1. Mr. Strong helps the farmer put out a fire in his cornfield. However, he needs very little persuasion to take advantage of the farmer’s gratitude, in order to feed his out-of-control egg habit, collecting an obscenely large basket of the chickens’ finest and using just one vulgar finger to carry the booty home.
Do the Mr. Men’s special powers have to over-ride their observance of common decency?
2. The people of Tiddletown are very pleased with themselves when they teach Mr. Nosey a lesson by vandalising the nose he sticks into their business with paint and clothes pegs etc.
They think their plan has really worked because Mr. Nosey stops being so nosey and soon becomes very good friends with everybody in Tiddletown, in effect giving him a licence to hear all their secrets without having to appear remotely curious.
Who’s having the last laugh?
3. When the people of Seatown realise how confused Mr. Muddle is, they set about getting him to help them with their chores by telling him to do the opposite of what it is they want him to do.
Is this really the way to treat someone with early onset Alzheimers?
4. When Jack gets bored in his history lesson, Mr. Daydream takes him on a magical trip involving a giant bird, an elephant, a crocodile, a boomerang, a snowdrift and a huge ten-gallon hat.
Is Mr. Daydream the Mr. Men’s drug dealer?
5. Something doesn’t smell right about Mr. Good.
Unlike the other Mr. Men, who must alter to stay in their environment, he simply leaves the nightmarish (but probably more interesting) Badland and strolls into Goodland, where he settles into a life of good deeds and pleasant exchanges with his neighbours.
He also looks different to his Mr. Men friends.
Is that because he wasn’t created by Roger Hargreaves at all, but by his son, Adam Hargreaves?
6. Mr. Clumsy negotiates his story unscathed: despite causing mayhem amongst the villagers they allow him to stay true to his nature.
If Mr. Clumsy were to talk to the other Mr. Men who have been ‘put right’ by their communities, would he feel lucky that he has passed under the radar or would he wonder why nobody seems to care?
7. Mr. Forgetful has a fairly hard time dealing with his amnesia on a day-to-day basis but the people of the village are used to him and try to give him prompts, to help him out.
Then one day the policeman asks him to pass on a message to Farmer Fields that there’s a sheep loose in the lane.
This causes Mr. Forgetful to be feel extremely agitated and subsquently embarrassed, when he mis-remembers and tells the farmer instead that there’s a goose asleep in the rain.
Is the policeman divisive or merely bone stupid?
8. Mr. Messy loves being a shambles.
Then he meets the sinister Mr. Neat and Mr. Tidy, who bundle him into their car against his will and drive him to the other side of the wood.
Once there, they set about making his house a sterile showroom and giving him a bath against his wishes.
When they are finished, he is a lobotomised, homogenous blob, with scared eyes, devoid of all his life-affirming disorderliness.
Finally, the architects of his undoing force him to make jokes about having to change his name, even as he looks, for all the world, like a ribena grape in the throes of a nervous breakdown.
Is this the most depressing of all the Mr. Men books?