DON’T PANIC: Hitchhiker’s Payback
As a quintessential D&D playing nerd in my preteen years, I was obsessed with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I read the whole trilogy, and because I had signed up for a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book of the Month Club (ya know – to get the twenty free books at signing. Sidebar: All I had to do was remember to opt out every month by the deadline so they wouldn’t automatically send me the month’s featured selection), I was lucky enough to read So Long and Thanks for All the Fish in hardcover.
Nothing wrong with any of that if you are a nerd. But because I had a wonderful, indulgent mother, I would torture her with “You gotta hear this” readings from the latest book when she got home from work every day.
“… and then Zaphod Beeblebrox says, ‘I can’t do this without my third arm!’” I’d read. ”Isn’t that hysterical?!?” And my mom would feign interest and be nice to me; she’d indulge me and probably zone out. Every once in a while I’d catch her not paying attention and I’d be sure to re-read the entire passage she’d missed: “Then Zaphod Beeblebrox says, ‘I can’t do this without my third arm!’”
It must have been a horror.
But payback is nigh. That might be what parenting is all about: payback. You are an annoying kid, you have an annoying kid. You are a whining kid, you get a whining kid. The horrible moments when you fly off the handle at your kid just like your dad did (my dad’s favorite was “This is not a gymnasium!”) – it’s all a Karmic circle or something.
So it is that I am now taking my mother’s place, listening to my daughter’s intricate re-tellings of the latest My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode. What’s Fluttershy’s deal? Want to hear the hilarious way Pinkie Pie cracked a joke on Old Apple Day (or whatever, I wasn’t paying attention)?!?
And she’s just six! She’s only gonna get better (worse) at this. So now’s the time to strike and figure out how to get her into the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in a few years. I’m already trying to get her into Bugs Bunny, then I figure we transition to some kind of fantasy books (Harry Potter?), then some sci-fi (Star Wars!) and then on to the Hitchhiker’s Guide.
I can’t wait to go over that hysterical Zaphod Beeblebrox adventure again!