I’m Cherie Johnson from “Punky Brewster” and I’m Suffocating Inside an Abandoned Refrigerator

Hello? Help! Punky? GRANDMA! Anyone! It’s me, Cherie Johnson, Punky Brewster’s adorable best friend as played by actress Cherie Johnson, which I bet is totally an existential mind fuck for our target audience of six to ten year olds. I suppose someone playing an eponymous character is less confusing to our young fans than trying to correctly pronounce Soleil Moon Frye, a name that sounds like a strain of hydroponic weed, but I guess we can’t blame IRL Punky for having hippie parents. Anyway, HELP! I’m trapped inside an abandoned refrigerator and I can’t get out! It’s a cold winter’s day but for some reason I was outside playing hide and seek with my friends Punky, Margaux, and that dumbass Allen, and I thought that this broken fridge would be the perfect hiding place even though they all said that I was bad at hide and seek! Well, the joke’s on them! True, I’ve trapped myself in an ancient icebox with a rapidly depleting oxygen supply but nobody can find me, so I sure proved them wrong! I mean, I hope they find me soon since it’s really cold and dark in here. I’m sure they will! No problemo! Although, Allen is “It” and he’s a total nimrod who can’t even find a different sweatshirt to wear every day, so maybe I should bang on this door that won’t open from the inside. HELP! PUNKY! MARGAUX! Shit, they’re probably still hiding. Whatever, I’m not asking that dipstick Allen for help.

You know, now that I think about it, maybe Punky’s gruff but lovable foster dad Henry Warnimont should have WARNimonted me not to hide in here. I was standing right next to this death trap when I told him we were playing hide and seek! He’s super old and never had kids before taking in a scrappy orphan, so I guess it didn’t occur to him to advise me of the dangers of discarded antique appliances EVEN THOUGH he had come into the yard with the express purpose of taking the door off to prevent a potential tragedy just like the one I find myself in now. Apparently children dying in abandoned refrigerators used to be a real national scourge until this episode terrified a generation of young viewers. You’re welcome, America!

But seriously, it’s freezing in here and I’m having a little trouble catching my breath. HELP! CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?? Wait, I can hear people out there! I can hear my best friends (except for that idiot Allen) who could save me from this frosty death prison, but I’m having difficulty yelling at the moment since I seem to be slipping slowly into numb oblivion. Instead of banging on this goddamn locked door again or making a desperate attempt to shout with my remaining breaths, according to the script it makes more sense if I just sit here quietly in the impenetrable gloom. What was that? OH, NOW HENRY IS WARNING THE OTHER KIDS NOT TO PLAY NEAR THE ABANDONED REFRIGERATOR? THANKS A FUCKING BUNCH, OLD MAN!

Wait, did I yell that out loud or just in my head? Nobody is opening the door to rescue me, so I guess it was in my head. Speaking of my head, it’s really spinning even though all I can see is bleak, bleak darkness. Hang on, did stupid Allen just say that it’s snowing out? That would be the perfect visual metaphor for the impending death that is slowly closing in upon me. It’s also good dramatic motivation for everyone else to go inside even though Punky just said that they can’t find me DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE GODFORSAKEN METAL BOX THAT CAN EASILY FIT A CHILD IS RIGHT FUCKING HERE! These writers really know what they’re doing, except for the thing where they couldn’t come up with a fictional name for me. PUNKY! HELP! Jesus Christ, I think that was only in my mind again. Hold up, did I just hear Henry say that he’s going to take the refrigerator door off AFTER it stops snowing? WHAT IN THE HELL, HANK! The petrified little kids watching at home probably don’t know what dramatic irony is, but they are neck deep in that shit now.

Wait a sec — I just heard the apartment building door slam shut so I’m guessing everybody has gone inside. According to the smart writers, now would be the perfect time to start banging again and actually yelling with what little strength I have left: HEY, I CAN’T GET OUT! GUYS, OPEN THE DOOR! IT’S DARK IN HERE! HEY, CAN YOU HEAR ME? I NEED HELP! PUNKY! HELP ME! Nothing? Damn it all, I don’t have the breath to scream into the void anymore. Now that I’m truly left alone to this cruel fate, I bet that the camera is zooming in on this junky-ass fridge nice and slow while the snow falls in ominous silence. THAT IS SOME CHILLING IMAGERY, BITCH, AND BY BITCH I MEAN ALLEN.

Fuck. I just used up way too much of the dwindling oxygen by yelling at the empty yard. I really can’t breathe now, but on the plus side I’m starting to see a miasma of colors swim before my eyes instead of peering into the abyss like I’ve been doing since I climbed into this frigid tomb. Maybe they’ll find me soon, and hopefully Punky and Margaux can use those CPR skills that they conveniently learned at school in the first half of the episode. Our cool teacher Mike had to be a teacher instead of a friend when he sent that moron Allen to the principal’s office for not taking the CPR training seriously enough. Good thing Punky and Margaux know just what to do should some sort of emergency situation arise. What a relevant plot point! Those writers! I guess I can’t be mad that they didn’t give me a fictional character name because then the title of this episode wouldn’t be “Cherie Lifesaver.” Nobody ever named an episode after you with a fucking pun, ALLEN. Suck on THAT!

Oh God…my breathing is so shallow, but wow, these colors are beautiful, man. It’s like gazing at Punky’s funky mismatched ensembles or her garishly painted bedroom. No, it’s like a sunset! Did you know Soleil means “sun” in French? I really hope Sunny rescues me soon from this busted fridge because I really could use some artificial respiration and did I tell you? She learned how to do CPR at school from our cool teacher Mike! HOLY SHIT, YOU GUYS! Earlier in the episode, Spunky said it was too bad the broken refrigerator wasn’t a person, because then we could give it first aid, and now I NEED FIRST AID. Whoa…have I BECOME the refrigerator because I’m INSIDE of the refrigerator? OR IS THE REFRIGERATOR INSIDE OF ME? WHAAAT! God, I really can’t fucking breathe in this piece of shit ice chest. THE ICE IS IN MY CHEST AND THAT’S WHY I CAN’T BREATHE, HAHAHA! Crap, I think I’m dying. At least I’ll never have to see Allen again.

Am I dead? I must be alive because I’m still thinking about this preventable tragedy/teachable moment. I think, therefore I am, AMIRITE? I AM WHAT I AM! HAHAHA! I YAM WHAT I YAAAAM!! YAAASSS! POPEYE IS AWESOME! No, come on, Cherie! FOCUS! FOCUS ON THE COLORS…Wait…am I hallucinating? I just had a strange vision that Margaux joined a Girl Scout troop in Beverly Hills and that Diane from Cheers was there in some spectacular outfits. Nah, that can’t have been real…even though Margaux IS kind of a rich bitch. THAT is for real.

PUNKY! WHERE ARE YOU? ACCORDING TO THE THEME SONG YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THERE EVERY TIME I TURN AROUND! WHAT ABOUT WHEN I’M STUCK IN A FUCKING FRIDGE, HUH?! I can’t…no air…COME ON, CHERIE, FIGHT IT…suddenly I’m no longer cold…Punky, say goodbye to Grandma for me and divide up my collection of fashionable sweatbands amongst yourselves, except for that shithead Allen.

GASP! I’m outside! They found me! I’M ALIVE!! Punky and Margaux performed CPR like goddamn champs thanks to cool teacher Mike’s cool teaching. Instead of rotting in an early grave I’m blinking in the snow like freaking Dorothy in the poppy field, all thanks to them! But no thanks to that loser Allen, who’s over there sobbing by the abandoned refrigerator that almost killed me. What a wang. Fucking Allen.

Like what you read? Give Margaret O’Neil Girouard a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.