My friend, Avery, was a normal kid who grew up in the late 80's, early 90's, just like most of us. He played on his Super Nintendo and NES, he collected POGS, and he'd watch Saturday morning cartoons. The poor kid didn't have cable, though, so he missed out on all those Nickelodeon and Disney shows we all rave about, so Saturdays meant more to him than to us. And they meant more because of these five Mighy Morphin' teenagers.
The Power Rangers.
Avery adored The Power Rangers. He ate, slept, and breathed The Power Rangers. I mean, I'm sure we all played Power Rangers on the playground, but I think Avery thought he was, seriously, a Power Ranger. His obsession only grew when his favorite Power Ranger, Tommy, came onto the scene.
Talk about hero worship, man. Avery loved this guy. Tommy was kick ass, awesome, strong, everything a little boy holds important was roled up into the Green Ranger. Tommy was Avery's idol.
One day Avery’s mom heard that the Green Ranger was going to be at the local hardware store signing autographs and whatnot. He pissed himself. It was like the heavens opened up and bestowed their light upon him. He got that giddy excitement that only children can have. Avery was convinced it would be one of the best days of his young life. Now, Avery’s not a stupid kid, so I very much doubt he thought the actual Green Ranger was going to be there, but when you’re a kid you’ll believe what you want to believe.
That fateful morning Avery’s mom took him and his little sister, Emma, to go see the Green Ranger. Avery got there expecting to see hundreds of people just jumping at the chance to see the Green Ranger, but he didn’t. Avery decided to ignore it, and once inside his mom let him and Emma go in search of the Green Ranger.
Avery and Emma searched for a quite awhile, but couldn’t find him. Avery felt a bit discouraged, but kept right on looking. This was his hero; he couldn’t lose faith. Finally after searching for just a bit more time, Avery found him… kinda. He actually found a middle-aged imposter in Tommy’s cool, green suit. There he was leaning against a fake bathroom sink in his too-tight, spandex costume, with his beer gut hanging over his pants. Avery stood there, shell-shocked, for a few seconds. Who was this fat douche bag?
The man must have noticed them, and not the look of disgust on their faces, because he said, “Hey, kids. Do you want my autograph?”
Not one to be rude Avery said, “Sure.”
The man picked up a small notebook, looked around, and said, “Do you have a pen?”
“No.” The man ended up having to borrow one from some lady. Then he asked Avery what his name was and Avery told him. The imposter gave Avery the slip of paper and said, “Bye, kids. Have a nice day.”
Avery took the paper and it read: “To Andy. The Green Ranger.”
His heart was crushed. Avery told me it was one of the worst experiences he had as a child. It was one of those moments of realization. You know, one of those moments where you grow up a little bit; where some of your childhood innocence is taken away. He said it was right up there with finding out the truth about Santa Claus.
Avery still continued to watch, and love, The Power Rangers. Tommy was still his favorite, and Avery still thought he was brave, cool, and strong, but he could never look at him the same way again.
I guess what they say is true. You shouldn’t meet your heroes. You’ll just be disappointed.