Saturday, May 14, 2005

Scaring Little Kids And Marketing Bric-A-Brac Since 1975?

I will have to check with C's movie rain man brain on the release date of the original Star Wars, because I don't remember exactly which year it came out.

But I was driving around town today when I noticed a large Darth head. I drove around and saw it perched on this here Burger King:

"You, Burger-Lord, how is this meat so pure and clean?"
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And I thought "Wow, that's so very disturbing, his saber is limp."

But it had a very weird tie in with a conversation I had earlier today with a friend. Actually, my brain probably created it's own tie in path to it, but whatever.

I said to my pal today: "How was Gyro's ** 4th birthday party?"

Pal: "Fine, until the Bat Man we hired showed up. Gyro was absolutely terrified of him, screamed so loud and cried so hard, we had to send him away. I thought 'gee, there goes $170 worth of Batman down the drain.'"

The cost wasn't the issue. She was just sad that she had frightened her own son while trying to do something nice for him. I guess it's that whole "Batman is fine on t.v., in movies, books and action figure form, but if you bring him home some night and introduce us, I'm going to need therapy later, causing me to seek out women in my adult life who wear capes" thing that kids are incapable of communicating to us when they are that little.

Aside from this story making me giggle, the Darth Burger thing reminded me of how when Star Wars first came out, my Mom took me to see it. If it came out in 1975, I would have been about 6.

When Darth Vader appears for the first time, I started to cry like crazy. Due to my ability to absorbe religious symbolism as literal - I was convinced Darth was the devil's assistant (since the devil himself is red, not black), and he could and would get me.

I calmed down, watched the rest of the film and fell in love with it. This was back when, if you wanted to see a movie more than one time, you had to go to the theater before it "went away", because there was no home video, and in my household, cable and channels such as HBO were not even a possiblity yet. (I can't remember if HBO and cable were around yet in general at that time.)

As most kids who have just exited a most fun ride will do, I begged to be taken to Star Wars again. My mom complied, and damn if I didn't burst into tears when Darth showed up the second time. And I did it again during a THIRD viewing.

My mom, finally getting irritated, wanted to know why I kept asking to see this movie if it was just going to make me cry. I just kept citing the fact that I loved that movie. I don't know if my little kid brain expected it to be different each time? Or if I just underestimated my ability to "handle" seeing evil Darth each time?

I do know that the man I will marry in November purchased a Darth Vader voice changer mask thingie and it lives on a coat rack made out of hockey sticks, in our house.


**The kid has some proper Greek name I can never pronounce or remember, so I've dubbed him Gyro.

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