Distracted by Ninja Turtles

HOW THE NINJA TURTLES ALMOST MADE ME AN ORPHAN

LOST IN A JUNGLE

I stood in one of the most majestic and awe-inspiring places on Earth and was reduced to a decade-old pile of snot, sweat, and salty tears caused by the anxiety of my abandonment. This place was a jungle. Visibility was limited and hordes of ape-like creatures swarmed frantically, seeking to land on whatever “deal” they could find. Multiple Home Alone movies should have prepared me for the excitement of parentlessness but, when tried, tested and put in the furnace, I melted.

I shouted for help but found none in the nearby mammals; their selfish instincts took over. I had become isolated from my family and was in survival mode. I had to get out of this place. Fast.

Nervously, I carried myself back to where we started and found help in the form of a grandmotherly lady in a blue apron. I told her I was lost. She asked for my name and I gave it to her.

“Wait here, Adam. It’ll be ok.”

Her reassuring tone was like balm.

With my trauma temporarily tranquillised, she grabbed a microphone and broadcasted the following:

“Will the parents of Adam Meyersieck please come to the Customer Services Desk. Parents of Adam Meyersieck to the Customer Services Desk. Thank you.”

It was my first experience at Walmart.

I looked around at the towers of toilet paper climbing as high as I could see. Big yellow cartoon smiley faces taunted me with their happiness. Banners touting their “Everyday low prices!” reminded me I was at an all-time low. “Price Cut!” posters reminded me I had been cut away from my family - possibly forever this time.

HOW I LOST MY WAY

Just how did I end up getting rescued by Blue Apron Lady at a Walmart Customer Services Desk? Probably the same way every kid gets lost at Walmart- I stayed in the Toys section while my family carried on shopping. Due to my own distractibility, my obsession for the heroes in a half shell turned into full-on emotional hell.

THE CULPRIT: NINJA TURTLES

For most of my elementary school years I was on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kick. My first Ninja Turtle action figure was Raphael, the hot-headed one with the red bandana. Walmart had an endless supply of Ninja Turtles action figures and accessories. Pizza Throwers and Party Wagons, Toilet Taxis and Turtle Trikes; they had Shredder, Splinter, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and variations of each. They had the has-been amateur hockey playing ruffian Casey Jones and pretentious Channel 6 News Anchor, April O’Neill. She came with a news camera and microphone.

I was in Toy Heaven. Walmart had it all!

Check out the video before continuing:

WHO COMES UP WITH THIS STUFF?

Now I know New York style pizzas are large, but flinging them at New York’s most cruel and advanced underground, chemical-trading crime ring to save the city from imminent takeover does not seem to me to be an effective strategy for fighting evil.

Perhaps that's the reason they never asked me.

Sometimes I wonder how they came up with the basic plot line for the show (though admittedly I haven’t given it much thought). It’s amazing the things we give such little thought to when we are entertained or distracted.

I imagine that initial "ideas meeting" to have gone something like this:

Creative Director of Studio- That’s great team. If no one else has any ideas, we’ll meet again at the same time nex-...(interrupted by a drowsy looking young flounderer)

Guy who’s usually stoned whose dad got him a job in Creative- Hey man. I’ve got one.

(Other writers sigh in disdain, roll eyes and look up at ceiling.)