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When Jedis Grow Up

June 3, 2010

A while back, a Canadian kid did a silly thing and taped it and while that tape made it to the internet, he made his way to a children’s psychiatric facility and promptly sued the living shit out of a lot of people.

We all laughed, right? I mean, it’s funny. A chunky kid getting his swoosh swoosh light saber on, completely without guile or self-consciousness. We giggle not because he’s portly (he is, but fat kids are less funny now that there’s so damn many of them) and not because he’s bad at it (he’s better than lots of cheerleaders who twirl batons), but because he’s so completely serious. It’s uncomfortable. We watch because we know we’ve got no business watching. This is some inner sanctum, deep sixed internal monologue shit, and we have all done it. Do not for a second front like you wouldn’t be mortified if the same thing happened to you, and don’t pretend like it couldn’t. I have used my own answering machine to record myself singing Ani DiFranco songs a capella on a cassette. I was earnest and determined and, when warbling about abortion (Ani’s, not mine, because I was 15 and would be a loser virgin for another five years), I thought I was the total shit. If, when I was 15, that tape got out, I would have cried and begged my mom to let me stay home from school. If one billion people heard it and all laughed about how much I sucked, I would have been right there in the psych ward with our boy Star Wars Kid. And so would you. Know how I know? Because you got picked on as a kid, too.

So what makes Ghyslain Raza different from you? Well, you were both total dorks at that age, but you’re still a total dork and Ghyslain is about to finish law school. The interwebz are all twitchy with how good he looks, how much he’s grown up, how slim and handsome he’s become. The girls are all OH EM GEE he’s so hawt and you know what? They’re right. He is. Guess why.

No really. Think hard. Any clues?

He’s hot because he stopped acting like a Jedi and started dressing like a grown damn man. He bought a suit. He combed his hair. He took good care of his body. He affected a shit-eating smirk so bone-chilling and smug that it could only have come from a French Canadian, an attorney and someone with a huge giant hard-on for revenge. Ghyslain Raza is smart, has his shit together, and is about to be as frightening as Samuel L. Jackson. I would not mess with him.

Hey, know who else grew up, redistributed their body weight and went to law school? Chunk. Yes, that Chunk. Truffle Shuffle Chunk, from The Goonies. My most favorite overenthusiastic exaggerator in Hawaiian shirts and plaid pants is now an entertainment lawyer, and if you hadn’t paid close attention to Jeff Cohen in 1985, you might never recognize him. I recognize him, of course, because there is a mole on the left side of his upper lip that makes me swoony, because he was my favorite Goonie and my pretend boyfriend, and because I crushed on that kid Tiger Beat-style. (I have been kicking it with the geeks for a minute, y’all. I am not new at this.) I caught a lot of shit for my not-very-secret affection for Jeff Cohen but have a look at my man now and tell me I was wrong. Tell me, ladies (and gay men): What feat of strength or act of heroism would you perform for the privilege of being flat on your back on the hood of a Camaro with your legs wrapped around Chunk/Jeffrey Cohen, Esq? For me, I would strangle a goddamned panda.

There’s a lesson in here for the bullies, the haters and the mean girls: Your geeks may grow up to be hot. Be nice to them, so they’re nice to you. (In fact, how about we just be nice to everyone and call it a day, huh?)

There’s an even more important lesson in here for my geek brethren, though: You have to grow up. For real, you do. You cannot always be Chunk or the Star Wars Kid; you have to evolve into a well-adjusted adult who bears the experiences of Chunk or Star Wars Kid. You cannot let video games be your most important hobby. You have to talk to girls and go to work and pay your bills. You will probably need a post-graduate degree. You’re gonna have to buy a suit and get a good haircut and meet society on its terms before you can change the rules of how it works, but when you do– and I’m not kidding about this– the world lays itself at your feet. Girls will blog about how hot you are. Lookie, I’m doing it right now.

We’ve all Truffle Shuffled at the expense of our dignity. We’ve all been caught pole-dancing with a faux light saber with more intensity than make-believe warrants. We’ve all been humiliated. The best among us move on, learn from it, and maybe even pass the bar exam. Every childhood Jedi has got to grow up sometime.

(Props to Ghyslain Raza for being a badass, even if he is Québécois. And Jeff Cohen: Part of me never stopped crushing on you, and part of me is just getting started on it. Call me!)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Hindenberg permalink
    June 4, 2010 1:01 am

    I dunno, Chunk looks a bit like a douche with that goatee.

    Sloth Love Chunk!

  2. June 4, 2010 2:41 am

    @OhTheHugeManatee Hindenberg: Come on. Don’t hate. He’s a Jewish attorney of moderately Irish descent, too. He’s part of your tribe. Embrace.

  3. June 4, 2010 2:42 am

    Also: Today is the 25th anniversary of The Goonies. Baaaaybeee ROOOOOF.

  4. June 9, 2010 1:12 pm

    HEY YOU GUYS! Yup…I kind of want to shout that at some coworkers now, but like you sad, “You cannot always be Chunk or the Star Wars Kid,” so I won’t.

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