One thing I was really proud of when I was a kid was the fact that I learned how to read at a young age. Unfortunately, though, the kids in elementary school did not think this was cool and they beat the shit out of me.
Okay, maybe they didn't beat the shit out of me but I got punched a couple times. I was a weird kid and I don't know if you guys know this but being weird gets you bullied. I don't know how elementary schools are now but yelling "I can read and I love video games and wearing sweatpants" was something that would get you shoved into the garbage can at lunch.
And you know, I thought this was a part of life. I thought this happened to everyone so I didn't really say anything about it. And you know, for a while I just let it happen to me. Not that I was okay with it or anything, maybe I just accepted it. There were a couple of things that happened that changed them -- maybe I'll write cards about what they were exactly -- but I was a really sad kid for a while. And sad because I was weird.
So fast-forward (fast-forward something you would do to a VHS tape to skip the boring parts of a movie and a VHS tape is something we used to watch movies on before DVDs and Internets) a couple years later. I remember watching Fantastic Mr. Fox and really identifying with Ash (Mr. Fox's son).
His cousin Kristofferson is constantly succeeding in all the things he wants to and he spends most of the movie trying to be a different person. And that's similar to the things I did when I was a kid. I didn't want to be the weird kid reading Sci-Fi books in the corner of the lunchroom because I didn't want people to know that I had no friends.
I didn't want to be the odd one out. I wanted to be cool. So, I tried my best at all the sports and I tried to pretend I was dumber (because for some fucking reason, that's cool). But it didn't really work (I was still wearing sweatpants, which meant I had no fashion sense), instead I was ostracized more. And when I finally did have friends, I was the kid they would make do dumb-ass things so they could laugh [for years I thought this was real friendship].
And you know, there's something about the way Ash accepted his weirdness that I really enjoyed about the movie. And the younger me, the weird tiny-fox-Paul would have enjoyed this movie. He would have gravitated towards this character in a way that I (present day Paul) can only do in retrospect.
Part of me wishes that I was young when this movie came out or that this movie happened while I was young (whichever makes more sense) just so I would have someone to identify with as a little babe. I know it's dumb to think about now because I don't have a DeLorean/time-machine but it's nice to think about.
And I know, if I ever have kids and they're feeling weird about being weird -- because let's face it, they're going to be the biggest weirdo-nerds ever -- I'll show them this movie.
They'll get a fondness for Ash and I'll tell them that they're not weirdo-nerds but they're really cool and awesome and I couldn't be more proud of them.