Sunday, May 15, 2011

SHORT FEATURE: DRIVING THIS ROAD UNTIL DEATH SET YOU FREE

One of the nice things about having an 8 year old son is that I still get to play with action figures on a regular basis. Last week he alternated us between Star Wars (in which “one of the best characters ever” Ahsoka got a Nikto padawan, much to the disgust of Anakin and Obi Wan who thinks she’s too young to do anything by herself) and Imaginext (in which The King and Batman have been stuck trying to figure out why the cats won’t stop laughing and how to stop the giant bag snake from knocking over the entire village). This week he’s switched us back to my old box full of D&D miniatures (wherein “THE DWARF” is still trying to find a place to relax away from his three Kobold stooges and an Owlbear who thinks it’s a rooster. Oh, just in case you didn’t know, Pees-A-Piddy-Pye is apparently Elvish for Cock-A-Doodle-Doo). It’s great, it’s like living in an episode of Axe Cop for two hours a day.

Now if you don’t happen to have a child running around your home to provide you with a convenient excuse to drag out your old toys, there’s still a way you can do so without being accused of succumbing to extended adolescence. Just turn on a camera, move the figures around a bit, add some some music and, voila, you’re not playing… you’re being artistic and creative. Take, for example, this video for the Zombie Zombie song, Driving This Road Until Death Set You Free…

Okay, so after watching that, the first thing that came to mind was, wow, Zombie Zombie must really like John Carpenter (and they do, as this CD proves). But the second thing was to wonder if a grown man should really be getting such a kick out of this kind of stuff? After all, there is that famous quote from 1 Corinthians 13, “When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.”

Fortunately, that verse isn’t really addressing the issue of men who play games with their children, or even men who keep the occasional toy on their own desks. (Just for the record, I prefer not to think of my six inch tall Godzilla as a toy, but rather as a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom. Or, wait, maybe I’m thinking of Nick Cage’s snakeskin jacket in Wild At Heart.) That particular passage, while full of meaning on its own, is actually the coda for the even more famous first part of 1 Corinthians 13 which goes “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

You see, while Jesus himself said “unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (meaning we are to humbly accept the guidance and admonishments of our trustworthy Father), He also expects us to develop a love for others that grows in strength and maturity. And how do we know if our love is mature? Well, one of the oldest tricks in the book is to take that first part of 1 Corinthians 13 and replace every occurrence of Love with our own names. I am patient, I am kind, I am not jealous, etc. If we can’t do that without thinking “Yeah, I’m so sure!”, then we’ve still got some childish things to put aside. And, mercifully, those things have nothing to do with the occasional action figure that ends up on our desks or shelves.

Which is a relief, because if they ever become available for sale again, I am so getting one of these babies…

zuni doll

7 comments:

LarryD said...

I'm glad I read this - it gives me great confidence knowing that it's okay for me to roll the dice and play D & D with some of my buds.

EegahInc said...

How lucky can you get? I haven't sat in on a pen and paper game for years. I would happily perform some morally acceptable level of violence in order to roll my d20 again.

(former) Rocket Scientist said...

Although I refuse to embarrass my children by offering to play D&D with them, I will admit to the occasional game of Grave Robbers From Outer Space, the Creature that Ate Sheboygan, and Monsters Ravage America with them. And I'm sure part of those "bear all things" was in the marriage vows where my husband agreed to watch the occasional Godzilla movie with me. He's a saint.

EegahInc said...

I actually lucked out a few years back when my daughter and and some of the other teens at the church asked me to DM for them over the summer. I think I gave them some good gaming memories. Did you know a well placed plant combined with an entangle spell can blow the pants off a half-orc?

BurgoFitzgerald said...

My nephews who are 3 and 4 just take it for granted that although I am a 39 year old female, I will be able to speak Bocce when I am fixing the moisture evaporators on Uncle Owen's farm. My youngest nephew tells me to wear my brown trousers when we play action figures so that when I sit "tailor" style on the floor with them, my legs will create the Almighty Sarlacc in which we will sacrifice a great many space scum. I will never grow old as long as I can do the voice for Bib Fortuna telling Salacious Crumb to stop crawling up my space tunic. These are the scripts my nephews write for me.

I know this off topic, Master Eegahlnc, but will there be any pooping on "Priest"? I feel there should be pooping on "Priest".

I think Paul Bettany should stop getting involved in these projects.

EegahInc said...

"...but will there be any pooping on "Priest"? I feel there should be pooping on "Priest"

I won't see Priest until it hits video, which should be pretty quick based on the reviews. I assure you though, once I do see it, I will fairly evaluate it... and then poop all over it.

BurgoFitzgerald said...

I am going to be too excited to sleep waiting for the splendiferous day when you poop on "Priest" *rubbing hands gleefully*