The current crop of squees stirred an interesting thought from Sheldon reader Noah A. about the relationship between Flaco and Arthur. It's a character-construction idea I had never before formalized in thought, and I found it interesting. Here's his idea:
This just came to me, I noticed a parallel between Flaco & Arthur and R2-D2 & C3PO.
Here's my angle: In a recent interview with Anthony Daniels [the actor who played C3PO in "Star Wars"], the interviewer gave Daniels props for helping to create R2-D2's character; seeing as he was with R2 the majority of the time, he understood him and translated that vocally to the audience, thus R2's character being born right there on the screen. Well, I feel the same goes for good ol' Arthur & Flaco. Arthur obviously being the "C3PO" figure in this case, helping the audience understand Flaco and his personality. Granted, Flaco has much more to work with as far as true expression than our famous, dome-shaped droid, with his bulbous eyes, flexible body (and tongue, mind you). However, I really do feel that Arthur is just as much part of Flaco's character as Flaco himself is. Does that make any sense?
It does, actually. And I had never really thought of it that way before. In fact, I'm now sifting my brain, trying to think of mute or near-mute fictional characters who have been "translated" for by another character... and so become part-and-parcel of the audience's relationship with them...?
Penn & Teller? Laurel & Hardy? Groucho and Harpo? ...I guess there's some truth to the idea, Noah! Neat thought!