- The Boy: Jesus made all of the good guys but he didn't make the bad guys. So where did the bad guys come from?
- The Boy's Cousin: Maybe there's a big bad guy who makes other bad guys.
- The Boy: Like Count Vertigo or Count Dooku? Maybe they make other bad guys?
- The Boy's Cousin: Yeah, maybe Darth Vader, too?
- The Boy: Oh yeah, Darth Vader is definitely 'ponsible for at least 100 bad guys. Because the force can make you good or evil and the force made Darth Vader evil even though he's Luke Skywalker's dad.
- The Boy's Cousin: Uh huh...
- The Boy: I wish Padme would turn evil because she's so boring.
- The boy: Can I have a brother or sister?
- Dad: If you had a brother or sister that would make you a big brother, which means you have to play nice and share your toys.
- The boy: I want the kind of brother or sister who I don't need to share things with and who will play with me only when I want. What kind of brother or sister is that?
- Dad: Those are called dogs.
- The boy: Can I have another dog?
I have terrible, debilitating writer’s block. Pretty much all of the time. Ironically I have spent most of my professional life employed as a writer in one capacity or another. Funny thing is around the time I turned 30, I realized that I didn’t really want to be a writer anymore, at least not for work. It’s one thing to write for fun, but it’s an entirely different thing to write for profit.
Becoming a dad forced me to write through my blocks. Case in point: Each night I read the boy a book or two, and after that I will tell him a story a two before it’s lights out. The boy differentiates between reading a book and telling stories this way: A book is like homework, something that’s required to learn and grow. Telling stories is free form, allowing for improvisation and unexpected turns. (Try improvising Cat in the Hat, not an easy thing to do.)
Last night’s bedtime story involved Batman & Robin, a slew of Stormtroopers, and good Ninjas fighting against a cast of evil skeletons, an army of Droids and the Joker, who teamed up to destroy the city. Light sabers were used and Batarangs were tossed, and in the end, the good guys triumphed over the bad guys (once Robin was rescued after having been captured by the evil skeleton’s captain).
According to the boy, mixing superhero/villain universes makes for better stories, logic be damned. But it’s a lot harder to do than it might seem. Because even in the most illogical world, there is an internal sense of logic, i.e., Droids aren’t affected by Batarangs and Ninjas don’t use guns).
If only I could mix superhero/villain universes at work. That would make things much easier (or at least more interesting).
- The boy: How old do I have to be to drive?
- Dad: At least 16.
- The boy: That's a long time!
- Dad: It comes faster than you think.