by Rebecca Mayer
Pete and Pete is full of characters that are a part of every human being. Every character carries a trait that can be found in each one of us. We are all Pete and Pete.
Take older Pete, for example, the narrator of the story of Wellsville. There is a Pete in all of us, narrating the story of our own life. He is the deep and thoughtful side of us. He is the sometimes shy, yet always honest older brother we all wish we could have. He makes his emotions known, yet he is the sincere, tell-it-like it-is kind of personality we all display at times.
And younger Pete, the spirited little boy we all once were. The dreamer, the schemer. When we see Pete's anger, we feel the anger we feel inside of us, rage at the world's evil people. His insults and curses are the words we have all wanted to use at one time, but have never had the guts to do. Pete is guts. He is everyone's guts.
Ellen Josephine Hickle, Pete's best friend, is like everyone's best friend. She is a sensitive, caring, person, who wants to be a good friend. But Ellen has a drive. She has set clear goals for this lifetime. She wants to be something, the something we all want to be, and just like Ellen feels determined to reach the stars, so do we. Ellen is the determination in all of us.
Younger Pete's best friend, Nona F. Mecklinburg, is perhaps one of the hardest characters of the show to understand. But that is just another thing we all share. At times we are unreadable, hard to get into. Nona's casts represent the casts we all wear, trying correct what accidents, or mistakes, might have happened in our lifetimes. Her candy necklaces represents the strange idiosynchricies that we are all sensitive yet open about.
"Pete, I'm a Kreb Scout." Monica is clear about what she feels. She works hard to get her merit badges, just like we all work endlessly to get the merit we feel we deserve. Monica is the part of us that is not afraid to show itself the way it really is. Monica knows who she is, and she's proud of it. Her annoyance with Wayne is the same annoyance we all have with our admirers, no matter how adoring they may be.
Now let's talk about Wayne Pardue. His obsession with Monica is the same obsession we have all had with that special someone at one time and another. Wayne is a pain, just as our friends can feel about us every now and then. And we have all felt the same frustration and anger when that perfect white pair of tennis shoes got a drip of mud on them.
"What, you guys didn't know that?" The feeling of superiority is one we all feel at one time (some of us more than others), but Teddy seems to express it quite often. Teddy's strange ways of doing things are actually the way we all do things, strange and different from everybody else's. But Teddy's are truly odd, for example the exclamation uttered when he feels positive about something: "Excellentay!"
Bus Driver Stu seems to have a passion for the large, yellow form of mass transportation known as buses. Like Stu, we all have a calling in life that we are driven to. Stu's bus is another man's stethoscope, and another man's law book.
Pit Stain, the bully with the gland problem, is the insecure person we all feel like at times when it comes to problems. His sidekicks, Drawstring and Hairnet, are the strength in numbers we feel when we need to be one of the pack. But he is only human, and just wants to be addressed by his real name, Fran, just as we want to be seen for who we really are.
Don Wrigley, King of the Road, more commonly known as Pete & Pete's father, is the dad we all are our hope to be someday. He loves his lawn and gardening equipment, just as we love the things that are special to us. The strange fondness we all have for something different is represented by Don's fascination with the Hoover Dam. Don is everyone's father.
Mom, the woman that is everyone's happiness. She is sometimes too happy, leaving us wondering, "Is she for real?" Yet she is true happiness, the gen uine happiness that we all feel. Mom's metal plate is the unique feature we all possess but are comfortable with. We all have a metal plate, just like Mom.
So you see, within every one of us is every one of the people in Wellsville. And when you think about it, Wellsville is like the whole world. We can all learn from, laugh at, and grow to love Pete and Pete, just like we can ourselves.