A Twist Of Ed: Exploring The Minds Of Ed, Edd n Eddy
When I so proudly accepted the offer to become Allegedly’s 3rd writer, I wasn’t exactly sure what my role on the blog would be. I wasn't even certain on what I’d manage to write about each week. However, seeing that I value being valued, I jumped at the opportunity to take on a role where I felt I could fit in and be supported by those I care about. My first two posts consisted of thoughts that I’d had for an extended period of time. But to my surprise, since I’ve come on board a ton of my ideas have come from the influence within the blog itself. I wasn’t expecting to draw as much influence from Shane and Walker as I do, but for their assistance and support in my growth as a writer, I thank them. The opportunity to collaborate and fulfill creative motivation is what I find fuels most people, and I am no exception.
In a recent chat with my two colleagues, we discussed some of our favorite childhood television shows. What surfaced within the walls of my cranium was an old theory that I had read a few years ago about my all-time favorite childhood cartoon. Everyone has that one animated program they point to that deeply resonated with their former self. For my blonde haired buddy from Hollywood SC, it was the Japanese anime series, One Piece. (Do not ask me about this show, I have no idea who or what it is about, nor do I have the patience to sit through 20 years worth of episodes while reading subtitles like Walker does.) For my good friend, and the Pride of Delran NJ, Shane, it was Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. (This one I’m much more familiar with. Great show.) For myself it was the Canadian slapstick comedy, Ed, Edd n Eddy. I’m not entirely sure why, but as a kid I couldn’t go a day without getting my fix of the Ed boys and the rest of the kids in the neighborhood. The characters, though few, were so memorable and well developed that upon watching, you felt like you called the cul-de-sac home as well.
As a young boy, I simply enjoyed the show for the funny and memorable program that it was at surface level. However, as I stated earlier, I came across a theory a few years back that has always sort of sat funny with me. Not like funny HA HA, funny as in like “huh…. That’s interesting.” The theory states that each of the characters from Ed, Edd, n Eddy suffer from some sort of psychological disorder that hinders their day to day life. Now you may say, “Whoa whoa whoa, slow your role kid. That’s Shane’s cup of tea. Get back in line.” I would argue that there is something you don’t know about me, reader. Between the time of January 2017 and May 2018, I studied at the Shane P. Law School of Psychological Shortcomings, located on the coast of South Carolina. I do not proclaim to be the finest assessor of mental illnesses, in fact I wouldn’t listen to any of my diagnosis’ at all. That being said, I have been blessed by the dean of S.P.L.S.O.P.S. (Shane P. Law School of Psychological Shortcomings, located on the coast of South Carolina) to proceed with this project of mine. With the assistance of S.P. Law himself, I will provide my own opinions of the mental status of the children that make up the cast of my favorite childhood show.
Show your school pride by shopping at SPLSOPS.com!
What I now present to you is THE FIRST joint blog post in Allegedly's short history. I'm sure there will be many more to come, but for now, sit back, crack a cold one, and enjoy. I will provide a brief synopsis of each character, as Shane oversees my work and provides his own notes on each subject. I would now like to introduce my friend, my colleague, my former roommate and the Dean of S.P.L.S.O.P.S. ............. Dr. SHANE LAW!!!!!
"Please, please, reign in your excitement; Before I begin I must pretentiously caress my illustrious mustache, adjust my fake blue light glasses, and pompously cross my legs in my oversized heart of the hide full-grain leather chair.
Sigmund Freud, Albert Bandura, Jean Piaget, Ivan Pavlov, and Carl Gustav Jung. I command you, intellectual giants, to stand aside. For David has called upon the true king of psychology, Shane Law. AKA, holder of the most sought-after prestigious title a student of human behavior can be bestowed upon. A minor in Psychology.
Alright Regina, send Eddy in first."
EDDY - Megalomania - Obsession with the exercise of power, especially in the domination of others.
Here we start with the leader of the Ed’s, good old Eddy. The short, hotheaded megalomaniac struggles with an obsessive need for control and power. Throughout the entirety of the 6 seasons this show gave us, each episode displays Eddy trying to weasel his way into the pockets and the minds of the neighborhood kids. His endless pursuit of money and power usually results in his downfall by the end of each episode. There are endless examples of Eddy's uncontrollable need of taking advantage of others coming back to haunt him, but perhaps the one that stuck with me most came in the episode, "Brother, Can You Spare an Ed?" Ed is entrusted by his sister Sarah to buy candy from the store, but Eddy convinces him to spend it on jawbreakers for the boys. Eddy ultimately realizes he has to repay his debts, and does so by creating a plan that would allow the neighborhood kids to beat up on his two best friends for 25 cents each. The episode concludes with Ed and Double D countering Eddy's actions by hanging him in a tree by his underwear, and letting the other kids take a beating on him with a sledge hammer. Talk about payback. Was Eddy's con-artist, manipulative behavior entertaining? yes. Was it concerning? also yes.
Dr. Shane's notes: If eddy really wants that Jawbreaker he claims he desires, I would take a page from Machiavelli. I would evade any sweetened pursuits affiliated with oppression, when his ambitions could be won with deceit. A tall order, for a balding short chef.
DOUBLE D - O.C.D. - Having a tendency towards excessive orderliness, perfectionism, and great attention to detail.
From the jump, it was apparent the Double D was the brains behind the operation. His endless quest for knowledge is displayed throughout the entirety of the show. What was also apparent since the show went on the air, was his meticulous attention to detail, and his borderline frightening need for cleanliness and perfection. Double D is commonly shown panicking when something seems to be out of order, and often losing control of his emotions when he is unable to fix it up to his standards. In the season 1 episode, “Read All About Ed”, you’re given an inside look of Double D’s bedroom and just how orderly it is. As you view his spotless sleeping quarters, he is woken by his alarm and begins making his bed. The overly detailed process includes ironing his sheets, and using a level to make sure they’re sitting just right. It is perfectly fine to be a clean and orderly person. However, when it gets to the point of ruling your life, perhaps it is best if medical attention is sought out.
Dr. Shane's notes: A patient once told me living with OCD is like living in a puzzle where one piece is missing and, every time you find that missing piece, another one goes missing. Always striving to fix something but never able to. My advice is to stop playing with puzzles and go throw a football like a man.
ED - Savant Syndrome - A rare condition in which someone with significant mental disabilities demonstrates certain abilities far in excess of average.
Aside from their name, Ed and Double D are quite literally total opposites. While Double D is orderly and intelligent, Ed is sloppy and dimwitted. His obsession with certain things like comic books, monsters, gravy and buttered toast leads to his disinterest in more complicated topics. That being said, despite Ed’s unintelligent nature, he frequently showcases skills that you would never expect from the lovable oaf given his low IQ. Along with many other examples, in the episode "Who's Minding the Ed?", Ed is asked by Rolf to look over his farm animals for the day. Ecstatic, Ed accepts and immediately tries to get the attention of the animals. He pulls out a flute and to everyone's surprise, Ed is able to play the instrument well beyond his mental capacity and the animals immediately respond by flocking behind the boy, and following him around the cul-de-sac. Is Ed just a exceptionally talented flutist, or is there a larger mental condition at play here?
Dr. Shane's notes: I think more people would be Savants if they stopped being living examples of the world’s greatest lie. “at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie” -Paulo Coelho
Change what you do until you are the greatest at something, you are controlled by nothing. Just try not to drool all over yourself, or turn yourself into a fridge.
ROLF - P.T.S.D. - Psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.
As we move into the supporting cast, we’ll take a look at what probably is one of the most obvious cases of a psychological disorders among the kids. Rolf, the son of a shepherd, is an immigrant from, well, we don’t really know. The only thing we do know about Rolf’s native land is that he refers to it as “The Old Country.” As I mentioned in Ed’s diagnosis, Rolf has an abundance of farm animals and is often seen caring for them throughout the series. Another thing that is often seen is the sheer anger, rage, and violence Rolf can show if he is provoked. In the episode, “No Speak Da Ed”, Ed is seen roaming around school wearing a wolf costume. Rolf quickly snaps into a flashback from his childhood in the old country, where he and his sheep were attacked by a man in a wolf mask. In a blind rage, Rolf beats Ed with a cane and storms his way out of the school. In tears Ed looks to his friends for comfort, and Double D replies that he is sure there is a reason for Rolf’s behavior. Whatever it may have been that happened to Rolf earlier in his life, it has certainly left post-traumatic stress upon the son of a shepherd.
Dr. Shane's notes: Experiencing malice can be in yourself, by another, or an event. All avenues of PTSD can most certainly fragment your psyche. Everyone is sick in their own way, and you have to be conscious of that. So refrain from speaking Vietnamese in trees, or dressing up like a wolf at school.
JONNY 2x4 - Schizophrenia - A chronic brain disorder in which symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, trouble with thinking and lack of motivation.
Perhaps one of the most memorable side characters from Ed, Edd, n Eddy is Jonny and his beloved friend, Plank. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, plank is not another one of the neighborhood kids. (Don’t tell that to Jonny.) Plank is a piece of wood that has two eyes and a rather eerie smile drawn onto it. The kind of smile that makes it look as though you’re up to something. The issue does not lie with Jonny carrying around the piece of wood, rather Jonny genuinely believing that Plank is a real person. Following the entirety of the show, you really only see the young boy confide in the piece of lumber. He speaks and listens to Plank as though everyone else can hear him. That begs the question, is it all a delusion that resides within Jonny’s head, or does the kid know something we do not?
Dr. Shane's notes: The line between insanity and a healthy mind is narrow. The line between the material world and candy land is narrow. The line is narrow, not a 2x4.
SARAH - Intermittent Explosive Disorder - A mental disorder marked by episodes of unwarranted anger.
As we visit our first female character, Sarah, we see a prime example of Intermittent Explosive Disorder. IED is sort of a fancy way of saying she has explosive outbursts of extreme anger and violence in seemingly unnecessary circumstances. She is most frequently seen treating her older brother, Ed, in a rather hostile and malicious way, or protecting her best friend Jimmy from the other kids. It seems as though it could be something as simple as her not getting her way that sends her into massive fits of anger. In "Knock Knock. Who's Ed?" The Ed's arrive in the kitchen to find snacks for a movie night. Even while minding their own business, Sarah deems it necessary to explode on the Ed boys, as she is busy painting with Jimmy. She results to physical violence and kicks the boys out of the house, ultimately locking the doors and the window to Ed's bedroom. A bit extreme consequences for simply trying to get some food out of the fridge, but maybe thats just my opinion. Most of the other neighborhood kids fear the red head’s vicious personality throughout the length of the show, and leave her to occupy herself with Jimmy.
Dr. Shane's notes: Learn from the Japanese. Don’t let pride blind you from incoming atom bombs. For the love of god just stay away from these people.
JIMMY - Anxiety Disorder - A condition in which one may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread, as well as physical signs like a pounding heart and sweating.
Jimmy is an interesting kid. He seems to attract bad luck regardless of how well things may be going. Is that where his constant fear and anxiety stems from? Most likely. He finds comfort in the protection that Sarah seems to provide, and is rarely seen without her by his side. When it comes to most situations, Jimmy usually responds with tears, fears, sweat and panic. Jimmy is viewed as weak by most of the other characters, but surprisingly does an alright job defending himself when Sarah isn’t present to do so. That being said, his inability to set aside worry and focus on finding joy in every situation severely hinders his quality of life.
Dr. Shane's notes: Poor poor Jimmy. Seems to be constantly internally preoccupied, and completely reliant on Sarah. Safe to say he probably spends most of his nights up until 4 am, thinking about how miserable this day is going to be. I think his time would be far better spent on thinking about how miserable everybody else day is going to be. Trust me, I have over 30 credits in psychology.
NAZZ - Bipolar Disorder - a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs and lows.
Ah, Nazz. The girl all the boys want, and the girl that none of them can get. Just about every boy that lives in the cul-de-sac has some sort of infatuation with Nazz, and they often sweat and stumble over words when speaking with her. On the surface, Nazz seems like a fun loving, laid back chick. She’s cool with just about everyone in the neighborhood, and always brings a light hearted energy to the episodes. However, and that is a big however, When Nazz snaps, it’s an immediate danger zone for anyone within a 5 mile radius. One second she has that sweet look on her face that you’re familiar with, the next she is scratching, punching, and kicking just about anything that’s in her way. Following these dangerous outbursts, she quickly returns to her kind ways, further showcasing the drastic highs and lows one with bipolar syndrome can experience.
Dr. Shane's notes: PSA for BPD
1. Read Matthew Walker’s book about sleep. Find a sustainable sleeping schedule, and be
2. Structure keeps you sane, have a daily planner. Plan a day filled with responsibility that feels
3. Forget rules 1 and 2. Obey Kanye.
KEVIN - Narcissistic Personality Disorder - A mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.
To some, Kevin was the cool kid of the group. To others, he was a bully that found joy in making fun of the Ed’s. Well, in some cases the Ed’s definitely needed to be put in line. Regardless of your thoughts on the kid, one fact that cannot be denied is the over confident, attention seeking way that Kevin lives his life. Kevin finds gratification in attention in a way that is only rivaled by Eddy. Hm, makes sense why they hate each other now doesn't it? He’s usually found with Rolf and Nazz, or working on his bike that he treats better than most of his friends. His constant quest for attention is most commonly apparent in his knack for humiliating others. My best guess would be that this hunger for attention comes from neglect in his home life. Or maybe he’s just an asshole.
Dr. Shane's notes: I know my illustrious psychology accolades are intimidating, but this is something I know for certain. You will encounter a Kevin at some point in your life. The more empathetic you are, the more you will attract. “You have to be a Monster to stay alive”- Jordan Peterson (Just not a wolf monster, don’t scare Rolf.)
THE KANKER SISTERS - Monomania - The exaggerated or obsessive enthusiasm for or preoccupation with one thing.
From the moment you first meet the Kanker sisters, you immediately understand their sole purpose in their life. Their wildly aggressive infatuation with the Ed’s frequently leads to chaotic situations for both parties. They’ll stop at literally nothing to earn the hearts of the shows three main characters. If you look up kidnapping, abuse, and assault in the dictionary, you’ll find pictures of Lee, Marie, and May Kanker respectfully. There is only one circumstance within the entirety of the show that these three sisters are NOT trying to obtain the love of the Ed’s. In the episode “A Twist of Ed”, the boys experiment with reverse psychology on the Kankers to give them a taste of their own medicine. The girls don’t know how to act, and ultimately the experiment worked. Eventually the girls catch on and everything is restored to normal. Just goes to show you can’t stop a monomaniac. Especially three.
Dr. Shane's notes: We are taught at a young age to stay away from things that are too good to be true. Lester the Molester does not want to give you candy, and there’s no shot 3 girls are attracted to you at the same time.
Upon wrapping up this trip beyond the superficial, I would like to thank Dr. Shane for his assistance with this piece. His ability to take on this project with me on such a short notice just goes to show great he is at his craft. Thank you Doc, until next time. As a reader you may look back and wonder “Dave, what was the point of discussing each of these characters?” Well, I understood that there was going to be a lot to unpack within this piece. I didn’t want the weight of the message to get lost within character discussions, so I opted to save the significance of this post for the conclusion. If you've made it this far, I thank you.
As you wander your way throughout life, one thing you'll discover is that these conditions, as well as many more, are much more common within the population than you may think. Some cases are far less serious than others, some are far more. Everyone deals with something. For some it is depression, for others it is anxiety, for others it might be one of the disorders listed above. As Dr. Law put it earlier:
"Everyone is sick in their own way, and you have to be conscious of that. So refrain from speaking Vietnamese in trees, or dressing up like a wolf at school."
Regardless of what you deal with, regardless of how severe it may be, there are people in your corner looking to help in anyway that they can. There are resources you can use to your advantage that will help you distinguish your role in this life. With that being said, just as there was a role for me within the Allegedly Blog, just as though there was a role for each kid in the neighborhood of Ed, Edd n Eddy, there is a role for everyone in this society regardless of their mental struggles. For those who are actively seeking assistance, and those who are genuinely trying to be a successful member of society despite their hardships, there is a place for you in this world.