Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fallen Heros!

 My nerdyness MUST be hereditary. Even my earliest memories were nerd stricken. Even before kindergarten I would sneak out of bed to watch critical moments of Apollo missions. For some reason extracting the LIM, lunar lift off, etc  always took place in the wee hours of the morn. We only had one TV and my parents slept upstairs so I could get up at 3:00 AM, sneak into the front room and settle down with some Cap'n Crunch, Walter Cronkite and NASA (back when NASA was run by engineers instead of bureaucrats)

However, my son does not seem to have inherited my nerdyness. As least not nearly as virulent a strain. Perhaps the nerdy gene skips a generation (like my color vision issue that kept me from being an astronaut?)

I mean as a teenager he had sports illustrated swimsuit posters on his wall NOT Star Wars Posters! Oh a fathers pain!

Hey now, Princess Leia was HOT too! Even her name was a double entendre! (In fact, to this day a cinnamon bun will remind me of a young Carrie Fisher in a thin occasionally clingy white dress. Hmmm, suddenly I wonder ifs any of the "secrets of male arousal" in that Cosmo magazine involved putting cinnamon buns on your head? Prolly not! Sorry, I drifted! Its early )

I can remember well RUNNING home from school to watch reruns of "Lost in Space". We got out of school at some odd ball time like 3:20 and the show started at 3:30 so I had to RUN to make it home in time. Once we got into first grade and had recess 3 of my friends and I would play "Lost in Space" every single day at both recesses. And every single day we would argue over who got to be Will Robinson. Then the 3 losers of that fight would start a new fight over who got to be Robot.

I was full bore baby! I had the lost in space lunch box, I built models of the Jupiter II, I had a toy of ROBOT ( a Christmas present from my beloved Aunt) that would just EAT batteries in nothing flat but it would flail it's arms and say "DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER! and "Does not compute" so who cared how much chore money I spent on his food (batteries)

Check out Snippets of Robot B-9.

You could open a pizza franchise with the cheese from just this 30 second clip! OY VEY!

So a big part of my very early years were centered around this show for example, just look at the Jupiter II.
The Jupiter II

With an eraser and just a little work from your pocket pen knife and  by breaking up a paper clip and shaping the pieces just so you can build a pretty good facsimile of the Jupiter II at your school desk.

Of course touching down on a new and alien planet and investigating the strangely familiar yet incredibly huge alien "flies" on your desk the new planets surface during bible study is a damned fine way to get Sister Mary Elizabeth to crack your knuckles with a ruler. Not too mention Dad always going "Another eraser ? What the hell do you need with another eraser?

Sooo.... flash forward....one year when my son Brian was in first grade during Christmas Vacation it was cold and icky outside and we were watching TV together and we saw a commercial ... They were going to have a Lost in Space Marathon and show every episode back to back! Starting in about 15 minutes! Wow! I was excited, I had not seen the show since my age was in the single digits. So I rapidly told Brian about how much I loved this show when I was his age and this was going to be AWESOME that we could see some episodes together. My excitement was contagious and he was READY for Lost in Space now I tell ya!

Then the first episode begins and I... am... shocked. This show is HORRIBLE. The writing is horrible, the plot is STUPID! They are sending a FAMILY to start a colony on Alpha Centauri. A FAMILY to start a colony? "Helllooo Planet Incest, mission control calling, can you read me? We need a status update on project INBRED"! I mean WTH Man? I can't believe this show was not protested!

Then talk about production values...my God, look at this alien from the first episode. You can actually SEE the paper mache. What alien species has NO FACIAL MOVEMENT WHATSOEVER when it speaks? Egads man!

Just mind bendingly bad special effects!

I was devastated. I had LOVED this show and it is just sooooo horrible. Oh how my hero's have fallen.

On the other hand I was doing my best not to ruin this for Brian. I mean I was the same age when I first watched it and I did not see how horrible this show was then so keep your mouth shut dad and let Brian soak up the magic of new discovery via imagination that only a young unjaded mind can conjure.

After just a little bit, Brian says, "Dad?"
"So you really liked this show"
"Yes, I did."
"Uh, do I have to watch this?" Of course, Brian grew up on Star Wars, Babylon 5 and Star Trek Next Generation. Even at his age he knew what descent nerd based entertainment was supposed to be like!
"You don't like it huh?"
After a moments hesitation, "Oh Dad, it's really bad."
"I know son, I know. Lets find something else"

Oh how our memories can be soooooo wrong. That was a very sad day for me.


jinksto said...

One of my co-workers has a full size B9 that he built himself. As I understand it he found even found Dick Tufield that did voice for the B9 and had him record his own messages.

Even among nerds he gets picked on for that bit.

NerdyRedneck Rob said...

@Jinksto - Is your fiend married? No women in your life can take you to dark places :)

I have never achieved this level of nerdom though. I mean I VERY much like to go to sci-fi cons but I have never learned an alien language, built any robots (or even daleks! :) ) or dressed up as some race or characters from a show.

Now I enjoy the work of those who do but I have just never "gone there" myself

tammy said...

It's so sad when you relive your fondest childhood memories and they just aren't the same anymore.