Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Once upon a time, I was a little kid. I know, it's hard for you to imagine, but I swear it's true. And when I was a kid, my favorite show, hands down, was SPECTREMAN. In case you've never heard of the show, wrap this around your head, and you'll understand.

Over the years, I never forgot the show. In fact, the things I learned from age five to about twenty, I would never forget. It's as I get older, and there are more things to remember (and maybe a considerable amount of booze interfering), that my mind fails me a bit. I think it has something to do with the idea that as you grow older, time becomes more relative. When you're a kid, you don't have much experience, so time crawls. When you're older--say, 36--you have a lot more time in on the project of your life, so time goes quicker. Memory seems to be like that, at least for me.

My cousin and I loved the hell out of that show. He was a year behind me, and we were pretty much raised as brothers instead of cousins. We went to the same school, hung out a lot, got involved in the same activities, things like that. But we truly bonded over SPECTREMAN. My grandparents didn't have a VCR (or, God help us, a Betamax, which my step-father DID have), so we couldn't record the shows like that. We'd ask our grandmother to hold up a cassette recorder to the TV so we could run home and LISTEN to the show after school. That's how crazy we were for it.

I think I still have some of those tapes somewhere.

But we weren't always stuck with the cassettes. Often, we caught the show on TV, and we'd just go crazy over it.

My cousin came for a visit recently, and my aunt--his mother--reminded us of our SPECTREMAN infatuation. She told us that we used to sing along to the theme, which, of course, we certainly did. It holds a place in my brain even now. However, she also told us we used to dance to it, and there is where I have to draw the line.

My cousin and I never danced to it. WE WERE REPRODUCING THE FIGHT SCENES. Come on, who does she think we were? It's like calling GI Joes "dolls."

*sigh* All right. Maybe we danced. It certainly looked like that. I remember playing SPECTREMAN on the playground, and I was always upset when I couldn't be Spectreman. I was older by a year, so I figured that was my right.

But I will never forget the joy of doing the crisscross hand motions that would lead to an imaginary bolt of energy being blasted to my enemy (usually played by my cousin, but not always). There is a magic in being a kid, and while some of us who write like to imagine that we remember what that was like--we all want to emulate Ray Bradbury in some way--very few of us truly feel it.

The video of the theme song I linked to above? I watched it before I did so. And I'll be damned if I didn't feel like blasting my enemies with a mere gesture. (And maybe I did make the hand movements. MAYBE.)

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