Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wise Behind His Years

When I was young, a dinosaur craze swept the nation. Jurassic Park came out, TV shows recreated the dinosaur eras, and sit coms featured lively dinosaur family's with their own curmudgeon grandmothers (if you never saw an episode of Dinosaurs, you need to go watch one now).

Part of this craze also include whole animatronic set ups where you could walk amongst the beasts. They would roar and slowly move their heads side to side with little mechanical jerks here and there as their eye lids opened and closed. It was incredibly life like, except they never walked and they never ripped anyone's arms off or anything. But other than that, it was pretty life like. Or at least it seemed life like to me when my parents took me to see a dinosaur show that was traveling across the country. When I was four.

I don't remember the emotions building up to going to see the show, but I am pretty sure I was down with going to see the monsters. I was a pretty cool kid. Or maybe my parents just didn't tell me what we were about to do. That could have also been the reason I agreed to do it.

Regardless, I went to see the dinosaurs and immediately flipped out. There was nothing neat about these huge man eaters standing on a platform with nothing tethering them down. They scared the shit out of me. They roared and looked straight at me and they were huge. What was wrong with  my parents!? They were putting my life in danger. Through tears, I told them I wanted to leave. They wanted to see the exhibit they just paid to get into, so they had to figure out a way to get me to stay. Bribes were not part of their parenting. Neither were negotiations (especially not when I was younger than 13 18 27). They had to figure out a way for me to overcome my fear. Immediately, my dad thought of something.

He told me he wanted to show me something and took me by the hand. He walked me up to a dinosaur and continued walking to the back of the display. Then he showed me its butt. "What do you think comes out of there," he asked. Confused and tired from crying, I tried to figure out what he was saying. Then I got it. That's where the dinosaurs pooped. Given my obsession with "stinky things" at this point in my life and my continuous love of bathroom humor, I cracked up. Silly dinosaurs. You think you're all bad ass. But you poop and fart just like the rest of us. The fact that their excrement was made up of flesh and bones completely escaped me. I just found it hilarious that these huge creatures made huge poops (and this was years before Jurassic Park came out).  That's all it took. My dad just had to insert a little bathroom humor into the Jurassic Era to get me to enjoy it.

Not afraid anymore...

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