A full box of sealed packs of Hook Trading Cards.
Oh yes, Hook Trading Cards. They’ve been untouched for 19 years, but I went ahead and opened 3/4 of the box in order to find a complete set. These cards were meant to be seen, to be put in order, to be arranged in plastic sheets, to be presented to my son or daughter on their 18th birthday, when they’re finally old enough to respect them. Until then, they’re staying locked up with the gun and great grandpa’s ashes. This is all hypothetical. Completely hypothetical.
There are things I wonder about people. Like, what’s up with the guy in front of me in line at Popeyes, and why isn’t he wearing a clean shirt–and HOLY CRAP WOW, what is up with the cashier’s face, and why do they talk out of the side of their mouth like that? And why am I in line at a Popeyes? Do I want food poisoning? Do I enjoy having it? There are things I wonder about people. About myself.
For instance, why did I buy this full box of sealed Hook Trading Cards? And how did a full box of sealed packs of Hook Trading Cards survive intact since 1990? How come no one threw it in the trash? Who thought a box of cards full of Robin Williams in tights would be valuable in time? Especially after the movie Patch Adams?
Or Death To Smoochy.
But I do love this movie. I have always loved the story of Peter Pan. I watched the animated Disney version both with relief and regret–relief that I was still a kid, that I could still be one of them–but regret too, for I knew I was always growing up. While Christmas always felt a lifetime away, all I had to do was look at the summers passing to know that time moved fast, and that the next grade–another year–always dangled over my neck, about to drop. Time is a trick, a thief, but Peter Pan and the Lost Boys eluded it. The ability to fly would also be great, but to never grow up–that would truly be magic.
In 1990, the Spielberg-directed Hook was released with Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan. Unlike so many other films from this era, I don’t have any great memory of hype leading up to the movie, seeing it in the theater, eating the popcorn while watching it, eating the tie-in ice cream cones, begging for the toys, or acting it out in the backyard afterwards. The film was criticized as overproduced and badly-written, an example of also-ran Spielberg– a “would-be blockbuster that no one likes.”
The thing is, I think everyone in my generation likes it.
I do remember watching TV during one of my couch marathons, where no one was around to snatch the remote away from me (a glorious memory, really), and coming across this movie on HBO. I was hooked. Here’s a movie that was about Peter Pan growing up, being old and stuffy, not having time to play with his kids, too busy with work. But then Captain Hook captures his kids, and Peter has to save them by remembering his childhood and that he is actually The Peter Pan. I was enchanted with the idea that even though you grow up, you could still become young again if you just remembered how.
So the movie was saccharine, sugar-coated, and perhaps a little overindulgent on Spielberg’s part–and it’s no Jurassic Park. But sometimes you want that. And sometimes you want the dinosaur to eat the guy on the toilet.
And sometimes, when you’re trying to complete a freaking set, you get a little irritated when every card in every pack has the gray-haired old lady on it.
And this oddball drawing of Tinkerbell. This is the only “cartoon” card in the deck. Every other card/sticker is taken from the film. What, would Julia Roberts (as Tinkerbell) not approve for her image to be on these cards? And that’s the other thing about collecting trading cards–you always get triples and quadruples of the worst cards, like a fairy and a grandma. Give me some pirates! Give some Captain Hook! Give me some of that fat kid! I got a fever and the only prescription is more FAT KID.
Anyway, while I’m bitching about 20 year old trading cards–and honestly, I have to bitch, or else there’d be nothing more to post. And if you’ve read this far, you might as well go all the way. So I’ve scientifically extracted the 5 worst cards in the deck.
5) The Truth Revealed
It’s the old lady! Again! She’s on every card. The old lady is actually Wendy, if you haven’t seen the movie–but then, I gotta wonder why you’ve read this far. But keep reading–I’ve got a good Taco Bell joke coming up.
4) Tinkerbell’s Mission
No, seriously, Julia Roberts didn’t release her image for these cards. She’s not on a single card, not even the ones that say Tinkerbell. (Another Tinkerbell card has only a picture of a clock.) Here, we have a picture of a window. Oh yeah, there’s a great card–a window. A window! It makes me so frustrated, I couldn’t even bother to try taking a non-blurry picture of it.
3) Meet The Lost Boys
Dude. This kid totally looks like the devil.
It’s grandma again. And you didn’t know this, but she’s actually lurking somewhere in the background of every card. In this one, she’s just more prominent.
And… 1) THUD BUTT REBUTS
Thud Butt? That’s the fat kid’s name? Thud Butt Rebuts? It’s almost as good as “lewd, crude, rude, bag of pre-chewed food dude.” You love me now.
Speaking of bags of pre-chewed food, why hasn’t Taco Bell come out with this yet? And bing bang, there’s the big joke. You really love me now.