It was a normal everyday morning and a normal everyday afternoon in a normal everyday part of the country in an everyday town with an everyday sort of family named the Kanes - the Kanes, a standard average American family with 2.5 kids, a mom, a dad – a standard traditional sort of family. It was Thursday, and little Jeff Kane came waddling in. Jeffrey was mostly an ordinary kid, but he was on the chubby side of childhood, but I knew what he needed. His parents were always a few minutes late so he had a key to get in. In these few minutes Jeffrey was happy. He loved his family, sure, but in these few minutes of solitude Jeffrey had something rare that most other kids didn’t have – total peace and quiet to himself. His mom, who worried a little bit about his weight, had left him a snack that he didn’t like, but he ate it dutifully. Although he was happy, I could feel that it wasn’t radical enough for him. I had been watching him for a few days in the secret drawer that he didn’t know about. He was eating bran snacks. Yes, he was in a good mood, but could not a child feel extreme enough? I thought today would be the day that I finally could introduce some color into his life. So as he came in this day, cheering happily, I finally revealed myself.
“Jeffrey, it’s me, the friendly Captain Fluffosaurus.”
“Oh my god, my god, for real?”
“And Jeffrey, I want you to have these delicious candy bars.”
“Um, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Oh, come on, Jeffrey, your parents aren’t around. Don’t you want to be cool? Have some bars.”
“Uh, I don’t, I don’t, want to do that”, Jeffrey said, clearly hypnotized by his parents.
Fortunately I had come just in time, as I was one of the more radical cool characters designed specifically by the smartest people at Happy Food Co. to talk to kids like Jeffrey precisely.
“Have you ever seen my commercials?” I said.
“Yeah”, Jeffrey said, looking down at his feet which were slightly cross-toed, “yeah.”
“Don’t you see all those kids being happily together, scoring a goal, and eating my delicious candy?”
“Yah. Yah. Yah.”
“Don’t you want that? Because I know Jeffrey you don’t really have any friends.”
“Yeah, you’re right, Captain Fluffosaurus, but …”
“Come on, Jeffrey. Who are you going to trust, your parents? Your parents are merely fluffy bunnies in backwards baseball caps that go around telling kids how cool it is to eat their snacks.”
I realized that Jeffrey was fine. Clearly when people are most logical, they can feel that certain sense of wonder that comes with eating candy.
“Um. Well, you see. Um. I, um, um, I promised my parents that I would eat healthier.”
“But Jeffrey, you’re seven years old. Two hundred pounds isn’t really that bad.”
“Um, I am trying…..they said……um… they took me to some doctors, and they said if I kept eating bad things I would lose my foot.”
“Jeffrey. I’m cool and radical, and I know how to be the best person you can be. You’ve seen it in my commercials, where a bunch of kids are just running around athletically. Don’t you want that?”
“Come on, Jeffrey. Don’t you want to do that? You know that delicious candy is all too tempting. Why don’t you just enjoy yourself?”
“Um…..I’m not…..please go away. I do not have a strong constitution. It is okay to be weak, and as long as you can admit those weaknesses, there is nothing wrong with that. I know that I do not have a strong constitution when it comes to snacks, and I am trying very hard. I sometimes hear my mommy crying in the middle of the night because she thinks I’m going to die, and I want to play baseball someday and be a star. I want to play baseball, so please stop doing this.”
“Jeffrey, all your favorite characters like my candy. Don’t you see that?” And I pulled out a candy bar with pictures of his favorite super heroes, “Come on. Batman likes it. You don’t want to disappoint Batman?”
It was then that Jeffrey started crying. Clearly he had finally come around to the right way of thinking.
“I don’t want to disappoint Batman. “
“Come on. Batman likes it, you’d like to meet Batman, and Superman.”
“I would like to meet them.”
“And have all fun adventures?” I knelt down. It’s what you do when you work with kids – keep eye-to-eye level.
“That’s why you gotta eat them, Jeffrey. You gotta have the deliciousness come into your mouth.”
“Well, I guess.”
“When you watch Batman movies, doesn’t it make you feel like all the bullying will stop? Come on. It’s not that bad.”
“Uh, I guess. I guess you’re right.”
“Now, I’ve gotta go and spread my message of joy and activity to the rest of the good children.”
“Okay.” Jeffrey said, sniffling a little.
“Now Jeffrey, what do you say?”
“You’re so cool, Captain Fluffosaurus.”