7 Reasons We Should Congratulate Rupert Bear On Reaching Ninety
As I am sure all you bear aficionados are aware, today marks Rupert Bear’s 90th Birthday. Even if you don’t regularly read his adventures in the Daily Express – and let’s be honest, that’s all of us – you should raise a glass in his name. Or, at the very least, don’t go on about how much you love Paddington Bear. It’s called respect.
1. Loyalty. In case you are wondering why I mentioned the Daily Express above, it’s because Rupert was created for the paper in 1920. The aim? To increase sales. Did it work? Wikipedia doesn’t say. And I can’t be bothered to do that much research. What I did research though is that Rupert has outlasted nineteen Daily Express editors. Nineteen! That’s quite a lot. On any other day it I’d have rounded it up to 20. But that’s nineteen different people who have given up on the paper. Rupert hasn’t given up once. He’s there, everyday, trying to increase sales. And that has to be applauded. Even if it is the Daily Express.
2. Fashion. Sadly for the world, I wasn’t around in 1920, but I would be very surprised if Rupert’s choice of attire matched the fashion of the day. A red jumper, white shoes and matching yellow-checked trousers and scarf? It’s unlikely, isn’t it? But that’s just one reason why Rupert should be celebrated. He was a bit of a maverick. He was a trend-setter. Whether the trend comes to fruition in my lifetime, who knows, but one day, everyone will be dressing like Rupert.
3. Respect. Rupert has and continues to spend many-a-day in the presence of his friends. The trusty and originally named Bill Badger. The stodgy Podgy Pig. The delectable Edward Trunk*. And my personal favourites, Ming The Dragon and Pong-Ping The Pekingese. And yet, despite chewing the fat with them for the best part of century, not once has Rupert ever uttered the immortal line, ‘Have you ever heard of deed-poll?’
4. Role Model. While Rupert’s main rivals for our affections have tragic and cliched characteristics, Rupert was the real deal. Take Winnie The Pooh for instance. Ignoring the fact that he looks cuddly, what have you got? A honey-monster who has a habit of forgetting to wear trousers. Hardly inspiring. And then we have Paddington Bear. An immigrant from Peru whose idea of helping the economy is to create a marmalade deficit. Not the role models our children need. Rupert on the other hand is everything a bear should be. Clever, loyal, adventurous and trousered.
5. Paul McCartney. Rupert remains the only bear ever to have inspired a Beatle. Paul McCartney – Rupert And The Frog Song.**
6. He Defied Hitler. Not even a war could stop Rupert. And I am not talking about a silly, little war. I am talking about World War II. Despite the fact that there was a severe paper shortage – we needed it for planes – Rupert still got an annual out and onto the shelves every year throughout the conflict. Along with Churchill sticking two fingers up, Rupert getting his annual out epitomised Britain’s approach to the war. We were never going to be beaten. And we were going to read tales of a bear going on an underwater mission in the process.
7. Alternatives. Look, it’s only right that you should celebrate one 90th Anniversary in 2010 and if you’re not going to choose Rupert to congratulate then it’s going to have to be the Bangor Operatic Society. Make the right decision.
*Edward Trunk was an elephant. Clever.
**This might cause nightmares. Or daymares. Just don’t smash your computer. You’ll regret it tomorrow.