Back in the '80s, there was a cartoon called The Smurfs about little blue people who lived in giant mushrooms. It was a goofy show that came on after all of the good cartoons. Like Bugs Bunny. That rascally rabbit was a dick. But his shenanigans were hilarious. Or that big doofus chicken Foghorn Leghorn. I always hated that guy, but was I really going to change the channel and miss the next round of Bugs vs. Elmer? No, because Bugs would tie Elmer's gun in a knot and Elmer would blow up his own face and it was awesome. Changing the channel meant standing up, walking across the room, turning the knob on the TV, and hoping I didn't lose reception, because we lived in the woods and our rooftop antenna was no match for the towering pines. Cable hadn't come to town, and there were only three channels, so I could watch cartoons, or Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Or I could get off my ass and go outside. But there was a whole weekend ahead of me to do that. So I went with the cartoons. And after the good cartoons, there was The Smurfs.
Outdoors, there were trees. Most of them had pine needles, but a few of them had leaves. One leaf is just that: a leaf. More than one leaf, is "leaves". But while one Smurf is a Smurf, more than one Smurf is apparently "Smurfs". It should have been "Smurves". Most kids would have been confused by that, but I would have loved it. The Smurfs was an afterthought that I watched reluctantly while waiting for my dad to finish cooking bacon for breakfast. The Smurves would have been a religious experience. TV executives don't know shit about marketing to kids.
In 1976, Schwinn sold a little blue bike called the Schwinn Bantam. Since The Smurves were also little and blue, maybe Schwinn should have called the Bantam "The Smurf". The 1976 Schwinn catalog could have had some fantastic copy. "Hey kids, check out the great new Schwinn Smurf! Yes, each bike this year's line-up of Schwinn Smurves features a rugged steel frame, bright metallic paint, 20-inch wheels, a reliable Bendix coaster brake made by our friends in Mexico, a Smurfy blue-and-white Schwinn seat, flashy chrome fenders to keep mud off of your bell-bottom Toughskins, and a frame conversion bar so little boys and little girls can ride the Schwinn Smurf in comfort and style! So head to your local Schwinn Dealer to see the full selection of Schwinn Smurves today!"
But The Smurves was a 1980s show. And the Schwinn Bantam was a 1970s bike. It was little, it was blue (unless it was red, or green, or not blue), and you could have parked it inside a giant mushroom. It really was very Smurfy. Unfortunately it was also eight years too early for a cartoon merchandising tie-in. So Schwinn never produced any Schwinn Smurves. And if you were a kid in 1976, you had to settle for a 1976 Schwinn Bantam instead. Like this one.