A very sweet, if terribly misguided, young man wrote to me today to tell me that I'd 'kind of become his personal hero' which obviously doesn't bode well for him and says a lot about his low threshold for heroism, but I wrote back and asked him to feel free to tell me more and if he felt the need to use capital letters or express his admiration in the form of a poem, song, or letter to the NY Times I encouraged him not to hold back. Long story short, we're now best friends and I'm trying to adopt him in the hopes he'll let me call him Mojo.
Certainly, it's easy to minimize this occurrence. After all, people do regularly write to prison inmates saying how much they admire their work and occasionally proposing marriage, and I won't lie, I was a little disappointed that the 'M' word didn't even come up in his letter. Also, for every 'you're my hero' mail I get (so far, just the one) I also recieve about a thousand 'you're a moron and I wish someone would set you on fire' mails. And that's just counting the ones from your mom. Ba Zing! Point being, the internet is a fickle mistress that occasionally makes you feel warm, fuzzy, and egotistical but mostly makes you feel like we're headed for an apocalypse brought on by an epidemic of poor spelling and cat videos.
Anyway, by the time you're old enough to form an opinion, what's left of me will probably appear more doughnut than human, and the idea that you yourself could admire the man who slaps a lawnmower engine on your bicycle instead of giving you a car for your 16th birthday will no doubt seem absurd. But I will then refer you back to this post and you will see that for one brief moment just before you were born, someone, possibly intoxicated and almost certainly deranged, felt that I was hero material. And you will say, that's great Dad, can I please just have the keys to my lawnmower bike? And I will say, no, not until you bring me a doughnut.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010