You know how we promised we weren’t above a cute kid story every now and then? I must confess that it’s sometimes hard not to post them all the damn time. Luckily (for any scant readership we might have at the mo’), I’ve got other outlets that bear the brunt of my Art-Linklater-cum-Bill-Cosby impulses. I maintain a Twitter account entirely devoted to Stuart-isms, for goodness’ sake.
Here’s a story that nicely dovetails with a few of my recent Pax (Ro)mama musings — so I think it’ll pass muster.
Last month, I wrote a piece in which I described how Stuart had mistakenly assumed that the two women who facilitate his preschool class were married (to each other. They aren’t, by the way. They’re actually sisters!). I found this little gaffe really touching, and was relieved to realize that I, as a parent in a hetero marriage, raising my child in a heterocentric/heterosexist world, had managed to not significantly squelch such assumptions. I framed all of this in a heart-string-plucking kind of way, because I can get kind of maudlin like that.
Sometimes, though, even I can’t bring myself to extrapolate some weighty Message from Stuart’s totally earnest — yet hilariously … well, wrong — conjectures. And, as a former English major, I’m a consummate bullshitter. But this? Just … this.
Over the weekend, we took the kids to the library where they borrowed some books and movies, among them the 2008 reboot of The Incredible Hulk, starring Edward Norton. Stuart has a newfound love of super heroes, and I’m not dissuading him from this interest. (We’ll save the Women in Refrigerators conversation until he’s a little older). While I didn’t read comics when I was growing up, I am familiar with a lot of superhero lore thanks to film adaptations and the characters’ kind of zeitgeist-y omnipresence. Still, Stuart’s questions get waaaay too involved for me to comment with authority sometimes.
On the drive home from the library, he was studying the Hulk DVD case and grilling me on the content of the movie (which I had not yet seen).
“Is the Hulk a good guy or a bad guy?”
I believe the Hulk’s appeal lies in his moral ambiguity, Stuart. Or, perhaps, I would go so far as to say “moral ambivalence.” “Uh, when he’s a regular guy, he wants to do the right thing. But when he gets angry and turns into the Hulk, he can’t always control himself.”
“Does the Hulk brush his teeth? Because if he doesn’t brush his teeth, he will get cavities.”
“I think he brushes his teeth when he’s Bruce Banner. That way he doesn’t have to find a really big toothbrush.”
“Oh, okay. So who are these people?” Stuart pointed at a photo of the lead castmembers on the back of the DVD case:
“Uh, I don’t really know, Stuart. That guy in the middle is Bruce Banner; he turns into the Hulk. And I think the woman [Liv Tyler] is his girlfriend or something.”
“What about those other guys?” he asked, indicating Tim Roth and William Hurt. “Are they the Hulk’s boyfriends?”
So … am I the only one who is now dying to see The Incredible Hulk reimagined as a polyamorous, bisexual, multi-generational love story? Let’s get this one greenlit, people!