Top phases I went through as a boy-child and what they were called. (Also, I’ve cited references and influences for those of you who need it):

Ninja Warrior Phase:

Time period: Took place during the impressionable ages of 8-10 years of age. 1983-1985

Influences: Basically I blame it on 3 things:

  1. Hollywood and the constant stellar American made Ninja and karate movies that were shown at the box office and on late-night cable.  I’m talking about the “classic” 1980s movies like Enter the Ninja, American Ninja, Gymkata, Pray for Death, 9 Deaths of the Ninja, etc…

Please understand, gentle readers, that it is very difficult for a 9 year-old boy to see a dude dressed all in black doing back-flips off buildings with two swords and taking out 20 other ninjas and not think, “Well, THAT was completely bad-ass.”

Hello. I’m a bad-ass ninja all right. A bad-ass ninja with f*cking fireworks.

2. My brother who was a cop in the area we grew up in, would give me Chinese stars, butterfly knives, nunchucks or other martial arts weapons he would confiscate from criminals he’d arrest.  (Come to think of it…who the hell was my brother busting back then anyway?  The Triads of Florissant, Mo.?!?  Highly unlikely.) Often I was very scared to mess around with these weapons too much as I told myself that these are SACRED TOOLS OF THE NINJAS and also because one time I threw a Chinese star at a large tree in our backyard, missed, and almost killed our black Labrador, Roxie.

3. The magazine NINJA.  Every time I’d go to the supermarket to help my mom with grocery shopping, I’d immediately make a run for the magazine aisle. There I would read as quickly as I could all manners of being a Ninja.  Great, useful articles like “How to Make Yourself Disappear Using Smoke Bombs” , “Grappling Hooks and You”  and  “How to Blind Your Enemies Permanently.”

Also, There would be the most awesome ads ever for Ninja swords, outfits and these incredible jeans worn by Chuck Norris:

Please note small,tough picture of Chucks groin. ‘Nuff said.

Peanuts Phase

Time period: Took place from the ages of 7-8.

Influences: The Sunday morning comics, which I read religiously from the age of 6-18.

No, I didn’t have a weird obsession with cashews, almonds or any nuts.  I’m speaking of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Charles Schulz and Snoopy. Linus and Lucy.  For at least a solid year of my life I LOVED those characters.  I would go to the library and check out all the Peanuts comics I was allowed. I was shocked when I was little and found out that Charlie Brown dated back to the 1950s!  So old I thought baack then.

So I became obsessed with reading all of the comics ever written about Snoopy and the gang.  Also, I think that kicked off my drawing habit as I constantly drew those characters and got so good at it that I can still to this day, draw a picture of Snoopy with my eyes closed. Isn’t that gay?!?  Thanks Charles Schulz, you blockhead.

Doesn’t this scene make you happy?  No? Well, you can go to hell.