Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Piggyback Ride from Batman

Dear Friends,

I. Your Hair Looks Great Today
It's true. And you know what would make this day even better? (You: Did you say something about a piggyback ride from Batman?)

No, even better. The new Hard Taco album, "Who Dares Disturb My Slumber?" It's available here, here, and here. To the stark naked eye, it looks just like any other compact disc, but if you gaze through the polycarbonate layer and reflect your laser vision back into your opto-electronic sensing organs, you will perceive combinations of zeroes and ones that will blow your tiny mind. (e.g. 1011 ker-pfff!)

And look, here comes the Dark Knight, crouching down for you to climb on his back, so you're getting both of the things you wanted!

II.  It's Called Picornavirus
Usually I try to say something positive about the monthly Hard Taco song to persuade you to listen to it, such as, It's very danceable or This song will soothe your hoof and mouth disease.

This month, I make no such claims. The December Hard Taco song, "Fancy," will speak for itself, and if your hooves are really that painful, I'm sorry, but you just need to suck it up and go into quarantine with the other infected cattle.

III. Back Off: I've Got an Iron-On
When I lived in the U.P., we had a family friend who owned a T-shirt store. One my earliest memories is flipping through a giant catalog of images to pick an iron-on for my size 3T powder blue T-shirt.  From thousands of choices, the image I selected was the Loch Ness Monster upsetting a rowboat. There was a man in the rowboat, futilely trying to fend the ferocious creature with a broken oar. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen.

I felt invincible when I wore that shirt and I was convinced that other kids were struck dumb with fear and awe.

"Here comes that preschooler with the sea monster capsizing the rowboat," they probably whispered to each other, "We'd better stand back. He's just so... macho."

After wearing it for 100 consecutive days, the transfer peeled off, but by then I had moved on. In the coming years my badass ideal would evolve from  being plesiosaurus-based to being sunglasses-based. Soon, I only wanted T-shirts of characters wearing enormous black shades, like Chester Cheetah or that one California Raisin. This was cathartic for me, you see. I've never really been able to wear sunglasses myself because my ears are affixed to my head at different heights. (It's a common problem. Like 10% of people have it.)  At best, sunglasses look foolishly askew on my face, like someone trying to do a parallel bar routine on the uneven bars. But I was at peace with that, because I could wear a T-shirt with a close-up of a surprised Marty McFly lifting his Ray-bans, and that was the next best thing.

IV. Today's Toddler T's.
My son only wears hand-me-downs from his cousins, so as much as I'd like to, I can't take credit for how badass most of  his clothes are. These are all real T-shirts I've seen on him or his contemporaries, and each one is more awesome than the last.

Image                                                           Caption:
Two helicopters                                            Tactical Team!
A tractor                                                       Total Quad Traction!
Buzz Lightyear                                             Target is on Approach!
A motorcycle at a 45 degree angle                Extreme Dirt Bike Zone!
A motorcycle, not at an angle                       Supreme Maximum Velocity!
Different kinds of balls                                 Playing Sports Every Day is Not Enough!
A giant number 80                                       Dinosaurs: 80 MILLION years ago!

None of the children who wear these shirts are old enough to read, so I assume that the captions are directed at older kids. "I'd better not pick on that toddler," a would-be bully might say, "His desire to play sports is insatiable!"

With warmest regards,