Out of Contact

Apparently someone poured Fresca all over Embarq’s Internet connection here in Ohio, and it’s down in a big way, and the recorded message at customer service suggests it might not be back up until evening tomorrow. So, I’m likely not to be around all that much until they get things back under control, and I’ll probably be difficult to come by in e-mail as well (in case you’re wondering, I’m writing this at the local library). You’re on your own, folks. Try not to wreck the place between now and when I get back, okay? I thank you in advance for your cooperation.

To keep you busy, consider this an open thread. Converse among yourselves. Your conversational starter: the Smurfs and the Care Bears in a knife fight. Who wins? Be realistic, now.

66 Comments on “Out of Contact”

  1. Well, the smurfs have force of numbers, but Care Bears are taller and have that Care Bear Stare ranged attack thing.

  2. Are you kidding me? The smurfs are a no-brainer. Think about it, about 200 male smurfs, one female smurf is a breeding ground for pent up sexual drive sublimated into a caustic cauldron of seething hate. And lest you forget, the smurfs had “Jokey” if I recall, whose idea of a fun time was a bomb-laden gift.

    /Never bring a knife to a bombing.

  3. Care Bears are big and fluffy – they can take a hit or two. Not so the Smurfs. In terms of physicality, the Care Bears have the advantage.

    The only way the Smurfs have a chance is through organization, coordination and strategy – which they seem to hace a knack for.

    I say the Smurfs win. But it’ll cost them. Ultimately, it’s the Cabbage Patch Kids who benefit the most from the ensuing power vacuum.

  4. The Smurfs would win, of course. Because, well, Smurfs with knives are basically Nac Mac Feegles, aren’t they?

    It’s a short road from Smurfs with cutlery to Smurfs with blades, tattoos, kilts, and a taste for whiskey… pun intended.

  5. Stabby Smurf takes the lead in the early rounds, only to be stymied by NRA Bear in the finals. In the end, Armageddon Smurf and Nuclear Bear makes surprise entrances, obliterating the stadium and Hasbro’s management team, thus saving mankind.

  6. Care Bears have opposable thumbs, but no fingers, so they’d fight like they were wearing mittens. So I give it to the Smurfs.

    Michelle, why would John keep the chocolate ice cream in the drawers?


  7. But don’t the Smurfs have much smaller knives? Even a Smurf sword probably can’t penetrate a Care Bear’s stuffing to get to their already bleeding little hearts. Although I am kinda seeing the “Little Ash” in Army of Darkness thing going for the Smurfs. Still I’ll take the Care Bears’ bigger knives FTW.

  8. My question to you in the pro-smurf camp is this: has the Care Bear Stare ever been defeated? All the organization in the world is not going to be enough to overtake the energy of the focused good will (except for Grumpy Bear) shot from the abdomen of the Care Bears.

    Plus, just think about it. It’s bears against little blue creatures. I rest my case.

  9. I’m firmly in the “don’t bring a knife to a magic-zappy-abdomen fight” camp; the advantage of superior standoff capability should not be underestimated.

    That said, it’s anyone’s guess what’ll happen when both sides call in their secret reinforcements, viz., the Gummi Bears and the My Little Ponies, respectively.

  10. The Smurfs. The Care Bears are synonymous with wimpy behaviour, even if they have The Stare. (Which, I believe, requires a full complement of Care Bears. Remove or incapacitate one Care Bear, and problem solved.) Whereas the Smurfs are kinda like fire ants or a plague of locusts. They spread everywhere…I kind of imagine them crawling over the Care Bears to strip the Care Flesh from the Care Bones.

    (Also, occasionally I wonder if Wee Free Men and Terry Pratchett was ever influenced by the Smurfs. But the point is, Beware small blue guys. They are dangerous.)

  11. Maybe while we’re at it, My Little Pony could get turned into glue, and Strawberry Shortcake made into dessert?

  12. I’m not sure it would be much of a knife fight, being that neither Care Bears nor Smurfs have been shown to be very good with melee weapons. Except maybe for Howling Psycho Smurf, but he was only in that one episode (season two, “A Shank For Handy”) and wouldn’t be available. I expect there would be a lot of fumbling, self-stabbing and friendly fire. Eventually it would come down to raw feral might, and the Care Bears very likely clean up in that respect. Smurfs are prey animals by nature, while Care Bears are vicious predators who bury their rending, tearing, barehanded-salmon-catching tendencies under a thin veneer of civilization. Gouge that away and you’ve got a field of dead Smurfs, with Gargomel starting on his second page of notes.

  13. Smurfs by a land slide. Superiority in numbers. The Papa Smurf organizational factor. While the care bears are standing around getting organized the Smurfs would be tearing off the bears pastel pelts.

    As a general rule Papa Smurf gives an order the the smurfdom executes, done!

    The care bears all stand around and discuss the matter in committee for a while before taking action.

    Blue guys FTW!

  14. If I ever ended up in Cartoon Thailand watching this sort of illegal death match, I’d have to place my money on the Smurfs. Sure a Care Bear is bigger, but remember they’re only about two feet tall. Proportionately, I don’t think the bear’s size would give them as big of an edge against the Smurfs as one might think. The Smurfs are organized and have some brilliant tacticians among their ranks so they most likely would know to use a distraction in the front while making a coordinated attack against the Care Bear from behind so they can take out both Achilles Tendons. From that point forward it’s a slice and dice fest on a Care Bear that can’t get up off its back, soon a neck’s going to get cut. As for the Care Bear Stare attack, well that stare thing can only shoot in the direction the bear’s belly is pointed. It’ll probably take out some of the Smurfs running distraction, but once the bear’s brought to the ground, that stare ain’t nothing but a pretty rainbow going up into the air. Also, don’t let yourself get suckered into making those secondary bets on how many Smurfs will make it out of the ring alive or how long the fight will last. Sure, the payout odds look nice if you can guess right, but you’re basically playing roulette at that point and you’ll make more money sticking to betting on who wins the fight.

    I’ve given something on Scalzi’s blog too much thought again, haven’t I?

  15. I am adamantly convinced, that should a Care Bear revert to the wild, and become enraged, as it would in a knife fight with a Smurf, it would be able to emit a Rainbow from its chest more destructive than a cannon shooting napalm.

    Should several Care Bears do this the destruction of he Smurf kingdom would be unparalleled. The feral Care Bears would link their arms as though in a synchronized dance and run around in a circle. Their perfect rainbow weapon of death would incinerate all the Smurfs, leaving only elderly Smurfs with horrible burn scars to cart away the bodies, occasionally falling teary eyed to the ground to pick up a lump of metal that used to be a knife.

    Then the elderly burn scarred Smurfs would cry, and wonder why they had brought knives to a rainbow fight. After this, due to the damage to their skin, the Smurfs would have to eke out an existence in caves, eventually losing all pigment, and then even the power of speech.

  16. Smurfs, without question. Papa Smurf would be able to whip up a potion that nullifys the abdomen happy zappers, and after that it’s just a question of numbers.

    As for the size difference, since Smurfs are three apples high and therefore their swords would probably be approximately 1.5 apples, or 4.5 inches, that’s plenty to put the hurt on a bear which, judging from their relative size to the animated kids in the show, can’t be more than 2-3 feet tall.

  17. I think that on natural advantages, Care Bears.

    But the Smurfs, in a deathmatch, won’t stick to knives, they’ll go out and innovate magically or mechanically (bows and arrows? catapult? something seriously wrong involving that stash of plutonium Papa Smurf has been hiding from the IAEA?).

    Civilization wins. Perhaps in radioactive ruins, but it wins.

  18. Smurfs when by sheer numbers alone. While there may be heavy collateral damages on their part, the Smurfs will be the smurfing smurftastic victors at the end of the battle.

    The key to Smurf victory will be in separating the Care Bears so that they can’t hold hands and cast their diabolical magic making the Smurfs all happy and feeling Smurfy towards one another (and the Bears). Provided they can do this successfuly I predict a landslide victory of smurfitable proportions.

    The only other factor to consider is the Gargamel Unknown. If the Care Bears seek to engage in mastermining tactics with Gargamel and Azrael—using them as a distraction so that they can employ their W.M.L. (Weapon of Mass Love) , a.k.a. the “Care Bear Shine” on the smurf village…

    My vote is still Smurfs.

  19. Smurfs, for one reason: Grumpy Smurf. While the Care Bears — and most of the Smurfs — have been busy looking on the bright side of life, Grumpy Smurf has been practicing hand-to-hand combat, mixed martial arts, knife skills, honing his accuracy with various thrown sharp pointy things, as well as storing food in bulk and putting his savings into gold, silver, and guns.

    Now, his time has come. The Smurfs will win, but the aftermath will be ugly.

  20. In free combat I have to agree that the Care Bear Stare would obliterate the Smurfs. (This is assuming we’re talking about the 1980s Care Bears – the current computer generated Care Bears are loathsome and shall not be mentioned ever again.) However, if we’re talking about a straight knife fight and no ranged attacks then the Smurfs would win hands down. Smurfs are meaner than Care Bears. They’ll rip you to shreds, man.

  21. You want us to be realistic?! Since when do you think the Smurfs or Care Bears would be involved in knife fights? Someone here has little grip on reality….

  22. Smurfs. There are more of them. And they’re small. It’d be like fighting a colony of ants. With knives.

  23. The Smurfs, no question. While the Smurfs may be Communist hippies, they’ve be fighting a larger, more powerful enemy for years now without losing a single Smurf. The Care Bears, on the other hand, are pacifists who go around spread joy and love. Their greatest enemies are grumpy children. Sure, grumpy children are annoying, but Gargamel will EAT YOU.

  24. I think the Smurfs would take the early advantage, since the Care Bears are very non-violent and about hugging kids and stuff. But since the Smurfs are smaller, they’d need much bigger numbers to overwhelm the Care Bears. And yes, there are a million Smurfs but there are also a million Care Bears. I say as soon as Grams Bear goes down, the other bears are going to get pissed and use the Care Bear Stare on the Smurfs, which will be tough, since they’ll have to angle it downward. But eventually the stare will prevail.

    But not without great casualties on both sides.

  25. Original Fresca, or the black cherry variant?

    Sorry, but given the choice between Care Bears and Smurfs, my heart goes out to the abused network gear.

  26. If we’re really lucky, most of both sides will be killed in the fight, and the survivors will be so badly injured that the bleed out. All of which leaves an interesting crime scene that takes Gill Grissom, Horatio Caine, Mac Taylor, and Leroy Jethro Gibbs to sort out.

  27. Everyone seems to be leaning Smurfs, which naturally makes me lean CBs (Always bet against the public. See: Superbowl XLII). And besides, I think the bears have a chance. I mean, they’re bears. Have you ever seen a CB open its mouth? No? That is probably because of the jagged rows of teeth it needs to hide (it hides them because of its job, which is to remain endearing to children. Can’t do that with all those nasty teeth on display). A mouth which, as luck would have it, could probably chew four or five Smurfs at a time (if the CB in question didn’t just swallow them whole). And don’t forget the clawless paws are only clawless because the claws are retractable.

    You say the Smurfs have superiority in numbers? I say that’s just more blue meat to eat. Care Bears all the way. It’d be like throwing Smurfs in a pen full of rabid wolverines.

  28. Advantage: Care Bears. They’re larger, and therefore capable of holding larger knives. Likewise, some of them are capable of distance attacks, and group-think assaults (think, “Care Bear STARE”).

    Besides, I would argue that the bears as individuals almost certainly have more hit points than a wee small smurf without any body fat or muscle mass to speak of. So not only could the bears take more aggravated damage without losing efficacy, but they can also inflict greater damage even when injured.

  29. The Smurfs, definitely. They have the smurfiest smurfs and when you really get them smurfed, they completely smurf out. No question, the Care Bears would be smurfing smurfed.

  30. The Smurfs. There are hundreds of them, they have a secret magical plant (Smurf berries) and Grandpa Smurf. Never under estimate the ‘pa.

  31. The Smurfs would be winning by numbers alone, at first. (think Soviet Russia circa WWII). But eventually, other Bears would have to mobilize for all Bearkind. Yeah, the Care Bears are all manner of wussified, but they’re still Bears. The Gummi clan won’t sit still for too long. Jumping bears with knives and jumping. Little blue puddles of guts all over the place.

  32. Smurfs. No contest.

    Have you SEEN what happens to those whom oppose them? Gargamel and Azrael never really knew what hit them (well, yeah, smurfs, but I digress.).

    Note that while smurfs have internal struggles and even actual fights, they immediately gang up on any external enemy.

    Also, they have some incredibly gifted engineers (anybody read the Weather Machine short?) and of course Papa Smurf’s super advanced alchymistic science (OK, it’s magic. Smurf are Fantasy, not SF).

    I believe their engineers could build formidable weapons, and their magic could most certainly deal with the size issue.

    Oh, And Smurfette is a SILF. There. I said it. Shoot me.

  33. Smurfs.

    They’re organized, yes, but also devious. See good ‘ol Garg’s difficulties.

    I foresee ricin-tainted microshivs being in use here; Brainy will probably spring a nasty pungee-toothpick trap or two… Also, the hidden magnetic knives in their little white britches ensure that the ones that follow Matt’s (#38) culinary advice will keel over from intestinal perforation even if they manage to escape.

    The rainbow coalition is powerless against the monochomatic marauders. The only way the bears would stand a chance is if they took them completely by surprise.

    Justme, I made squeaky noises and turned funny colors trying not to laugh too loudly.

  34. Well, if they kill each other, the public wins. Otherwise, it really doesn’t matter. Now if they could take the My Little Pony crowd with them, so much the better.

  35. Care bears would win for a very simple reason. In a knife fight, the person who can land the most blows wins. A crucial factor affecting this is bodily integrity. Presumably, smurfs have organs, blood, etc. Care bears of course do not–they are made of stuffing. Stuffing is not harmed by knives; thus, care bears can take the knife in the gut and then return the favor causing death, destruction, and mayhem. Plus, their deceptively cuddly appearance will distract the smurfs from their impending doom.

  36. It would be the Care Bears. Between the Care Bear Cousins and the annoying mass of new bears they’ve come up with during the current generation of toys, the Smurf’s really only have about a 2-1 numbers advantage, and the Care Bears are much bigger. It wouldn’t quite be like stomping aliens on whatever that planet was called in OMW, but it would definitely be a massacre.

  37. Please pretend I didn’t add that extraneous apostrophe to Smurfs. I can has grammar!

  38. I simply can’t believe that I went to Wikipedia to compare the powers of each. BUT after some calculations and deep thought I will go with…

  39. Well i would have to say that the smurfs would win being that they are smaller and there are more of them… not to mention they can crawl inside the carebears and rip the stuffing out of them… literally!

  40. I bet there’s already been an entire series of Cabinet meetings on this very subject.

  41. People, people have you not seen this? The Care Bears would totally annihilate the Smurfs! Look at what they did to their own cousins! Bears ftw!

    ‘Nuff said

  42. It all comes down to what the care bears do when the first of them falls to the blue swarm. It will be gruesome: dozens of tiny knives reducing the skin of a care bear to ribbons, letting his lifestuffing fluff out onto the cold ground – if the bears can keep their cool and unite to drive off the attack, they can decimate their tiny foes, but it is much more likely that panic will set in and they will scramble, easy pickings for the swarm.

  43. The Smurfs described below would be no threat to the Care Bears at all.

    What follows is a blatant rip-off of the 1969 novel Bored of the Rings, a masterpiece of Tolkien parody. Adapted from the Prologue, with a simple search-and-replace inserting Smurfs. Rip-off begins:


    Smurfs are an unattractive but annoying people…. Slow and sullen, and yet dull, they prefer to lead simple lives of pastoral squalor. They don’t like machines more complicated than a garrote, a blackjack, or a luger, and they have always been shy of the “Big Folk” or “Biggers” as they call us. As a rule they now avoid us, except on rare occasions when a hundred or so will get together to dry-gulch a lone farmer or hunter. They are a little people, smaller than dwarves, who consider them puny, sly, and inscrutable and often refer to them as the “Smurfie peril.” They seldom exceed three apples in height, but are fully capable of overpowering creatures half their size when they get the drop on them…. [As for the best known tribe of Smurfs] Their faces have a pimply malevolence that suggests a deep-seated fondness for making obscene telephone calls, and when they smile, there is something in the way they wag their foot-long tongues that makes Komodo dragons gulp with disbelief. They have long, clever fingers of the sort one normally associates with hands that spend a good deal of time around the necks of small, furry animals and in other people’s pockets, and they are very skillful at producing intricate and useful things, like loaded dice and booby traps. They love to eat and drink, play mumbledy-peg with dim-witted quadrupeds, and tell off-colour dwarf jokes.

  44. Everybody?

    Carebears, being bears, would have the whole bite thing to throw in with each stab. Smurfs are also subject to the “I wonder what they would taste like” short-coming suffered by so many cartoon characters. Carebears probably taste like bear so in the interest of science and culinary arts, they have the homecourt advantage…in a televised show like such a fight would have to be (you know, considering they both live only on TV) that may actually be the deciding factor. People do love a happy ending.

  45. I think it is obvious that any Smurf advantage in speed / swarming will be nullified by the Gummis. You know what the floor of a movie theater is like for full-sized adult humans–for little blue pests it would be Smurfpaper. The Care Bears could mop up with jumbo swatters.

  46. Clarify the rules here: knives only- no Care Bear Stares allowed??? JUST the Care Bears, NO Cousins allowed??? Totally the Smurfs- hands down!

    Of all the Bears, I think only Grams Bear and Grumpy Bear would be left standing- tho I have faith Hugs & Tugs would give total hell, but they’d go down eventually. The rest- especially Funshine and Cheer Bear; I predict they go down like bitches in the first few minutes. Sleepy Bear might survive unscathed if only due to the fact that he’d find himself a burned out car to sleep in thus hiding until the rumble is over.

    My money’s totally on the Smurfs. You’ve got Gardner Smurf (surely he knows how to wield a machete), Grouch Smurf (he’s totally packing a switchblade, he’s just that kind of dude)- Smurfette most definitely has daggers tucked in her garters under that dress of hers! Papa Smurf is a totally a hatchet man. Oh yeah. My money’s on the Smurfs.

    Throw in the Cousins- it could be a serious standoff- especially with the Lion and the Penguin… But the Care Bear stare would totally blow them all away if that comes into play during the fight at all.


    I’ve thought about this too much haven’t I?

  47. Hands down, the Care Bears, especially with the teamwork of the Care Bare Stare. The Smurfs won’t know what hit them…

  48. No-brainer…the CareBears. They have claws like daggers and would tear a smurf’s head off with their razor-sharp teeth. Stupid smurfs…

  49. mmmm it depends. Just smurfs and care bears, the smurfs definitely.

    But if you’re in the land of 80s cartoons, it would be the large stuffed animals – care bears, teddy ruxpin, the wuzzles, and gummi bears vs the small creatures – smurfs, david the gnome, and fraggles. Then it’s an all out war!

  50. Well looking at it with a neutral eye I’ve got to say that the Care Bears do have the size in their favor but at the same time we have the small Smurfs running circles around them. The only conclusion to this would seem to be a bloody battlefield littered with squished and care-stared Smurfs and cut up and bombed Care Bears…