I know it sounds odd to be in love with a cartoon character but I was only nine at the time and she does have all the attributes of the perfect woman. Mind you, I’m still a little in love with her today, despite being grown-uppish these days
Betty Boop was created by Max Fleischer in the 1930’s. She started out as a poodle dog character without a name. She was an immediate hit with the public and when I saw her in ‘Minnie the Moocher’ back in the sixties on TV she was an immediate hit with me – my heart went out to her.
Betty's love interest was also a dog character named Bimbo. As Betty's popularity grew, she went through a transformation, losing her dog characteristics, but Bimbo remained as her boyfriend despite the fact that he remained a dog. Her little pet dog ‘Pudgy’ was introduced in 1931 - that’s him waiting for Betty to get out of the bubbles by her pink, pearlescent bath.
Betty was based on one of two real women – the silent film actress Clara Bow (the It-Girl) or Helen Kane, an American popular singer whose signature song was "I Wanna Be Loved By You" (boop-oop-a-doop). Both Helen and Clara bore a strong resemblance to Betty and whilst I have a soft spot for Helen, Clara was my second love – well, in my mind they are one and the same person, and interchangeable in my imagination. Either way I’d be any of their dogs – Pudgey, Bimbo, even the Great Dane in Clara Bow’s rather risqué, ‘Call her Savage’.
So my secret is out – I want to be Betty Boop’s dog.
Not your usual ambition I agree, but pretty harmless, and as Betty would have said "Nobody can take away my boop-oop-a-doop" for dreaming my own dreams.