The very first time I read the comic strip of Calvin and Hobbes, I fell in love with it. Why? Because I connected with Calvin. Here is a kid whose imagination and creativity is always shunned by parents, teachers, babysitters and friends. The man who created the comic is a genius who has taken life’s moments from the eyes of a child and blown it all out of absurd proportions.
As a kid, my imagination, creativity and experimentation added bazillions of gray hairs to my parents’ weary heads. So today I apologize for all those moments. Dinosaurs were a huge fascination for me growing up. I would draw them and cut them out for playing – yes, paper dinosaurs. At the dinner table a chicken leg became the leg of a Brontosaur which the T-Rex (me) began tearing and devouring the flesh, medium rare. If it was liver, the T-Rex had to hold his nose and add mounds of mashed potatoes and gravy. Now do you see the similarity? Bath time was a time to learn new diving skills or ways to sink a plastic battleship in naval exercises. Oh, I gotta million of em, I promise you!
In the backyard, I had an area where I could take my plastic soldiers and build ramparts, fortresses and castles. Line all the men up in strategic formation, place “Black Cat” fireworks all around, and one-by-one let the bombs explode. Needless to say a new bucket of soldiers was always on my Christmas wish list. My epic battles required fresh recruits. I was also the young version of General George S. Patton “God help me, I love war.” So to complete my special effects, I took ash from the fireplace and held it high overhead the battle zone and dropped it. As it scatters, it does look like a real war zone. When my parents would walk by my mom might say “Your son needs help.” Then there was napalm, provided by gasoline or rubbing alcohol. “I love the smell of burning plastic in the morning!”
When confined indoors, I had to become more creative. My favorite was acting as a WWII fighter pilot. I’d lock myself in my mother’s bathroom with two cans of her hairspray close to my eyes. Any poor fly trapped in there was my arch nemesis. I followed any fly around firing my weapons. Needless to say it takes two cans to bring down just one fly. Not an efficient weapon, but heat seeking missiles were not at my disposal nor in the military budget of said mother. I wasn’t smart enough to clean up the mess and hide my weapons of mass destruction. So as my mother sat down on the commode and stuck there, that’s when I went into the jungle for hiding (aka, underneath the bed). My mom yelling my full name and then yelling for my dad, “Your son needs help!”
My parents just didn’t realize how lucky they were to have a genius in the household.
I miss you Calvin! My comrade, my brother.