Play the Home Version

[written August 14, 2008]

Today at lunch, my father was telling me about a math book he'd read written by Winnie Cooper from "The Wonder Years." This resulted in a conversation about child celebrities who turned out well. Obviously, Winnie Cooper was a success story - my parents, whatever faults they have, have always placed a premium on education. Ron Howard got a thumbs up from my father. And then my mother tossed out her nomination.

"You know who turned out well?" she said. "Kirk Cameron."

Longtime readers of the blog can probably guess how I feel about "Mike Seaver," but for anyone who is wondering, my response - another shining example of a mouth that works faster than the speed of thought - should clarify any misunderstandings.

"Really?" I blurted, my voice one notch too loud, "I just figured he'd gone fucking crazy."

Yes, I dropped the f-bomb on my mother. I'm a horrible son, and if there is a hell, I'm likely going to it. Thanks for pointing it out.
But what actually stopped the conversation dead in its tracks was the implication to my mother, herself far more religious (and fundamentalist) than I am often able to look directly at (or, as this comment proved, able to actually fully register), that anyone could think the star of movies like Left Behind could be crazy. The real story though - to my mind, at least - is what followed in the ensuing silence.

Realizing immediately that I'd effectively stood on the table and shouted "CHECK PLEASE!" in nothing but my undies, my mind began to try to justify the comment to myself.

"Well, it's not like you'd let Kirk Cameron babysit for you." Only, probably, my mom would've.

And then it turned into a game. In the game, I imagined that you'd pick two former child celebrities, and you'd have to choose: which of these two would you let babysit your child? Base it on whatever you know about them. Think about whatever True Hollywood stories you've seen or VH1's Where Are They Now moments. Shake it up and see what you come up with. Dana Plato vs Kirk Cameron? Danny Bonaduce or Kirk Cameron? Corey Haim. Tood Bridges. Fred Savage. That kid from E.T. In almost every case, I think, Kirk Cameron would not be my child's baby sitter. Even in the cases of the coked up, gun toting, felons, it's a toss up for me.

Don't believe me? Try it in the comments. It's pretty useful to see where you land ideologically.


4 Responses to “Play the Home Version”
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ash (on leave) said...

Has your mother seen this?:

Seriously, I wouldn't let this guy anywhere near my kid. Fucking crazy indeed!

August 20, 2008 at 4:42 PM
Maude Lebowski said...

hmmm, the real question might be mel gibson or kirk cameron?

if that were the case, i'd feel more comfortable leaving my kid at home alone with sharp metal objects sitting near an outlet.

my parents are totally in love with kirk cameron and mel gibson for that matter. i think they're all fucking nuts!

August 21, 2008 at 10:54 AM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Oooooh, Mel Gibson vs. Kirk Cameron would be tough (though outside of the child star rules).

August 22, 2008 at 4:52 PM
Maude Lebowski said...

yeah, i was just thinking about crazy people in general.

August 22, 2008 at 4:53 PM