Characterization of Myself

December 31, 2012

If I were to appear as a character in a novel (or any other work of fiction for that matter) I think I would be described as wearing one T-shirt.

It would be this one:

jademeridian 009

That shirt right there defined me for about 7 years of my life. By my gross estimation I have probably worn it over 700 times. It’s now gotten to the point where the material is thin and the art is faded. The shirt has shrunk about half a size in the arms and stretched nearly half a size in the torso. Its solid blue hue is stained with areas of favorite meals and exciting trips. If my memory serves me correctly there’s probably a hole in the right armpit.

I knew it had to be retired after it started to develop a smell. The moment any water touched it it made me smell like a sweaty teenager just getting back from 4th period gym class. So I gave it a permanent home in a nice little T-shirt case where it will rest in all its glory for ever and ever. (That is, if I can find a place I would like to hang it)

There were times when this shirt was worn as a badge of pride. There were instances when it was worn as a jersey for a soccer team. I think I even let a friend borrow it once. No matter the manner in which it was seen it is very important for you to understand that this piece of cloth was my identifying characteristic for so long.

If I were a cartoon, I would wear this every episode.

So what’s the story behind it?

It’s a T-shirt from a band called Jade Meridian. Haven’t heard of them? I hadn’t either until I saw them play about 45 minutes before the band I really wanted to see went on stage. So I listened to them and applauded…only hoping that it would make them feel like they had done a good enough job to finish up and start things up with the next band.

The band that followed them was called Zao. You don’t need to know much about them other than this. It was basically the same band. It had the same people on drums, guitar, bass. Only difference was they had a different lead singer (guitarist just sang). They also didn’t play the more hardcore metal Zao did and stuck with more of a sorta indie rock thing.

It was my first real “show” I had been too. (The quotes have been added because if ask any youth of today they don’t say “concert”, they say “show”. It’s hip. I’m hip. So I use those words.) It was actually the first metal concert I had ever attended. I was thrilled. I was confused. I was tiny in a sea of humans that wear at least 6 inches taller than me. I was a little terrified of the pushing that was happening and there wasn’t even a song playing.

The noises…the crowd…the all-around coolness of everybody involved with the “show”. The thoughts are flowing back to me and I’m getting shivers.

I about pooped myself when Zao (my favorite band at the time) finally took stage. They destroyed our senses in more capacities than I realized they could and went away. Our bleeding ears and watery eyes thanked them.

After the near-pooping experience was finished I did what any newly indoctrinated metal fan would do. I went to go buy “merch” from the band in their little kiosk area. (Yes, “merch” is also the cool cat version of saying “merchandise”. And since I’m a cool cat I use the phrase. Liberally.)

So I made my way over to the kiosk and get to say the same thing that everybody else was telling those sweaty musical gods.

“Hey man…great show.”

Yeah, we weren’t very creative.

Their response was just as enthralling.

“Yeah. Thanks.”

So I find some shirt I want and try to hand the guitarist my money. He turns on his salesmanship and begins telling me that I would save money on the Zao shirt if I also purchased a Jade Meridian shirt. This didn’t make sense to me, but since he had just melted my face off with his sick guitar chops (the hip lingo returns and you know why) I couldn’t really bring myself to disagree with him. I also didn’t want to tell him I didn’t really want a shirt from a band I didn’t particularly enjoy.

I knew they were just guys that were trying to make a living doing something I admired and wished I could do. I also felt like they were really good at it. So why not? Right?

So I bought both shirts.

I bought the blue one. And the blue one just happened to have guitars (Gibson Flying V guitars) in a shape that resembles the Walt Disney logo. (I should also mention that one of my least favorite guitars is the Gibson Flying V).

Despite all these factors working against it…I wore that shirt. I wore it more than I should have. And I don’t really regret it.

I think I was one of my most commonly worn shirts when I played my own “shows” with my own band back in the day…(That’s right, I got to be the same guy  that got to sell “merch” at his own band’s table. I got the same chance to have the riveting conversations of “Hey man, great show.” followed up with the “Yeah bro, thanks.”

Ahh…the circle of life.

So here’s the part where I tell you the whole lesson behind the story of the shirt.

My shirt represents how decisions you’ve made that may not be popular could end up being decisions that define who you are. They can sometimes stick with you the way an old T-shirt clings to you. It’s familiar and comfy, but only after you’ve had it for a time and broken it in.

Yeah…that’s sounds good.

So, do you have any neat stories about anything you’ve acquired in your life that just seem to stick around and help define you? If you do, then you know what to do. Write your own post about it. Make it better than this one. Also, you could comment down below. If you don’t, then I suggest looking up a local band in your area and buying a T-shirt. It might just be worth it.

D.A.

 

 

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Busy Day Today

June 18, 2012

I’ve noticed an interesting trend in my life. The first words I speak every day are usually very odd. I really should just keep a little notebook next to me so when I say the days first words I can jot that down. 

Today’s first words were: “SHELLY’S SEPTIC!” 

I was standing in my bathroom…doing something you would normally do in a bathroom…and looking out the small window. For whatever reason there was a large truck parked in my neighbor’s yard. It was a septic removal service truck. The company was called Shelly’s Septic. Big letters on the side. It just looked like it needed to be said out loud. 

I’m not sure why I yelled it. And yes…I did yell it.

I calls em’ hows I sees em’. 

I also came up with a new thing I’m going to try out. 

You know the phrases “Shucks” and “Darn“?   Yes, these are all socially acceptable curse words that you might say it if you talk like you’re born in the 1940’s. I routinely use them in my everyday language but have been feeling like they’re a little stale. So I’ve decided to mix them up. 

Do you know what you get when you mix the two together?

Sharks. 

So now I’m going to exclaim “SHARKS!” whenever I have reason enough to exclaim. 

What do you mean you’re not impressed by that? Well, I got more for you. 

I went apartment shopping today. It was one of the strangest and most awesome encounters I’ve ever had with a person. She was passively insulting and I lied about owning a jet, having a dog racing addiction,  and owning a Jazzy Power Chair dealership. But that’s another post entirely.

(Seriously, the girl trying to sell me the apartment was a little loopy…and we were joking about 90% of the time she was showing me around but it turns out it was all worth it because it was the nicest apartment I saw today.)

Was the shopping successful? I think so… I may have found a future home for myself. 

I also bought a Mahjong game. It’s pretty rad and is nothing like the Microsoft version you have probably ended up playing. Thank you Goodwill. I still have no idea how to play it…but I’m sure I’ll start gambling with it soon enough. 

I also bought some apple juice. I’m sure you didn’t want to know that…but there it is. It was tasty. 

I’m going to a BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) cookout tonight. So… I’ll be doing that. 

And there you go. Hope your day was half as exciting as mine. 

Now I’m off to eat the charred remains of some helpless animal. 

D.A.

Didn’t that one guy used to blog on occasion?

Yeah…he did…he did… It was even almost entertaining at times.

Sad times.

But that will be fixed up here soon enough. As of Friday evening I will be seated on the football stadium field while I watch many seniors I have never met graduate. It will be hot, boring, and will most certainly test my bladder’s ability to survive the two hour long ordeal.

Then the weekend will come.

Then Monday is a short day. Tuesday and Wednesday are exam days (so they’re even shorter), and then it’s teacher work days Thursday and Friday.

Then…freedom. Summer starts.

It’s like the weekend, but longer.

I’m so excited.

(I may stop wearing pants.)

Sorry, you didn’t want to know that. But realistically I will be free of a creative burden for some weeks. That means I will likely end up expressing more of my mindless droll toward you rather than my students. This will be good for all of us.

I also have some plans-a-cookin’ this summer. Interested?

Possible ideas for the summer:

  1. Read. A lot.
  2. Write. A lot.
  3. Stare into the sun. Very little.
  4. Do some conferences for school. (I will not be using my brain for those activities)
  5. ROAD TRIP! (I’m particularly excited about this, more details will follow)
  6. Buy a DSLR camera.
  7. Reconsider my position on the pants topic.
  8. Move out of the house.

Woah…

That’s…quite a bit of stuff there big guy. Moving out? B-but…That means…

Yes. I will grow up a little more. Expand my maturity levels. Becomes more than what I am now.

Seriously, that’s pretty crazy for you. What ever made you think you could pull of something like this out of the blue? You haven’t blogged for over a week and now you’re talking all crazy. Are you ill?

No, I’m completely fine. Well, not totally fine. I’ve got this rash on my-

NO! Stop typing. We don’t want to hear that. 

Who are you anyway? What is happening here? Am I having a conversation with myself? You’re just me but in a different color. 

See? That’s another reason why I suspect that you’re not well. You’re talking to yourself via a blog. That’s a sure sign of crazy in my book.

Alright Fake Me, you shut it up. I’m through talking to you. This is getting too weird.

As for the rest of you, more blogging will resume shortly. Just allow me to find my head in the final stretch of the school year. After that I should be back to my normal self. Maybe.

D.A.

With the sound of muuuuussiiiiiiccccc….

Yes. I’m singing. And yes, I do sing like Julie Andrews singing the title song to the movie “The Sound of Music.” It’s that really old musical/stage play that features Nazis chasing around people and nuns. People sing. I’m sure there’s a romance or two involves. It’s considered to be very important in film….

I’ll be honest…I’ve never watched it. But everybody knows that song!

Why am I singing it?

Austria, of course. I have put four marbles in this beautiful country. They rest in the hands of a charming human being known as Katrin.

Why does this special person get four lovely marbles? Mostly because she asked…

But also because she wants to drop the marbles in Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, as well as her home of Austria. (I spelled Lichtenstein correctly on my first try.)

As for photographic evidence…I’ve got a plenty.

This is what Austria looks like by the way. Very lush and European. Also there are mountains. Amazingly beautiful mountains.

And here’s the lucky winners of a cheap cargo flight to Central Europe.

I know what you’re thinking. This person collects old cameras. You are right to be jealous. They are a super cool person. The marbles are now even cooler than when they left here.

So I thank her and all her marble-loving qualities so I could get four steps closer to realizing my goal.

Thanks Katrin. You’re awesome.

And now I make a quick vanish. I have something funny to show you tomorrow. Okay, it’s probably not that funny. But at least you now know I have something planned for you. So that’s good. Rest well knowing that.

D.A.

And This is a Post

October 6, 2011

That is just proving that I’m not dead.

So you can put away your daggers and knives. You didn’t have to exact your revenge on anybody for killing me. I’m alive, I just didn’t post anything yesterday.

Now that I’m writing, can I say this?

I think there was a small conspiracy with the whole death of Steve Jobs. For some reason my iPod alarm did not go off the three times I designated it to do so this morning. (This caused me to be massively late). I think his death “shook” up the Apple Inc. world so much that their clock feature was amiss.

So I guess I can say that the death of Mr. Jobs has made a direct impact on my life.

Oh! And…

I became mildly depressed today when I visited my friend in his new apartment. He has so much stuff going on for him it’s crazy. Like, he’s getting married a few months. He finally moved out. He can poop with the door open if he wants. He has to pay rent. He lives off of questionably old canned food.

That’s cool adult stuff.

I don’t do any of this because I still live at home… and it really doesn’t bother me all that much. Which, kinda bothers me.

But I don’t have this huge desire to move out. Is that bad? Does that make me a loser? Am I ill?

By my age most guys say something along the lines of “Man, I can’t stand living with these people anymore. How am I supposed to live like this?” Then they get in some big argument with their family and almost feel like everybody will be happier if they just move out. Or they end up getting in a serious relationship with somebody and they just want to start a new living arrangement with that person.

But none of this applies to me.

I hardly see any of my family anyway. I am asleep before they get home usually and I leave before they wake up.

No, I don’t have to pay rent, but I do pay my own bills. I buy my own food.

To my family, I’m probably just a shadow of a man that lives in their son’s room. Sometimes, when he’s not sleeping, he shuffles into the kitchen to drink some orange juice. He might even say hello to anybody he sees. But that’s all I am. Just a shadow. I just occupy space. Nothing more.

There is an upside to all of this though.

Why waste money trying to live out alone? I could make better use of my money if I saved it and put it to use earning more money rather than living in a run-down apartment when I have to deal with crack dealing neighbors. Right?

Well, I got labs to do in the morning,

D.A.

P.S. – No, I didn’t really edit this post at all, I just wrote what came to mind. So if you read this and it doesn’t make much sense and the pieces don’t seem to fit quite right, now you know why. I’m a lazy editor.

I think my generation was the first generation to have the VHS tape player at it’s regular disposal. Yes, it existed for many years before I was born, but when I really started growing up and forming memories I think was around the time when VHS tapes were easy to find and purchase. So, kids like me watched a lot of movies.

Most of you will probably say that you love movies as well, but for some reason they seem to be stuck in my mind and connected to important childhood moments. I can remember how I learned what a flash flood was thanks to the movie Rock-a-doodle. I remember learning that penguins ate fish because that’s what Oswald Cobblepot ate in Batman Returns. I even remember why we’re not supposed to mix frog and dinosaur DNA to reanimate long extinct organisms.

Another influence on my life

These movies from my past act a lot like bookmarks for my memory. As soon as I see one of these movies again I instantly recall simpler and more enjoyable times. (I’m not saying times are bad now, but I am saying that things just seem much better when you’re a kid).

Now that you know this about me, I would like to begin work on something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. List my favorite movies.

The actual list for my favorite movies would be….gigantic. I’m not sure I could do all that work. So I will just throw up a few that seem to have made a lasting impact on me when I was just a youngin’.

The Brave Little Toaster– A movie that both captivated and terrified me when I was growing up. I will never be able to ignore the ping of fear every time I see that window mounted air conditioner.

Batman– I had actually memorized every word of this movie by the time I was 4 years old. I believed I would become Batman. Genuinely and truly. I thought I would be able to do any and everything he did. I even drew “blueprints” for constructing my own batmobile.

The Witches– Movie freaked me out, but in a great way. Witches walking around wearing masks to hide their ugly faces was a cool thought to me. Also, I wanted to become a mouse/hamster for a while.

All Dogs go to Heaven– Dogs talking and being cooler than any of my uncles was a pretty big win for me. Later in life I found out that Burt Reynolds did the voice of the main character. Then the movie got that much cooler.

Big– I wanted to be a grown up. This kid became a grown up. A grown up that worked for a toy factory! Not to mention, I always wanted a best friend like the kid Josh had in the movie. They had a cool song/handshake they shared. I still think many 20 something guys want a best friend like this because of this movie.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory– Candy, candy, and more candy. Also, a crazy guy who says some funny stuff always seemed to stick with me. This was even one of movies my parents would watch with me even though they had seen it 40 times before. I think it’s because when they were in high school they saw this movie together on a date.

Ghostbusters– Funny, ghosts, cool costumes, and a giant marshmallow man. What doesn’t appeal to a kid in this movie?

Aladdin– A very fun movie to watch. Not only is it Disney goodness, it’s also Robin William’s first appearance in my life. I watched this movie dozens of times because I just wanted to laugh at the same jokes I had laughed at all those times before. The only problem was that I didn’t totally understand every joke he said, but still, I laughed.

DuckTales: The Movie – Treasure of the Lost Lamp – I wanted to swim in my own pool full of gold coins. I also made sure I ate chocolate ice cream covered in chocolate syrup every time I watched this movie. No joke. If I were to watch it again, I would desire that mouth watering sweetness in my mouth.

Like I said, these are movies I saw at a very early age that had influenced me. They helped to make me who I am. And I really mean this. I learned a lot of moral and social ideas from these movies. So what if they were cartoons and so what if they had quite a bit of violence in them, I still learned a lot. And there are probably 30 other movies that I watched way too many times, but for your sake (and mostly my sake) I’m not going to throw those up here.

So what about you? What movies helped make you who you are? Or were you more of a normal/healthy kid and you didn’t get to watch many movies because you were too busy playing outside?

D.A.

Psychedelic Potpourri

September 23, 2011

I have to tell you this crazy story about teaching. But before I can do that, I figured this would be a good time to tell you another thing that’s pretty cool. So stick with me, it’ll all pay off in the end.

When I graduated from college, (way back in the spring of 2011), my grandmother gave me the first of three handcrafted glass ornaments.

She said she wanted me to have them for two reasons:

1. She wanted to give me something that meant a lot to her. These glass ornaments were actually something I (D.A. “best grandson in the world” Bancroft) gave her when I was merely a youngin’. I’m not sure why I gave them to her, but i’m sure she thought they were great. She thought giving me these gifts would be her way of saying “look how far you’ve come”.

This whole gesture meant quite a lot to me coming from her. And I know it meant a lot to her. The ornaments, in her words, represented different moments of my “adulthood” (which sadly only happened this year). The first was for my graduation from college. The second for my teacher certification. And the last was for me getting my first job.

I though this was so awesome I’ve put them on my desk at work. One is a cool glass egg, the other is a globe, and the last is a friendly looking  plesiosaur. You know… like Nessie.

(Que the canned response from the audience)

Awwwwww…

2. The second reason (a likely the main reason) she gave me these ornaments is for more practical purposes. I’m quoting her in saying, “I’ve got so much junk and I’ll probably die soon anyway, so I might as well start giving stuff away before people start throwing it away.”

Thanks Grandma. You’re a true optimist.

I tell you all that in order to tell you this.

Today at school I had a very busy day. I had to have my final grades for the 1st quarter submitted, plan and implement 2 different labs, and still corral kids into doing what I want them to. It’s never an easy task but today was a harder day than many.

When I drove to work I needed pick up a few things from the local Walgreens to pick up windmill supplies. (Yeah, windmills for renewable energy lesson, go figure.) When I arrive at work I drop everything on the desk and begin working on entering grades on the computer. Why am I waiting until the last minute to enter grades? Because I lazy and …. well I’m just lazy. But that’s not the point of the story.

Eventually human beings enter my room and expect to do things. Oh yeah, I say to myself, I’ve got to teach today. So I do that and everything goes good. Then I get a planning/lunch period where I set up a lab for fourth period. Since I skipped lunch in order to enter more grades on the computer I started getting a little ragged out. I was running out of energy. With no fuel to power me I just hoped that the rest of the day would go by fast.

And it did.

I was so happy, things were looking up for old D.A. Grades were submitted. Labs were done. Kids were somewhat entertained. All in all, it was a B+ of a day. (See how I just throw grades out there?)

The final bell rings and I take the last breath and say the thing I wanted to say all day.

“Have a nice weekend. Now get out of my room.”

(Yes, that’s what I said)

As I walk out into the hallway (like any good teacher should) I start talking to a fellow teacher across the hall. Since me and her get along quite well we could have had an awesome conversation. Maybe we were going to start talking about how the Florida Gators are doing this year. The conversation might have moved on to a different subject. We could have ended up complaining about the prices of the school lunches. We might have even had the chance to talk about another teacher’s poor choice in music. Oh, what sweet memories they would have been…

Before these little moments could be shared I was interrupted with a very fast and high pitched holler.

“Mr. Bancroft! Mr. Bancroft! Mr. Bancroft!”

I turn and look inside of my room and see a student holding up a colored shard of glass.

“Oh no,” I say to myself. “I hope they didn’t kill my little nessie.”

The kid holding the shard looks at me and says “This fell on the ground. It’s not mine.”

“Of course it’s not yours. Who broke my nessie?” I said with a little perturbed edge.

I just knew in my gut that one of my glass ornaments had fallen to the floor. I was so disappointed in myself and my kids. They knew how much those meant to me. But why did I trust them in the first place? I know kids are clumsy. I know they end up doing stupid things. It’s my fault because I put them there. I knowingly put them directly in the line of fire.

That still didn’t stop me from feeling like it was all their fault. Some things that were going through my mind in that moment were:

How dare they! How could they! The injustice! The horror! The mess I would have to sweep up! What a boneheaded thing to do! Kids these days!

“No, Mr. Bancroft, It’s not your ornament.” the student exclaims.

Then what the crap is it?” I ask reluctantly.

“It’s a bowl. Like, for weed.” he utters with fear. “My finger prints are on it but it’s not mine, I swear. I just picked it up to show you.”

“You’ve got to be dookin‘ me.”

(Yes, I actually said this)

3 minutes later I’ve got an administrator and a SRO (student resource officer) in my room picking up the chunks of this stupid paraphernalia. He has that look in his eye that says, “Freakin’ kids…”

How dumb are high schoolers? Clearly they are dumb enough to bring their freaking weed pipe to school then leave it shattered on my floor.

And what will come of it? Probably nothing. There is no evidence to tie any student to the pipe. They all left before my attention was brought to it so I don’t even have any real suspects. (I do have suspects, but that’s just my judging eye looking at my group of kids. I really have no idea.)

What’s the point of the story? 

I dunno… No real point. Just telling you like it is. That’s the note I ended on today. A pretty sad and stupid note.

Well, at least some idiot won’t have a pipe to smoke with tonight…

Afterwards I bought some comics and ate a gigantic sandwich. It was lovely.

What’s the point of that story?

Comics and sandwiches are among my favorite things.

Not weed.

Until we meet again,

D.A.

Leader for the Day

August 30, 2011

Remember this?

When you were in kindergarten or 1st grade your teacher would award the “best student” of the day and they would become class leader?

Was my school the only one that did this?

So you would get caught doing something cool or nice during the week. Your teacher would walk up to you and say something to the effect of, “Wow, good job Douglas! You put the toys away very nicely.” or “Douglas, that was very nice of you to let Sarah borrow your crayons during that lesson.” Then you would get a gold star or something next to your name.

Then on Friday you became Class Leader. You get to walk in the front of the line when you go to P.E or lunch. It means you get to sit at the head of the  table with the teacher. First dibs on certain toys during play time. You might even get to take a nap on the non-sticky nap pad. (That means it’s the mat that Timmy didn’t pee on yet. You know you remember that kid…)

If you were super lucky, the teacher would buy you a Slush Puppie at lunch too. Oh how your cherry syrup stained lips would glimmer at the other kids. They would be so jealous.

Just in case you don't know what a Slush Puppie is, here is it's illegally obtained brand logo for your pleasure.

Yeah, this who thing. Leader for the day. That’s what yesterday felt like on WordPress.

Apparantly I had my last post became “Freshly Pressed.”

I mean, I think it’s really cool and all that, but let’s be honest, I only get to be leader for the day. It’s not like I get the spot on the front page for a whole year. So, I’m just taking the moment to say this:

ATTENTION ALL OF YOU WHO ARE NEW TO THIS BLOG!

I currently have a goal of trying to put a marble in each country on the planet. Yes, I’m serious. I currently have marbles in Canada and the United States…Yes, I know that’s not impressive but all things have to start somewhere.

But if you just send me an email with your address I will be happy to send you a marble. Then you can have it to keep and hold forever and ever.

If you would like more information please read one of my previous posts on the topic.

Now for those of you who have already known me for a while…

I bet you’re wondering if my newfound fame is going to get to my tiny brain.

In short, yes. Yes it is. I’ve just decided it would be worth it because this could be my 15 minutes of fame.

As a matter of fact, half an hour after I found out about this whole thing, I hired an agent. He’s pretty mean, but he gets the job done.

For example:

I already have a movie deal in place where I’m starring opposite Seth Rogen in a buddy cop movie.

I have even started working with Kanye West on a new album. It’s pretty tight yo.

I’ve also updated my wardrobe to only being made by Armani. It’s just how I roll now.

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m leader for the day now…I can do whatever I want.

I hope you’re not still staring at my wonderfully red lips because I’ve been drinking a delicious Slush Puppie.

Making loud slurps in your direction,

D.A.

The Younger Me

August 28, 2011

Today I remembered something about myself when I was just a wee lad. 

I was freaking cute.

I was also keeping the future in mind…

Star Wars fandom took over my life at a relatively young age. I remember seeing my dad watch The Empire Strikes Back back when I was around 7 or 8. It was the battle of Hoth scene, and I remember thinking, “Woah, this is super cool.” After that my friend Bobby let me come over to his house and play with his “aliens” that were characters from the Star Wars films.

Then Bobby let me borrow one of his Star Wars toys to take over to my house. It was all over after that.

It was like a drug. I needed more. Much more.

I would go to the store with my mom and always beg for an action figure. It didn’t always work, but when it did, I felt like I was assembling the worlds greatest collection of awesome toys ever. The scale of my collection really isn’t anything to sneeze at, it’s quite good and was meticulously taken care of, but it also served another purpose in my life.

I honestly can’t remember if I’ve shared this on the blog or not. (So if I have, I apologize for repeating myself, but there are so many posts on here by now that I have no real idea what I have/haven’t said about my life)

But my brother was a high demand special needs child. He always needed attention to make sure he was doing good. If he ended up in a bad mood he could harm himself or others. He was also prone to having serious seizures, so we always needed to keep checking on him to make sure we knew if one occurred.

As a kid I understood full well what that meant. It meant that I would have to entertain myself as best as I could because my parents were quite busy taking care of Todd (we’ll just say that’s my brother’s name).

This explains why I watched T.V., movies, played video games, and fiddled with toys all the time. If I was home, I needed to be in my room. Todd couldn’t play with my toys because he would likely destroy them. (He would also drool all over them and they would get super icky.) He was also much larger and stronger than me, so if he decided that he didn’t want me to be around him, he could physically dominate me. So, me alone in my room was the safest and most fun place I could spend my time.

So, back on topic. 

I spent a lot of time in my room playing with Star Wars action figures. And when I moved to Florida from Georgia I made friends with many more kids that loved Star Wars. My collection expanded to not only action figures, but MicroMachines and assorted items as well. Then one day my enjoyment took a strange turn.

I thought about how these toys may one day be worth money. I think I saw one of my neighbors collection those 12″ G.I. Joes. They were nicely displayed and kept in the boxes and I figured the same had to be true for Star Wars toys. If their toys were important…so were mine. Star Wars was waaaay cooler than G.I. Joe anyway.

And I began collecting and amassing toys that were still in their packaging. I proudly displayed them on my wall. I would routinely make sure they were dusted and unaffected by anything that would potentially affect their value. I used thumb tacks and pin them to my wall. The tack would then but used as a hanger to slip the packaging onto. (I never punctured the packaging at all.)

I even had toys in boxes that I really wanted to play with. Still, I held out. The whole packaging issue became so important to me that I eventually started keeping the packaging of toys that I decided to open. It just felt wrong to get rid of it. Even if the price was now nearly worthless because the package was open.

This continued until I was around 13.

I stopped collecting and didn’t feel as proud about my mint conditioned Star Wars action figures. I guess I was growing up. Or maybe I was told that I need to clean out my closet or something.

Then the day came when I decided that I needed to put them away. They needed to be put into the closet with my Jurassic Park, Power Rangers, and Batman toys. They were going to be officially retired.

As I was putting them into boxes I started to think about time. All the time that it took for me to collect these things. All the time that they spent on my wall. All the time that I missed out on playing with these guys. But then I realized that I didn’t even play with my opened packed toys anymore… so why should these be any different.

I might as well throw them away.

I found a whole mess of packaging with no toys inside. It was just garbage. It had no value at all. So I decided to throw it away. Then I found some of those silly little toys. Maybe it was from Taco Bell in a kids meal or something. And I threw those away. I even grabbed a few opened action figures and thought about throwing them away…

But then I said to myself something along these lines. “Maybe I will want to play with these later. When I grow up I might want to sell them when I get into college. Maybe I’ll still think they’re cool and will find a better way to show them off. Hey, I can even get a job one day and I can start buying more.”

But none of those reasons seemed to be really feasible. I didn’t’ really think I would keep a hold of them for much longer.

Then it hit me.

What if I have kids and they want to have some cool toys?

In that moment I decided that I needed to do it because of them. Just in case they had a brother like Todd that needed a lot of care they would have some cool toys to hang on their wall. They could even play with them if they wanted to.

I would let them open the package. If they wanted to. I would still tell them they should not open it, but if they really wanted to they could.

And that’s the really cool thing about my young self I remembered today. I was thinking about my future children having my Star Wars collection.

I’m not sure if that is more nerdy than cute but I’m still pretty happy about it.

I just hope I find a wife who’s okay with me moving my boxes Star Wars junk into our first home.

If she asks me why I still keep these toys, I’ll just smile and say, “What if our kids want to have cool toys?

Still making flying sound effects with my mouth,

D.A.