Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bad Guys, Good Intentions

When I was a kid, I was big into Star Wars action figures, the original ones by Kenner. There, now you have some idea of my age. My collection had a bit of a problem, though, as it leaned heavily toward the Rebel scum side. Any epic battles had to be waged against GI Joe, which was just kind of weird. The Joes suffered from a similar problem, though. The forces of good always outnumbered the forces of evil at my house, because evil tended to employ vast legions of identical soldiers, and while it seems perfectly reasonable to the eight-year-old brain that not just one, but many Stormtroopers and Cobra soldiers are needed for a proper epic battle, mom brains typically don't work that way. It's a good thing George Lucas had the forethought to invent a zillion slightly different flavors of Imperial Stormtrooper, or their cause would have been irrevocably lost.

Still, even with a Snowtrooper, Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot, Left Shoe Untied Stormtrooper, and their buddies, they were still outnumbered pretty badly. So, one year I said I wanted some bad guys for Christmas. My mom didn't understand the subtleties of action figures, but she tried. In the process, I learned a lesson about being specific.

Christmas came, and I stumbled into the living room in my pajamas like I always did, and started opening presents. Pretty soon, I came to a small, lightweight package. Removing the wrapping paper revealed a white, factory-sealed cardboard box with the words "BAD GUYS" inscribed in black block letters. I opened it up and found that it contained Ming the Merciless, Lizard Woman, and Beastman. Not in the nice card packs shown in the links, but just packed in the box, no weapons, no artwork. Needless to say, at the time, I was not terribly impressed. I didn't even know who Flash Gordon was. Looking back on it now, I know she did the level best she could, and executed my instructions to a T. In fact, that little white box containing "bad guys" was almost surely harder to find than actual Star Wars figures. Points for effort, Mom, and thanks.

1 comment:

Joe said...

I got "expert D&D" instead of "advanced D&D". Tough skins instead of Levi's. Chuck Taylors when Nike was cool and Nikes when Chucks were cool. etc.

I wonder how I am disappointing my kids (and screwing them up). Then again everything is relative. If I didn't give them some disappointment, then everything would be so drab.