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August 15, 2011

That Kid With The Tiger

“Oh! That reminds me of this Calvin and Hobbes where...!”

That, my friends, is a sentence opener that my mother got very used to/very tired of hearing out of me when I was a kid. Calvin was my dude, right? Even though he was a few years behind me in school, everything he did was awesome. His adventures with his buddy Hobbes were humor at its finest. My mom and I got into debates about the realness of Hobbes.

“He’s only real in Calvin’s imagination, sweetie.”

“No! He’s real! He’s really really real! Calvin’s just the only one who can see him!”

I kind of think we were both right.

My eldest noticed my old Calvin and Hobbes books sitting on a bookshelf a while back, right there next to the likes of Pekar, Gaiman, Clowes, Moore. He brought them to me, asked me to read them to him, his interest piqued by nothing more than pictures that struck him as funny. He’s a year behind Calvin - funny how that works - so some of the humor’s over his head, but plenty of it’s not. But the best part?  I think the little dude’s learned a pretty valuable life lesson. Check this out:
Calvin at the doctor
The last time I took this kid to the doctor and he had to get a shot, he screamed “I DON’T LIKE YOU! I DON’T LIKE YOU!” at the nurse, his voice filled with all the vitriol that a five-year-old can muster. And yet, the comic above has him rolling on the floor, laughing uncontrollably, banging his fist on the carpet. “Again!” he demands. “Read it again!” 

Could it be, then, that maybe this kid is learning how to laugh at himself? Let's hope so, for the good of all involved. It’s one of the best things a person can ever learn as far as I'm concerned, one of those handy tricks that makes life flow a bit more smoothly, like a personal lubricant for everyday existence. 

Of course, there are some lessons I’d rather my kids not learn from the boy and his tiger.

Calvin and hobbes scavenger hunt



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