As a class, the best people in the world are children between the ages of 4 and 8. I love them because their little brains are starting to understand the whats of the world around them, but not the hows and whys. This is why I absolutely adore the AT&T commercials with the kids discussing the merits of smartphones. I particularly like the kid who wants to make is grandmother faster by taping a cheetah to her back.
The first time I sat for him, he forced me to watch his favorite movie du jour, a dreadful children’s adventure called “3 Ninjas”. The plot involved 3 brothers who were in fact not ninjas, but had taken some martial arts classes. Sort of a “Jim Henson’s Karate Kid Babies”. Christopher had seen this movie approximately 100 times, so he insisted we watch it again. In one dramatic scene, some bullies (if the brothers were ninjas, these bullies would qualify as yakuza) steal our heroine Emily’s bike (probably to sell on the black market). At this point, Christopher turned to me and asked, “What’s gonna happen now?” Remember, I had never seen the movie. Christopher had it practically memorized. Given the sheer ridiculousness of his question, I turned to Christopher and said, “The bullies are probably going to sell Emily’s bike and go buy ice cream with the money.” Christopher turned to me with a horrified look on his face and said, “Nuh-uh!!!”. Not “No, John, you’re wrong!”. He was saying, “That better not happen!!” I calmed him down by saying, “Let’s watch and see.” Sure enough, the ninjas infiltrated the yakuza lair and retrieved the stolen property. As the dreck continued, I started to realize what had happened. Christopher had watched this movie over and over, and the same thing always happened, but he had never watched the movie with me. He thought that I was changing what would happen, and he didn’t like my changes. He hadn’t internalized the idea that movies don’t change after they’re made.
Unless the hero shoots first in the cantina scene.