The Giant Purple Snorklewacker first appeared in the Bloom County comic strip
back in 1983
. He was called the Giant Purple Snorklewacker because he was giant and purple but we never actually saw him whack any snorkles so his name may be misleading. Though mostly harmless
, with a well-versed vocabulary
worse than his bite, the Snorklewacker's purpose in existence was to live inside Binkley
's anxiety closet
and come out every night to torment and scare poor little Binkley. After Binkley's father Tom divorced Binkley's mother Margaret, the Giant Purple Snorklewacker began to appear in order to introduce all of Binkley's anxieties and fears to him. Giant Purple Snorklewackers can usually only be seen by young people, and only at night while they're in bed. They're generally polite creatures, but do have a job to perform and take their work very seriously.
Snorklewacker: "Psst! Binkley! Over here!... On behalf of myself and the rest of your subconscious anxieties, we thought you should be given advance notice regarding our plan to jump out and grab you this evening."
Binkley: "Thank you."
Binkley: "A closet full of courteous anxieties is of dubious comfort."
However, the Snorklewacker was only the emcee of the festivities. He would introduce Binkley to countless anxieties and fears. Being a young child of the 80s, Binkley was not afraid of conventional things like monsters and vampires and werewolves. His anxieties were a bit more complex. They included the following.
- Norma the Nuke, a full-bodied United States ICBM on a countdown to land on top of his bed.
- a voluptuous 80s woman, expecting nothing less than for Binkley to ignite her toes and constantly supply her with hormonal fireworks.
- Mike Wallace and a CBS news crew interrogating Binkley for sneaking a peek at a Playboy while in a Seven Eleven the previous morning.
- a laboratory scientist informing Binkley his position as a child has been terminated, to be replaced by a computer.
- Yuri Andropov made a few appearances. However this was a mistake of address. Yuri was scheduled to make an appearance at the president's anxiety closet.
- Fidel Castro once knocked on his closet door, but this was also a mistake, and Ronald Reagan was subjected to the Snorklewacker.
- Binkley's friendly neighborhood librarian appeared before him with very large battle axes, displeased with the fact his library book was 119 week overdue.
- Anxieties to be! Including Butch Ledberger who would be beating him up in front of the girl's locker room at school in a few years, and Betsy Marple, the first girl he would ever kiss, to horrifying consequences.
Sometimes the Giant Purple Snorklewacker would follow Binkley to school, but instead of threatening to eat him, he would sit behind Binkley, pay attention in class and participate in pop quizzes, even though he didn't know the answers. "Psst! What's the pythagorean theorum?" Although the Snorklewacker never ate Binkley, he did eat Binkley's father on at least one occasion. Milo Bloom was also nabbed by the Snorklewacker and taken off-panel for reasons that were never fully disclosed.
Binkley's anxiety closet was not completely filled with anxieties. Once he found a Giant Winged Shnozlepuss and flew around on the creature's back. He had a wonderful time. Unfortunately the Dream Patrol paid a visit to him afterwards, due to several complaints involving the Brooke Shields women only health club, and dive-bombing James Watt with pinecones. On a separate occasion, Binkley had a disturbing dream in which he was Luke Skywalker, Opus the penguin was R2-D2 and he cut off the head of George Lucas because "Jedi knights don't wait 15 years for a sequel." The Snorklewacker had nothing directly to do with that one.
Snorklewacker: "Oh Binkley!! Hello! Hello! Your closet of anxieties is again open for subconscious displeasure! Well?! What horrors would you like tonight? Monsters? Poltergeists? Dentists? Wait! I know... Cockroaches walking on your ceiling!!"
Binkley: "Cockroaches walking on my ceiling?"
Snorklewacker: "Clumsy cockroaches walking on your ceiling."
Binkley: "Yeah. Right. I'm terrified."
Snorklewacker: "Guess who sleeps with his mouth open!"
The Snorklewacker was not always very bright. Binkley was once almost able to trick the Snorklewacker into sending out Natassia Kinski to give him a swedish massage by pretending he wouldn't enjoy it, but when Binkley got greedy and asked for a slice of cheesecake to go along with her, the Snorklewacker caught on. As the years progressed, the Giant Purple Snorklewacker slowly appeared less and less. Binkley learned to face his fears and anxieties, and though one might not necessarily say he was all the better for it, he certainly was a survivor. When Bloom County's run was over, replaced with the comic strip Outland, the Snorklewacker never returned. However, it is theorized he's still out there somewhere, assigned by the Dream Patrol to another anxiety closet, tormenting some other little insecure lad. Or perhaps you'll wake up in the middle of the night, and your closet door will be open just a crack, and hovering over you will be a courteous and polite giant purple snorklewacker.
Okay. I'm pushing it.