Back when I was a kid in the 70’s there was a series of animated commercials for Starkist tuna that featured a blue fish dressed as a hipster, sporting a Greek fisherman’s hat and coke-bottle glasses. Since Charlie was so hip and cultured he was convinced his “good taste” would make him the perfect tuna for Starkist. Each commercial, however, he was shot down by other sea creatures who would tell poor Charlie, “StarKist doesn’t want tunas with good taste. Starkist wants tunas that taste good.” This was followed by a rejection letter in the form of a note attached to a fish hook with the simple words, “Sorry, Charlie” that went on to become an American catchphrase as well as words that would haunt me throughout my grade school years.
This day invites people to think about the depressing topic of rejection, but happily reflect on what they’ve learned from it. You see, those dumb commercials just kept airing with different scenarios showing how, despite rejection, Charlie refused to ever give up. I found this part comforting in my youth, when met with cries of “Sorry, Charlie!” yelled at me on the playground. I was a chubby kid too smart for his own good and I didn’t always fit in. But that didn’t stop me from always trying to fit in while deflecting the many barbs that people threw my way.
Though sharing my namesake with a tuna was tough, I was mostly just perplexed at the ridiculousness of those commercials. In short, Charlie was an idiot. He was a tuna who was basically campaigning to be murdered, ground up, and stuffed into a can. Though each tiny episode ended with the ultimate rejection of “Sorry, Charlie” one has to wonder about the ghoulish “happy ending” we would have been treated to had Charlie ever gotten his way. To me the real moral here is that oftentimes, not getting what we really want can be a good thing. So on this auspicious day, we can all cheer for Charlie the Tuna, content in the knowledge that sometimes, rejection is the best thing that never happened to you.
Join me any and all days you like during April by celebrating a National or International Day with a doodlewash! Tag your image #doodlewashaday and I’ll feature everyone who played along on doodlewash.com at the end of the month!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Azo Green, Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Red, Maroon Perylene, Gamboge, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink, second pen with sepia ink, and third pen with blue ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!