Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Childhood Obsessions II

In my second report on my childhood obsessions, I look back to a glorious time slot that doesn't exist anymore: Fox Kid's Weekday Afternoons.

Used to be, when I got home from school I could count on a few things to always take place. First, I would shed my shoulders of my backpack, thus relegating my homework to a later point in the day. Second, I could look forward to a snack to get my blood going again after a boring afternoon of learning. And last, but not least, I could look forward to a block of TV that introduced me to some of the greatest shows of the 90s. Between 3 and 5pm each weekday, Fox Kid's came into my living room and took me along with Batman & Robin to fight villains like Mr. Freeze and the Joker. Or I could laugh along with "Life with Louie" or "Bobby's World" (incidentally, these are the last shows that I liked that had any association with Louie Anderson and Howie Mandel.)

But, out of all the afternoon distractions that this block of television offered, the absolute hilt was the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. This show blew me away. For years, I made sure to be at home to watch the rangers fight and defeat a new evil monster every afternoon. I had the video games, the toys, the playing cards, you name it I had it. But the greatest thing that a fan of the show could get was to meet the rangers in person, and that's what I got to do.

Belks in Fayetteville was holding a promotion where Tommy (Green/White Ranger) was coming to the store to sign autographs. Being my favorite ranger, I about peed my pants when I heard that I would get to meet this hero of mine in person. As an added bonus, Billy (Blue Ranger) tagged along to the delight of us ranger fans. The day of the event, the store was packed out with children and their parents, meshed together to create a frenzied sea of youthful zeal for our costumed heroes from Angel Grove.

 As I approached the platform to meet the Rangers and have them sign my card, I could not speak. I stood there and just looked at them signing autographs. I was literally star struck. Now, since that time I have met several celebrities. I've ridden a elevator with Emmit Smith, gotten my picture with one of the Statler Brothers, and even attempted to follow Jimmy Carter into a bathroom for the chance to meet him. But no matter who else I meet in my lifetime, nothing will ever top me being in the presence of my childhood hero, Tommy the Green Ranger.

As soon as I got a premade autograph from both both Billy & Tommy, I turned to step down from the platform. As I turned towards Dad, who was waiting for me, the crowd erupted and flash bulbs started going off like crazy. As I turned to see what the commotion was, I saw Tommy and Billy standing on their table doing karate moves.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday at all.

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