Thursday, March 30, 2006

Back in the Day When I Was Young, I'm Not a Kid Anymore, But Sometimes I Sit and Wish I Was a Kid Again

I've been tagged by Rocket G'ovich with a newish meme; since she was one of the few to actually participate in my previous game of tag, I decided it would only be fair for me to play along.

List 5 things from childhood that define who you were/are and how you thought/think. Weird things you did (and sometimes still do) as a child. They could be kind of typical things, not necessarily “original” things that ONLY you did, but maybe your weird brain did some of them in a different way.

1. My Coca-Cola addiction goes back as far as I can remember. My ears were specially attuned to the sound of a 2 liter bottle being opened; many's the time I would be sitting in the living room, watching TV, only to suddenly race into the kitchen, spurred by the sharp hiss of carbonation escaping from the newly opened bottle of Coke. To this day, the sound of a 2 liter bottle being opened causes my head to whip around towards the source.

2. For years I preferred to sleep on the hideabed in the living room rather than my actual bed in my bedroom. I did not sleep on it lengthwise, because the bars in the frame were pretty uncomfortable, but instead maneuvered myself into the groove in between the bars, which became increasingly ungainly as I grew taller. But in addition to this idiosyncrasy, I would also often squeeze down into the hollow inside the couch where the bed usually rested; before the purchase of the hideabed I would often do the same sort of thing with my regular bed whose wooden frame with drawers on the bottom afforded the same sort of enclosed, hidden area. I'm not sure what it was that appealed to me about that; perhaps it was like my own private world, dark and secure, playing into the obsession my younger self had with secret rooms and hidden passages. Or, perhaps I was just a freak.

3. When I was playing with my toys, I did my best to integrate all of the different styles and brands into a cohesive universe, so that there was a reason that Masters of the Universe were hanging out with G.I. Joes and Transformers. This would result in world-building of a sort, as I imparted all of the action figures with super-powers of some sort or another; in the case of the G.I. Joes it was usually based on their code-name in some way, shape or form, although it was sometimes a stretch (I'm looking at you, Grand Slam and Gung Ho). If a figure was maimed in some way, that also worked its way into my stories; I wound up creating a world populated by legless people to accommodate several mutilated Star Wars and G.I. Joe figures, not to mention Lieutenant Ilia from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (who was also psychic, what with her being bald like Professor X and all). And then there was my crowning achievement in imaginary rationalization: I somehow wound up with two Scarlett figures, one of which lost half of its right arm; this disabled figure then became Scarlett's evil twin, Crimson.

4. Along similar lines, outside of the action figures and my totally original creations (a few of whom would be familiar to the few among you who've actually read In a Cabin in the Woods), a large portion of my creative energies in my younger days were spent creating super-hero style scenarios based around pre-existing source material. For example, I had a long-standing storyline in my head revolving around characters based upon Stephen King movies, some of which (Carrie, Firestarter, The Shining) lent themselves more easily to the task than others (Cat's Eye, Creepshow). I also had a random assortment of characters based on everything from the light cycles in Tron to creatures from old Star Trek episodes. And then, of course, there were the never-ending comic book iterations; I might conjure up the story of the children of heroes I liked, granting them variations on their parents powers; I might create an alternate, all-star menagerie of characters culled from the pages of Who's Who in the DC Universe or The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, often going so far as to fill notebook pages with the character line-ups; and, perhaps oddest of all, I would often impose upon myself the restriction of crafting stories about characters based solely on the visual representation of powers on the cover of a book, occasionally going so far as to construct a story based on the wildly divergent scenes in consecutive issues. Hey, when you're an only child with limited social skills, you have to find ways to entertain yourself, right?

5. I'm sure most people who are around me a lot have noticed that I almost always have something to occupy my hands, whether it be a rubber band, an ink pen, or some other random object I've picked up and started fiddling around with; this has been going on for as long as I can remember, and at one point manifested itself in one type of item in particular. You see, some kids have security blankets and some cling to a stuffed animals; I, on the other hand, had a security stick. Multiple sticks, actually. The earliest ones were prizes won at the school carnival; one was a bamboo spear complete with a plastic Indian arrowhead as a tip and multicolored feathers, while another was a thin red rod with a dark blue removable handle. These both served as tools for my imaginary adventures, the red rod serving as a laser sword (hold the empty handle, do the "activation" motion, then make the obligatory light saber noise as stick goes into handle) and spear serving as a mystical medicine stick. But it wasn't long before the spear lost its tip, and then became cracked, and I was forced to repair it with electrical tape, which became its de facto hilt. The stick was sword, magic wand, gun and laser beam and whatever else I could come up with. There would come many other sticks, including a shillelagh carved by my Great-grandfather Sutton which became a favorite for a while, but that old, cracked, school carnival spear was probably the longest lasting one.

Well, that just about does it for that meme, I guess. As for tagging others with the meme, I’ll go ahead and tag a couple of high school friends (Redneck Diva and Andi) and a couple of former co-workers (iamam and Fellow Book Monkey and Blogger Bubblegum Tate); any bet’s on see how many of them actually respond to this tag?


Redneck. Diva. said...

Dude. When you tag me for something TELL ME. This is like, a year old!