Sunday, February 09, 2014

Geek Speaking of Dragons and the Existential Conundrum

Geek Speak: One Should Not Meddle in the Affairs of Dragons

Usually that sentence would conclude with, "for you are crunchy and good with ketchup." In this case the usual doesn't apply as one dragon eats semi-precious and precious stones and the other is exclusively a fish eater; a piscivore, if you will. 

In our household we watch a lot...let me rephrase that a shitload of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Dragons: Riders/Defenders of Berk (it's one or the other and depends on the season of the show). "Ponies" is probably something that just goes with having a daughter who is right in the target demographic. The latter is the result of showing her the first How to Train Your Dragon movie (the sequel is due later this year) in the hopes that she would latch onto something, anything, for the love of God anything that wasn't My Little Pony. This will probably become a recurring theme in my one-off jokes, especially as my son starts to get older and finds shows of his own to watch until it makes his parents' eyes bleed. 

Dragon characters are featured In both "Ponies" and "Dragons," as they're referred to by our adorable little tyrant. It occurred to me, and not for the first time, that not all dragons are made equal. Some are meant to be adorable comic relief which can then be turned into lucrative merchandise, and some fly into battle annihilating enemies with well placed plasma blasts...and can then be turned into lucrative merchandise. 

Which reminds me, I was at Target today and forgot to pick up a miniature plastic "Toothless" for my desk at work. 

From there it was a natural jump to asking the question, "what would happen if 'Spike' from 'Ponies' encountered 'Toothless' from 'Dragons?'" I think of this as the dragon equivalent of Toothless saying, "kids these days."

If I were to take this one step further they would both be obliterated by fire from above and we'd pull back to see Smaug on his mountain proclaiming, "I am fire! I am death!"

Two Basic Choices

No matter what happens in our lives how we react can be distilled down to a choice of two things; we can cry or we can laugh. I know which one I would rather do.  

The context of the situation helps to determine which way our emotions take us. You would laugh at a funeral, for instance. Unless the funeral is for a clown, then yuck it up, especially if they bury that clown in a tiny car. 

Except in those times when the situation truly calls for tears, it helps to find something funny. This isn't as hard as it might seem. Life is always trying to make us laugh, we just have to be open to seeing the joke. 

I'll give you an example. Last week was a tough one for me and my family. I'm still going through the growing pains of adjusting to a new job and a much increased level of responsibility that comes with a more senior position. On top of that everyone in my family has been sick. This means I didn't get much sleep and my schedule at work was pooched because I had to be able to run home to care for my family. That's fine, I want to be there for them, but by the end of the week I was feeling beat and numb from fatigue and sleep deprivation. 

One afternoon late in the week I left the office to run an envelope to a nearby mailbox. On the way back I had to wait for a stoplight to change and I glanced over at the vehicles and drivers who were being likewise patient. That's when I saw her, and she was glorious. One of the lunch commuters waiting for the light to change was a very overweight woman who had to be at least in her mid-seventies. She was wearing a black track suit with hot pink accents. Her ride was a Harley Davidson and she was wearing one of those motorcycle helmets made to look like it might have been issued to German soldiers in World War II. The overall effect was a giant black and pink bowling ball of death (I am fire!  I am death!). Then the light changed and everyone moved on, but in that moment life gave me something to laugh about. 

Being a parent with very young children has helped to shape it a working hypothesis that life is constantly trying to make us laugh. Babies cry because they need things, not just because they're sad or hurt. While crying might be the sound we come into the world making, think about this; long before they say their first words, the first expression babies learn to make is a smile and the first sound that babies learn to make on their own is laughter. 

Find the funny as much as you can, because it makes everything that much more bearable when the time comes for tears. 

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