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August 13, 1996

New Horizons
Copyright 1996 - Greg Bulmash - All Rights Reserved

Television ruined my childhood. How? It made me dissatisfied with what I had. Oh, forget the problems of others around the world. I couldn't trade my parents in for the Six Million Dollar Man and Samantha from "Bewitched," and that ticked me off.

The Six Million Dollar Man was way cooler than my dad, the Do I Look Like I'm Made Out Of Money Man. And even though I would sometimes call my mom a witch behind her back, the nearest she ever came to being magical was when she turned into the Fairy Guiltmother.

I had a very rich fantasy life as a child, because everything on TV seemed better than what I had, what I was. I always wanted a watch like Johnny Sako's, and a Giant Robot to go with it. Forget Speed Racer, I wanted to be Racer X. I wanted to be Fonzie. I wanted to be kidnapped by friendly aliens. I wanted two hours alone with Charlie's Angels and a can of whipped cream (I may have been nine, but I knew I was straight, even back then). I wanted, and wanted, and wanted, but I was stuck with life in the burbs, just enough athletic ability to keep from being picked last, and a dog that looked like Lassie but was dumb as a stump.

I wanted a life like the people on TV had... well, except for most of those kids on the ABC After School Specials. They were really messed up. But the rest of them... They had excitement. They were cool. They drove cars and carried guns. And I was sure that if I didn't have such boring, bourgeois parents, I could have had it too.

When my mom re-married during my senior year of college, I did finally pick up three step-sisters, but they all have roots of brown, like their mother (the youngest one in curls), and two of them are older than me. I'm not Bobby. I'm Greg, dammit.

I guess I know better. I know there's no Giant Robot, and that if you get kidnapped by aliens, they're as likely to eat you or perform horrible experiments on you as they are to take you on an intergalactic adventure. And I realize what a lonely, bitter man Racer X must have been.

I've made my peace with all of that and I no longer resent my parents for being who they were. They couldn't help it. A much more grown-up and adult attitude is to resent them for what they did... like letting me watch so much TV. So I still want new parents, but at least now I have the right reasons.

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