My car was stolen last week. That sucketh greatly. After getting over the initial (minimal) shock, my first thought was that I hope whoever stole the car burns it to a crisp so badly that it can never be recovered and my insurance carrier has to send me a check for the value of the car. While I wouldn’t exactly be #winning—my car was stolen, after all; I just paid that bad boy off, too; no biggie—I wouldn’t have to worry about a car where Lord-knows-who did who-knows-what in it. Even if they found my car, I’d be getting rid of it.
Sounds reasonable, right? Except an odd thing happened the other day. While I was recounting the whole ordeal to somebody again, when I got to the part where I say that I hope whoever stole my car burns it to a crisp, I got a slight pang in my heart. I’d eaten pepperoni this year, so I assumed maybe it was heartburn. But that wasn’t it.
The truth is, when I thought about my poor car being burned and tortured, the motherfucking Cars trilogy or Herbie the Love Bug showed up in my mind as I pictured my poor car screaming and yelling as if it were a living, breathing thing with feelings. Basically, my car, in my mind, had become a mix of KITT from Knight Rider, Sonny from I, Robot and Lightning McQueen from Cars.
I had an actual moment of anxiety where I worried about the motherfucking well-being of my car. My car ... a mixture of fiberglass, cloth, nuts and bolts, and remarkable torque, all inanimate and without feelings, almost made me feel guilty for not doing more to protect it from bad humans.
What in the world has gotten into me? Disney, that’s what. And Pixar. And DreamWorks. All of those studios that create movies about the things we use and step on daily and give them feelings and mouths and vocabularies. All of their real-life-ass movies. Ever since I started watching Disney movies on repeat—pretty much my entire life—I’ve started to view things like candelabras and clocks as if they could have hurt feelings, too. Do you know I have ACTUALLY tried to console a toy that I was parting ways with ... as an adult? Shoot, I tried to catch my dishes singing and dancing once. Look, I know it sounds crazy. But I’m about to level up for you.
I’m a grown-ass man who owns a whole house. OK, the bank still owns it, but you know what I mean. I pay monthly for a piece of land and the house built on it and pray like hell that the feds don’t show up with a piece of paper that says “eminent domain” on it. Manifest destiny, my derriere, Mr. Fed Man! Well, as the owner of a bank-owned house, I have a backyard. It’s not a huge yard, but it’s mine. And that means I have to cut the grass every so often.
Now, this last time I went out to cut the grass, well, let’s just say I felt like I was walking to a jungle. It’s almost shameful how long it’s been since the last time I cut my grass. Not to mention it’s been raining, so you know the grass was outside looking like LaMelo Ball’s hair. Well, I cranked the weed whacker to trim some edges and get the top grass, and all of a sudden I was being accosted by grasshoppers and crickets jumping out of the grass to land on my fence. Like, TONS of them insects came out of the grass. It looked like A Bug’s Life. Or Antz. Or basically any insect movie that’s ever been created.
And you know what? I was afraid that by cutting my grass, I was destroying their world. I felt like I was stepping on houses and splitting families up as the wind from my appliance sent families every kind of which way. I saw a cricket on the sidewalk, grasping for life—I didn’t cut him in half; I don’t know what happened to Young Jiminy—and I felt a sadness rush over me. Where were his children? Or her children? (I couldn’t tell, really.) What happened to him? I wanted to help him.
Unfortunately, a grasshopper attacked me at that very moment, and in my attempts to fend off the aggressor, I may (or may not—there were no witnesses) have stepped on him. I hope he (or she—I couldn’t tell, really) went quickly. Allegedly. I was in my backyard WORRIED about some damn bugs, afraid that I was ruining a world full of tiny animal and insect peoples.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I ’Nolia clapped my whole yard—ya know, chop chop—because ultimately, if my yard looks a hot mess, nobody is going to believe that grasshoppers prevented it from looking decent. But because of all the great and wonderful Disney movies I’ve watched, I’ve found myself looking at animals different. And don’t even get me started on spiders and Charlotte’s Web. OK, you got me started.
Look, I do not fuck with spiders. Especially big spiders. For all I know, they are all capable of eating me. But when I see spiders, I wonder about all of their kids, and I wonder if they might be Charlotte’s cousin. Yes, I know she was a fictitious creature. Or was she? Hmm? Hmmmm? This is my point. I just don’t know.
Growing up in a Disney house, I pretty much watched every single movie ever released by the company at least 10 times. I watched Aladdin with my cousins LITERALLY every day for an entire summer. Now if I see lamps—I love lamp—I sometimes rub the side, ya know, just in case. I try not to do this in plain view of other people, but sometimes I forget other people can see me.
OK, just pretend that entire last paragraph doesn’t exist. The point of it all is that because of Disney movies, I’m treating bugs, cars and houses differently, just in case my entire life is actually a Disney movie in the making. I’m not sure what to do with this information.
Basically, I just used over 1,000 words to say that I cut my grass. You’re welcome.
I still hope they don’t find my car.