A semi-daily chronicle of my life as a musician, a family man, and a citizen of Oregon.

Apr 22, 2007

Boba Fett

Andrew is an individual. He goes through these obsessions that last for years. These are all consuming, single point of focus obsessions. There's no telling what will inspire the obsession or what course it will take. Sometimes there are head-fakes, something like spiderman will come along, but just as soon as any funding has been provided by the parents, the attention shifts, sometimes right back to where it was before.

You can't control the focus. You just gotta open yourself to the ride.

When Andrew was a little kid, maybe 2-4, the object of attention was trains. The only thing he cared about were trains. He drew hundreds of pictures of trains, talked about trains, loved train tv shows. Solomente trains.

Until dinosaurs, years 4-7. Particularly, but not exclusively velociraptors. To some extent this obsession was generalized to all kinds of carnivores. Herbivores were summarily excluded, and omnivores were tolerated, as long as they actually hunted.

Somewhere in there crocodiles were incorporated to this fascination, but that's kind of a separate category. Andrew learned at some point that crocodiles were very similar to the way they are now back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. When the "supercroc" video came out, Andrew nearly obtained nirvana.

Without warning dinosaurs were forgotten, replaced with Alien vs. Predator, age 7-10. This fascination presented new challenges for Andrew, because he couldn't actually watch any of the movies that would give him the information he so craved about his deepest love. Andrew resorted to asking every grown-up he met the following questions:

"Have you ever seen Alien or Predator?"

If no, he would set to ignore mode. If yes, "You know the part when..."

The questions would continue unabated until the person finally excused themselves, and sometimes after that even. Many, many, pictures of Alien and Predator were drawn. One pencil sketch of Alien decorated my cubicle at work, where unsuspecting employees would ask "Is that?" to which I would reply "Yup, sure is." I would have to hastily add that he had never actually seen the movie, that Andrew merely knew of it.

I believe we have met the next phase... Boba Fett. As I said earlier, these things cannot be predicted and are best experienced, but Boba Fett does present an excellent new candidate. As everyone knows, I love Star Wars. Every 30 year old male in America loves star wars. If not, there's something wrong with him. I bought a bunch of star wars action figures when I was in high school, which I kept in the original boxes. They used to hang on the wall of my old apartment.

When we bought our house Jen expressly forbid me from hanging up the action figures. As a result, my star wars stuff has languished in a box in the garage. This is where Andrew discovered Boba Fett. Jen warned him that the box was mine, and that he wasn't allowed to play with it, but the temptation was too great. We would walk into the garage to get laundry and Andrew would suddenly drop the Boba Fett back into the box, with a guilty grin on his face.

Eventually Andrew worked up the courage to broach the subject with me, asking me directly whether I would just give the toy to him. I demurred, offering other solutions. "Why don't you save up your allowance and buy your own Boba Fett?" I asked. Little did I know that there were no Boba Fetts available for sale in Portland. The local sci-fi shop Things From Another World had the inside info... there wouldn't be any more Boba Fetts until October.

Andrew recognized that his only hope of obtaining a Boba Fett was there in the garage, waiting for him. He worked the problem over in his head until he came up with his last-ditch best-hope option... a persuasive letter. I received it last Tuesday:

Tuesday night I told him I would think about it.

Saturday I gave in and gave him the Boba Fett.

Two hours later the dog chewed up Boba Fett's jet pack. Andrew, unfazed, made a new one out of duct tape.