Upchuck is a one-gag character – at least it seemed so, until the “Life in the Past Lane” episode. What other hidden talents may he possess? Dare we fanfic authors look too closely at the inner Upchuck? Some do. One did it better than anyone else.
The Award for the Best Story starring Upchuck goes to…
I swear, John Takis doesn’t have photos of me in compromising positions. I’m really NOT trying to suck up to him. Can I help it if he’s just really good at this stuff?
John tells the story of Upchuck in an interesting way – having received an E-mail from the Chuckster himself, John apparently got in touch with the one and only Mister Feisty and agreed to publish his memoirs, such as they are.
The great thing about this piece of work is how Upchuck comes across as so hopelessly self-deluded, and yet one can almost understand how he draws his erroneous conclusions regarding the, er, esteem in which others hold him. John’s version of Upchuck does such a splendid job of convincing himself of his own greatness, we are almost drawn in with him.
The point of a character study (and, though there is a definite plot, a character study is what this is) is to offer insight into the mind of its lead – and we do, indeed, learn something about Upchuck. He is genuinely proud of himself. He sees himself as a paragon of honesty and virtue. He makes no compromises, no apologies for his behavior. With Upchuck, what you see is what you get, however unappealing it may be. One can’t help but see him in a new light, and admit that he has at least one positive quality. Even Daria is compelled to reconsider her image of him.
The climactic moment of the story, which would have seemed contrived in any other, fits perfectly in this piece. Upchuck saves the day? You have to love it. And the way in which he does it is pure Ruttheimer.
Finally, the thing I liked most about this story is that Upchuck never has a moment of truth, when he realizes that his style is absolutely repellant to those he wants most to impress. He never has a change of heart, never gives up his persona and becomes a decent, respectful individual. He is what he is, a high-school Larry Flynt. No apologies necessary.
Read all about the Vomitous One here