The Stupid Time 'Where's Waldo' Ended Up On Libraries 'Most Challenged Books' List
Back in the early ‘90s, a certain Where’s Waldo? book got canceled in America because of a cartoon lady exposing a side nipple. Shocking stuff. Remember the famous beach scene?
If you look closely at the right side of the image just above the middle line, you’ll see a woman on a towel throwing her back out because some youngling is assaulting her with an ice-cream cone. Here, we’ll show you:
That, of course, isn’t the original image. This is:
Nevermind the fact that this little dweeb with his shorts already pointing weirdly is literally assaulting this woman on the beach while the men around her stare in glee. That was not the problem for the mothers of children who were only allowed to see the naked breasts of, well, their mothers. The problem was the nipple: That one black dot which, honestly, looks like an afterthought.
First to make an issue about the topless cartoon woman — created by an Englishman because nudity isn’t that big of a deal in Britain — was a mother in New Hampshire who, after buying the puzzle version of the image for her kids in 1992, presumably choked on her own pearls when she spotted the black dot. Skipping no beats, she immediately phoned the store to complain about the assault on her eyes and whatever it might’ve done to her primal urges, and the remaining puzzles were pulled from the shelves. A few months later, in East Hampton, New York, another mother discovered the tiny topless woman in the book itself after her 10-year-old son brought it home from the school library. When interviewed about the discovery, the boy was quoted as saying, “I think it’s, like, disgusting.” Which is obviously a thing all the adults around him said about many things all the time.
Nevertheless, the boy’s mom managed to get the school district to pull the filthy book from circulation. It ended up on the American Library Association’s “100 Most Challenged Books” list for the rest of the ‘90s, leaving mothers across the States with one less Sex Talk With The Kids to deal with. You know, on top of having to deal with their own kids’ inevitable boobies doodles.
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Top Image: Martin Hanford/Walker Books