My favorite family betamax movie of all time is Back to the Future. Years ago us kids would huddle in my dad’s Batcave, which, indeed, was called Batcave until we had our rickety fire-prone house torn down. The Batcave was the one comfortable room in the house, where my dad’s vintage comic book collection was kept. Every once in a while we would watch Back to the Future and annoyingly recite the lines with the characters. My sister and I have almost memorized all the lines, but my brother would most of the time drift away after a couple of scenes and just play with our WWF action figures in his room, complete with the official squared circle ring at that. WWF has a seminal influence on us—it caused multiple bruises on me and my brother, and I even caused him to have a pretty long gaping laceration on his chin. It was his fault, he did Bret Hart’s the sharpshooter on me, and I kicked out of it, causing him to fly out and hit his chin on the wall.
In Back to the Future Marty McFly goes back to the past and causes all sorts of trouble between his parents-to-be. He is then thrust into an alternate present, then back to the past again to correct it, and then into the Western era. At certain points he meets himself. Which begs the question, if I could meet myself in the past, which particular self do I want to meet and what unspeakable things do I want to do unto them? So at the risk of causing an alternate future where I’m a lizard, I will now get in my Delorean and meet:
1. My 8-year old self reading my father’s super old comic books without care. I would pat him on the head and tell him to take care of them. He would get all bratty and shit, and if he does, I would get him on a piledriver position and ram his head on the cement floor.
2. My 9-year old self getting bullied by Alla, Edwar, Christia, and the rest. As they are taunting my wussy self I would… join in the taunting, lead the taunting in fact. You deserve it you wuss, now shove this plate of self-loathing down your throat and quit yer whining. I would then pat him on the head and give him a blowtorch. This too shall pass, I would tell him, now adjust that wedgie and burn them all to the ground. Burn this whole school to the ground!!! Hello, Tofranil and Prozac, I know. I’m just kidding, I would just probably give him a hug. Awww. And hand him a blowtorch in secret, too.
3. My angry 14-year old self typing angry, murderous, gruesome stories on our old Olympia typewriter. I would tell him, keep on writing these angry, murderous, gruesome stories, keep on writing and don’t stop, don’t stop I tell ya, don’t stop! As annoying as these ink stains might be you would actually miss the clacking one day, but one day you would type on something called a laptop and publish blogs that would spread your self-psychotification like a virus. You would wear your self-deprecation like a badge, and will actually enjoy doing it.
4. My angry 14-year old self actually playing the guitar. I would give him the chords of the songs of Beatles, CCR, Radiohead, and order him to play those songs, maybe you would actually learn cool music and not that wussy garbage which led you to drop learning the instrument altogether and actually smash the bleeping guitar one hot summer day in a fit of psychotic raaaaaaaaaaaaage. Or I would just cut corners, take the guitar from you and say, “let’s just keep this in the closet beside the unused ethiopian flute and tae-kwon-do uniform”.
5. My annoyed, sweating, itchy 16-year old self in white polo shirt, blue jeans, and buckled belt one hot Friday afternoon in the grounds of my high school doing the compulsory CAT exercises. You are right to be annoyed, I would tell you, but annoyance is not enough you chicken. What’s that you call me? Chicken. Nobody calls me chicken, Biff, nobody! Wuuuuuuungk! Annoyance is not enough, you should be indignant, enraged, incensed at this total waste of time. But even at this age I am still actually chicken, so I would just pull your arm and we could run out of there together. Run, moron, the batt comm saw us, run! Ruuuuuuuun!