Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Realistic Fantasy

My husband is an engineer. He likes the solid reality of computer languages and Internet access. 

I enjoy the idea that trolls live in the knothole of our live oak tree in the backyard.

When Robin knocked on the giant metal island with his fist in that one Batman movie and joked, “Holy rusted metal, Batman,” my husband snorted through his nose and declared, loudly, “Oh, that’s so unbelievable.”

Astounded, I looked at him and said, “Which part of this movie did you find believable? The bat suit with the rubber man nipples?”

Movie watchers sitting near us in the theater were happy to tell us to shut up.

Fantasy is not my husband’s thing.

I love Godzilla and Mothra and horse riding wizards.

Sherwood loves jock straps.


After watching the latest incarnation of the great Godzilla franchise, I waxed enthusiastic. 

“Godzilla as he was meant to be. Big. Tough. Ticked off. Loved it. Loved the train full of atomic bombs, conveniently lined up for radiation eating monsters—to eat! Loved it!”

I never told my husband to go see Godzilla. Never. Why would I? He is NOT a true fan. He is an engineer, forced to see the world as a giant Sudoku puzzle—poor linear man.

He went to see Godzilla . . . 

And found it wildly flawed.

Then he went to see X-Men with our son, the same kid that used to wear fish shaped oven mitts on his feet and stomp around my kitchen pretending to crush some guy named Tokyo. After the movie, my husband, the computer engineer, came home on a tear.

“So how was the movie?” I asked.

“Ugh! It was so ridiculous. All the creatures are so fantastic.”

“Sure. Sure. Fantasy tends to be kind of fantastic.”

“But why? Why can’t there be realistic fantasy?”

“It’s called the suspension of disbelief or pulling the stick out of one’s bottom for a bit and having fun with monsters. That’s all. You have to want to believe.”

“But I can’t.”

“I know, honey. I know. It’s okay. You don’t have to believe. Just sit here next to me. I’ll believe for both of us. See there,” I said, pointing. “In that big old oak tree over there, I think I see a troll peeking out of that knothole. Just squint your eyes up a bit.”

He never did squint.

Linda (Run, Tokyo, Run) Zern

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