Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I was April

Growing up is confusing...

My mom was kind of a stick in the mud. She wanted to protect me from stuff for various (and often obvious) reasons. Sometimes it was pretty embarrassing. I remember the first time I played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with some kids from the neighborhood. There were four of us and when I asked which character I could be they gave me the rundown of the important characters in the show. I wasn't allowed to watch the show, but I was loath to let anyone know that. I had to pick my words carefully to keep my secret safe.

Motnock: Sooo... this is the 1st time I'm playing with you guys. You guys already picked your characters, great choices by the way... especially you Brian, Rafael sounds so smart! Anyway, who is it okay for me to play? I don't want to take any of your 2nd or 3rd favorite characters ya know.

Dan: Ummm... You could be Shredder! Or Splinter I guess.

Brian: Well... there is Donatello, too.

Kevin: You could just be a ninja! There's lots of ninjas!

Dan: (laughing) You could be April!

(Every one laughs, including me)

Shredder sounded pretty badass, but I was pretty sure he was the bad guy based on his name and I hated bad guys so there was no way I was going to be Shredder. I hated getting splinters and it actually happened a lot to me as a child, so Splinter was out of the question. Donatello, sounded kind of cool I guess, but Brian was one of those kids that was actually proud of the fact he occasionally dined on his own buggers, so I never really trusted him. And I didn't really want to be a nameless ninja, though I wasn't sure why we wanted to be turtles either, even if they were ninjas... I mean a turtle's most badass move in real-life is hiding until danger gets bored enough to go do something else...

Motnock: I guess I can be April.

I mean everyone laughed at that name, so I guessed that April was the plucky comedy relief. Plus my birthday was in April so I took that as a sign from the universe that day.

I was never invited to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ever ever again in my life. The entire confusing day of playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I was trying to flesh out my April character through the subtle hints the boys gave me:

"You don't fight."
"You can ask for help."
"Order us a pizza."
"Write a newspaper."
"We're supposed to rescue you, but for some reason we don't really want to..."
"Go make out with a dude."
"Make us a sandwich."
"Wear this make-up."

My mother asked me how my day was when I got home.

Motnock: Great! We played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I was April.

Mom: Isn't April a girl's name?

Motnock: No! It's the name of a month! And the best newspaper writing pizza orderer in the world who's friends with giant shelled kung-fu reptiles!

Mom: No, son, April is a girl's name.

Motnock: Oh... it is?

Mom: Yes, dear.

Motnock: Well... I guess that kind of makes sense now... by the way, how do you make out with a dude? I didn't do that right at all apparently...

But my mom, many times over, made up for the 3 potential (slightly homophobic) friends I lost that day... But those are stories for another day...

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