Monday, December 06, 2004

Boyz in the Childhood

On Friday, my class and I discussed their reading homework from "To Kill a Mockingbird," and the conversation surrounding the book led me to some extremely enjoyable reminiscences. We were talking about playing make-believe because Scout, Dill, and Jem spend a huge chunk of their summer playing their Boo Radley game. We've all lived in some dream fantasy world at some point in our lives, and I felt that it would lead to a meaningful conversation with the students. They had their fair share of stories to tell, but I was able to recall some rather entertaining stories of my own...

The Tale of Nike and Mikey Shimanno begins at the Linneman abode circa the summer of 1992. Batman Returns was the huge summer blockbuster, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were at the height of their popularity, and my age had only recently reached double digits. My good friend Marty and I somehow invented a game called "The Shimmano Brothers" (to this day I'm not sure of our exact path to this end), in which the two of us were brothers, as well as ninjas. However, our evening occupation wasn't very high-paying, as crime-fighting ninja work is predominantly pro bono, so we were forced to take dual positions with the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox. Marty, aka Nike Shimanno (in case your wondering, these names derive from a shoe and a brand of bicycle), was the hothead of the duo. He was always wanting to get right out there and kick some bad guy butt, but as the cool-under-fire intelligent thinker, I, under the moniker Mikey Shimanno, provided the perfect balance.

Marty married Catwoman, mostly because his budding sexual adolscence gave Michelle Pfieffer's "tightular suit" (I swear to God that's what he called it) extra significance. However, I don't think they married for the right reasons, as he seemed to only be interested in her appearence. I even recall Marty wishing to enact a faux fornication, but the awkwardness of the idea kept him from doing so. I couldn't think of any hot celebrities to marry (Anna Chlumsky of "My Girl" fame was SO yesterday, and my crush on The Secret World of Alex Mack star Larisa Oleynik was still a couple of years away), so I devised my perfect woman. She had everything: beauty, empathy, understanding, humor, and intelligence. That woman loved me, so I gave her a name that would make her stand out in the annals of history. A name that no one would ever be able to forget. This great, uniquely wonderful (and understandably imaginary) woman was called Amy Smith.

So Nike and Mikey were off, saving the world from evil ninja activity, hitting home runs and 3 point-baskets, and performing coitus on invisible love interests whenever the opportunity showed itself (no actual thrustings occured, but as 10-year old kids, we were very excited about the idea of touching big boobies, etc...). We would fit home run derby into our game by pretending like it was real. We'd do the same with playing basketball. The ninja activity took place in the room of Marty's older brother. We'd spend about 2 hours in there doing tae bo punches and roundhouse kicks, that is until we were distracted by the Nerf basketball hoop hanging over the door. In that case, we'd dunk for about twenty minutes and get back to saving the world...

Now I don't know if everyone had childhood make-believe experiences that were as intricate as my own, but I am quite proud of the psuedo-world that Marty and I created at such a young age. Our imaginations were impeccable, and this was certainly not the ONLY make-believe game we ever played. There were several, some in which entire neighborhoods of children participated, but the Tale of Nike and Mikey Shimmano will live on in infamy (at least in Marty's and my brains) for eternity.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch Batman Returns.

***

Quote of the Day:

Me: "How does Scout describe her Aunt Alexandria?"
Mitchell: "He says she's like Mt. Everest: cold and just sorta there."
Kandace: "Where is Mt. Everest?"
Katie: "Isn't that the one with the president's faces in it?"
Darci: "No, it's in Canada; it's the one with the waterfalls."
Me: "NO! It's in TIBET! Katie, you're thinking of Mt. Rushmore and Darci, the waterfall in Canada is Niagra Falls! What is going on here???"

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