papa Smurf. We're not counting anyone with a gazing well or general omniscience.

They don't make Smurf Pasta anymore, so you have little chance of Smurfing yourself a little Smurf. But don't Smurf it, maybe they'll Smurf it back someday. I think Socrates Smurfed it best when he Smurfed: 'Smurf, Smurf Smurf. But to Smurf, that is the Smurfiest Smurf.' I couldn't agree more.

- Matt
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