Five Childhood Archetypes You Don’t See in the Movies

Cracked, now Cracked.com, is better now than when I was in the snarky 13-year-old demographic.

Consider this article. Sample:

This wasn’t a normal, here’s-my-little-kid-arsenal-that-I-keep-under-the-bed-in-case-of-ninja-attack; the Psychopath had real, honest to God weapons, and nobody knows where or how he got them. He owned swords, small caliber pistols and knives — oh, so many knives. He would happily explain why he needed each one — here’s a skinning knife, this one’s a deboner (tee hee), this here is a Bowie, better for slashing, and that’s a stiletto, mostly for stabbing — but there was only ever one real reason: His dad died in the army and his mom couldn’t afford therapy. Or maybe she just drank, or maybe it was his older brother that died; totaled his Trans-Am in a drag-racing accident. There were logical reasons for his behavior, but somehow, looking in Mickey’s eyes, you just kind of knew that he was born a little off.

3 Comments

  1. Janeen says:

    “That’s the Alien’s chief identifying trait: No matter what form they may take, no matter their beliefs or ethnicity, their family never, ever owns a television. To a pop-culture addled kid with a working single parent (read: Raised by re-runs of Voltron) it was like discovering that their house didn’t have a roof. It was baffling, upsetting, and seemed generally unsafe somehow, in a way I could not place.”

    For several years around about 1980 and 1990 I didn’t have a television (actually, in the period around 1980 I lived in a tipi and didn’t even have electricity).

    One day in the early 90’s a neighbor came to my door and, in a complete panic, asked if my cable was out. I told her I didn’t have cable.

    The woman literally could not comprehend this. “No,” she said “the cable is GONE!” I repeated that I didn’t have cable. “We can’t get ANYTHING at all,” she replied, on the verge of panic.

    At this point I realized she was beyond the point of being able to comprehend mere words, so I took her by the hand and led her into my small house. In the living room there was a couch, rug, card table, three folding chairs and a ghetto blaster on a milk crate. She looked around the room in wonder and said, in an awestruck whisper “You. Don’t. Have. A. Television.”

    It really was like I had just given her incontrovertible proof that I was from another planet. She left without saying another word. And we never spoke again.

  2. Robert Mathiesen says:

    Me too, Janeen.

    About ten years ago, when I was still actively teaching, there was a student in one of my classes who aspired to become a politician. He enjoyed asking me questions when our paths crossed on campus — questions well designed to demonstrate his own superiority in every way to other people.

    But one day he asked me a question that I didn’t understand at all, so I questioned him about his question. “It was last night’s Seinfeld,” he replied. “What’s a Seinfeld?” I asked. “You know, on TV,” he said, somewhat puzzled. “Oh,” I responded, “that explains why I didn’t understand. I haven’t watched TV since about 1985.” His jaw dropped. “What do you do, live in a dream world?!” he snarled. Then he turned on his heel and literally *ran* away without giving me a chance to answer.

    After that, whenever he and I were about to cross paths on campus, he turned aside and took another route as soon as he saw me coming toward him.

    I think he was actually afraid of me.

    He turned out to be a poor politician, too. He lost the first primary election that he entered, and he never risked running for office again.

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