I spent most of my childhood being a kid. You probably did too, unless you’re one of those sleeper robots the CIA built in the sixties with implanted memories. Assuming that you’re a regular organic person, the discrepancy between what you assumed adult life would be like whilst knee-high and what life is actually like while hungover and flubbing on your taxes are remarkably different. I think probably the most disappointing thing about adulthood is that if you roll a snowball down a hill it just sort of languishes after six or seven feet. It took me until my early twenties before I realized if you rolled it down a mountain it wouldn’t accumulate more and more snow until it finally flattened whole villages of Swiss people at the bottom. I grew up in a part of the country which can best be described as a large, flat pancake punctuated with cows, wheat and shotgun-wielding lunatics. We didn’t have any mountains to roll snowballs down. In fact it hardly ever snowed; perhaps once or twice a year. When we did manage to eek out a blizzard and skip school for a day, myself and the other neighborhood miscreants would go on a crime spree stealing trashcan lids to ride down “hills” near our homes. Often times we could propel ourselves down these minimal inclines at speeds very nearly approaching mall walker velocities. That may not sound like much fun, but it is if you time it right and force an oncoming Buick to fishtail into a creek. In this capacity squirrels and eight-year-olds have much in common. Most everything we understood about adulthood back then came from cartoons and our parents. Retrospectively it turns out that our parents are just about as oblivious as we were, only taller. They know stuff about mortgage interest rates and lawn mower maintenance, but otherwise I’m pretty confident they’re winging it as they go along. Cartoons are even less reliable. I read half of The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene one time, and it did not correspond with the physics put forth in Looney Tunes. It’s possible that some later unread chapter dealt with the mechanics of snow accumulation in regards to Super String Theory, but I frankly doubt it. Also one time I remember Bugs Bunny was playing ping pong on a train traveling at the speed of light and so the ping pong ball was going fasterthan light, which is bullshit, because rabbits can’t play ping pong. Anyway, my point is, if you climb up a mountain and cobble a snowball together, it won’t do jack shit if you roll it down the slopes towards Interlochen. In this capacity I feel very much like reality has let me down. Still works with bowling balls, though.
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Andrew Heaton is a writer and standup comedian in New York City. If this post made you laugh or think, kindly "like" it on Facebook.