Last night I am sitting in the Barnes and Noble children’s area watching Max play with the Thomas the train set. I was in a mood. Not a good mood, not a bad mood, just one of those moods. There were two other kids there with their fathers and we were exchanging the normal small talk of “How old is your son?” and “Terrible twos and sharing” and “blah blah blah.”
Dad #1 started discussing the Thomas the train videos and how much his son loves them to Dad #2. The other dad was clueless to the Thomas videos. His son has never seen them and really isn’t into the train thing. Dad #1 was saying how he thinks Dad #2’s son would probably like them because they are simple yet interesting and how George Carlin is the voice on most of the tapes. Dad # 2 seemed interested.
It was at this point that I had to speak up. “Just because Carlin is doing the voice it does not make them funny. And quite frankly I don’t think the videos actually have much to offer kids. Sure I let my son play with the trains but I don’t want him picking upon the how the trains treat each other on the videos.”
“How is that?” Said Dad #1.
“They just aren’t nice to each other.” I responded.
“What do you mean?” Said Dad #2.
“Well, I can’t point out specifics but I have seen many of the videos and well the trains are just, how do I say this? The trains just treat each other… they are selfish and mean…they just. All of the trains are D-I-C-K-H-E-A-D-S.”
Both dads looked at me while they computed what I had spelled out. Dad # 1 nodded his head in agreement and said, “I see what you mean.”
The conversation switched to where we each are from and I mentioned Philly. Dad #1 started talking about the Eagles and how they lost T.O. to Dallas. He was a Dallas fan. I explained that the Eagles didn’t lose T.O. but they got rid of him. I told him that I thought he was an exceptional player but that the Eagles were better off with out him. Dad #1 then mentioned that Dallas has such a great team this year and blah blah bah. That T.O. is just misunderstood.
“Misunderstood?” I said. “There is no misunderstanding about it. I think he is a great player but he is not a team player.”
“What do you mean?” Dad #1 said.
“What I mean is …how do I say this…I think T.O. is an A-S-S-H-O-L-E. He was one before the Eagles and he is one after the Eagles.” I watched as both dads computed in their heads what I had just spelled out. Dad #2 nodded his head in agreement.
“Basically” I said, “I think he watched too many Thomas videos growing up.”