Kids aren’t super geniuses, unless they’re those creepy super genius kids that you shouldn’t trust because they’re eerie and weird. But for the most part, when you were a kid, you probably did a lot of dumb stuff. I once pooped in a bathtub. Not while taking a bath or anything, I just kind of hung it over the edge and popped it off in the tub. Best to not question it.
It’s not surprising then that, as a child, you have some poorly thought out ideas of what you want to do when you grow up. It’s not your fault, most people don’t want to jade children against the harsh, cold reality of the working world until they’ve really built their hopes up. But the fact is most kids will never be the things they wanted to be, and for some pretty good reasons. Let’s make fun of my ill-conceived dreams from yesteryear and see if we can’t figure out why.
This almost seems too silly to include on the list, doesn’t it? No one can really be a superhero. But tell that to a 6 year old, especially now that there are real superheroes out in the world, or at least people who dress like superheroes and try to crusade against graffiti and jaywalking.
The problem with today’s real superheroes is that they’re not actually super. They’re people who have assessed their place and life and decided the best way they can contribute to society is to model themselves after fanciful, fictional beings and wander the streets in spandex with a can of mace.
As a child I had a basic understanding that no one can fly, or punch through walls or lift cars but that didn’t mean it couldn’t happen by the time I reached 18 or so. I assumed jetpacks and genetic tinkering would be all the rage and I’d eventually have a penis that could breathe fire. Alas, reality let me down as did the realization that, in a comic book a superhero costume looks awesome. On the street, a dude in spandex looks like he’s waiting to be picked up by Richard Simmons’ party bus.
When I was about 12 or so, American Gladiators was by far the best show on television and I was going to grow up to marry Siren or Lace, or at least bone them. I had some issues as a kid. And if I wanted to live out those deranged dreams the best way was going to be by becoming a Gladiator myself. Seemed simple enough.
Here’s the thing about American Gladiators – those dudes are not made of dough. And, you may be surprised to learn this about the sensational staff at Holy Taco, but all of us are. Luis is made of churro dough but the premise is the same. My quest to become an American Gladiator would be a constant battle between genetics and laziness and my drive to be a bodybuilder who beats up strangers every week. Which would prevail?
Needless to say, I remember working out for a spell in highschool when I thought I could get ripped and maybe wear sunglasses indoors, pop the collar of my denim jacket and mack on so many honeys you don’t even know, but I got super tired and sweaty and thought it was bullshit, so I gave it up pretty fast.
This seems a bit of a nerdy goal for any child, but you have to remember that, being a nerd, I had nerd aspirations. But also I watched a lot of movies and assumed I would be able to master science and then bend nature over like a dock whore and show it who its $50 daddy was.
This one actually started off with some promise as, when I was a child, I had potential. People tell me that all the time – “You had a lot of potential when you were a kid.” Makes me feel pretty good about myself. I was actually pretty adept at biology and chemistry. For real, check this out – the molarity of sulfuric acid is 18.4. Isn’t that exciting? F*ck no, but I still know it. Can’t quite recall what it means though.
This leas us to where this boat ran afoul of the coral reef known as dipshittery out in the ocean of my own slack-jawed ignorance. By the time I hit 18 the last of my potential checked out and went to join the circus, leaving me with an abundance of whatever the opposite of potential is and the inability to remember what molarity means. I would be creating no genetic mutants or mastering lightning or building a hover car fueled by the kinetic energy provided by scores of topless women who must be in the vehicle at all times. Instead I went to college and took philosophy. Do you know how many boob-filled hover cars the average philosopher gets? I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with dick all. Descartes was no playa, let me tell you. Philosophers get chicks like Luce Irigiray. Google it.
This one is the most comforting to me because it’s a dream so many people have and, unlike some mid-western starlets who went to Hollywood and ended up polishing Ron Jeremy’s pole in a horse cart, I just failed. It’s not like I have to hold back tears while having a train run on me or anything. Man, that’d be a shameful state of affairs. Good thing it never happened. Not really.
I sensed my potential to be quite the thespian after watching a lot of MacGyver and the A-team which made me realize that appearing to live a life of danger when in fact not being in any real danger would make me seem awesome and heroic.
The big problem with a life of fame and fortune is that getting your foot in the door requires way more than having an actual foot and a door to put it in. For instance, I sent Gore Verbinski an email when I heard they were making a fourth Pirates film and asked for the role of Jack Sparrow and do you know that the sons of bitches made the whole movie before they wrote back to me? And do you know what I was told? Nothing. They didn’t really write back. What the hell? Johnny Depp had done the damn thing three times already, I was smart and ambitious enough to be the kind of go-getter who’s willing to shake things up for the good of the audience and what happens? Jack. It was the same with my attempt to star in CSI: Miami and that porn parody of Avatar.
True story – I won a trip to space camp when I was about 12. I had seen the movie Space Camp and was immediately convinced I was on my way to experiencing zero gravity, a sentient robot and the innocent charms of Lea Thompson who, back when Howard the Duck came out, was considered an attractive woman, at least to boys, many of whom looked kind of like her.
The movie Space Camp took place at the Florida Space Camp. I went to the one in Alabama. To put that in perspective, imagine you were planning to have a super awesome birthday party with all your friends and great presents and a huge cake but instead you went to Alabama.
There was no zero gravity at Space Camp but it was the first place I ever got to eat Lucky Charms, because my parents were the sorts of people who wouldn’t buy Lucky Charms because I may as well eat a bowl full of candy for breakfast. Assholes.
Anyway, my space-based dreams were dashed under a deluge of twangy accents and grits which I expected to taste like potatoes but was dismayed to discover tasted like white mess on a plate. I’d never be able to dissociate those terrible memories from the whole space theme so I had to drop my astro dreams. Otherwise I’d totally be an astronaut right now.