Here's something that scared me when I was six. Next week I will write about another childhood fear (maybe the one that involved something crawling through my ear and into my brain). The Littlest HoboI watched Doctor Who on a regular basis when I was a child, and I was never scared. I was never scared of Daleks, or the Master, or the Cybermen, or the terrible thing that lived underground and was clearly just a number of people concealed inside a giant sock. I was disdainful of all children who were scared of Doctor Who, and who spoke of being creeped out as soon as they heard the opening bars of the theme song. I resolutely ignored the fact that my disdain was rendered ridiculous by my own fear of The Littlest Hobo. Not the dog—I knew he was a wandering canine force for wrong-righting and justice. I'm talking about the show itself. Maybe it was because it featured distressing things happening in and around Toronto; it was certainly because, at least as far as I remember, each and every show featured robbers. Robbers! Torontonian (or at least Ontarian) robbers who climbed up ladders into windows! My memory also tells me they were dressed very much in the manner of an eight-year-old dressing up as a robber for Halloween. They had black turtlenecks, and masks, and sacks to carry off all the things they were planning to take from the bedrooms of the children whose witless parents had left ladders lying around as a irresistible invitation to 1980s robbers.It's not even just that I knew that Torontonian robbers were real and space monsters likely weren't and so apportioned my fear in a sensible manner. I would probably have been able to accept that there were giant walking stones that killed people and evil men with goatees who turned people into action figures. I think maybe I wasn't petrified by those possibilities because if they were possible, so too was a time-traveling , mop-top space scamp with a penchant for jelly babies. And if he existed, it was almost unavoidable that I would at some point end up traveling through time and space with him, earning my keep by acting as a stabilizing influence.What was the compensation for the undeniable existence of robbers? A dog who traveled about south-eastern Ontario occasionally foiling those robbers before promptly deserting whatever child had developed an attachment to him? As much as I was petrified of robbers when I was six, it's possible I was even more petrified of being saved and then rejected by a crime-fighting dog. Maybe tomorrow you'll want to settle down? WHY NOT NOW
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In order to really effectively and profitably catastrophize, it's occasionally a good idea to brood about something that on the surface may appear to be not much more than surface. This adds variety to the habit of obsessively worrying about things, and allows you to later reproach yourself for being petty and superficial. Which brings me to the upcoming Muppet movie.There are a number of things that went into forming me. I will now enumerate the ones that are least embarrassing: Star Wars, the Beatles, Doctor Who, and The Muppet Show. The recent incarnation of Doctor Who is not awful (although I seem to be the only person not charmed by either River Song OR Amy Pond); I never liked Paul very much, so the fact that he turned out all earnest and chipper and jowly doesn't really bother me.Which brings me to Star Wars. I don't need to belabor this, because I seem to recall others discussing this a number of years ago... I went to see the prequels, young and full of hope and excitement, and left, an old and broken woman without wonder. George Lucas, who took a break from cultivating his McCartney-esque jowls to break me, romped through the memory of a generation and pooed all over it.It remains to see whether we will now be pooed on by the Muppets. A new movie is being made. Jason Segel is making it. Jason Segel is kind of charming. Therefore the new Muppet movie might be kind of charming.However, recent reports indicate that Frank Oz is not happy with the new movie. Veteran Muppet puppeteers considered dissociating themselves from the film. So either: a) Frank Oz is right and I will no longer like Jason Segel and another childhood memory will be tarnished; or, b) Frank Oz is just upset because he didn't get to make the movie and is not, in fact, a glorious and magnanimous person, in which another childhood memory will be tarnished.Muppets fans desperate to reassure themselves in the lead-up to the premiere are reminding themselves that Oz might not be a reliable source in any case, as he was also involved with the Star Wars prequels. At least we know that since Oz isn't involved with this reboot, he won't make Kermit shoot Greedo in self-defense.
POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.