His son used to be perfect. Now he is ruined. Was it drugs? Was it crime? No, the culprit according to this dad was that insufferable train Thomas, and the country that exported him to us.
We all know what island the imbecilic “Thomas the Train” hails from, and it ain’t Sanibel. It’s the mythic Island of Sodor, somewhere between the coasts of Britain and Braindead.
Because of Thomas, we have spent 1.2 million dollars on trains and tracks.
And what does my son do after I set up tracks? He places the trains around the track a few inches apart and stares at them.
I try to push the $22 wooden blocks around my expertly crafted track, but he screams, “Noooo! Not that one!”
Ellison doesn’t play with the trains. He stages them.
Thank you, Great Britain, for making my son OCD.
Then there’s the Thomas plot lines. In every story, one thing happens: someone disobeys orders. Every train from Diesel 10 to Paxton to Skarloey (actual names) seeks short cuts in daily tasks, thusly disobeying orders, thusly causing “confusion and delay”.
That’s all that ever happens.
The moral of every story is: “listen to directions.”
Yet when I ask my Thomas-obsessed son to do virtually anything, he runs in the opposite direction, thusly causing confusion and delay.
Well, really just delay.
Thanks for the UN-impressionable story lines, Britain.
And then there’s the slightly creepy, disgustingly catchy, unlistenable theme song. It crowds out all other music in my head. (Excepting “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider”.)
The song describes Thomas as “the cheeky one.” Because my son wants to be Thomas, he describes himself as “cheeky”.
I really think something’s lost in translation. Why on earth is the hero of impressionable English-speaking boys a smart ass?
No American uses “cheeky” as an adjective, let alone as a heroic attribute. (Well, people living in Tribeca do so. And Madonna.)
Thanks, Britain, for making my son talk like Madonna.
And now: the pig.
For those who don’t know, Peppa Pig is a cartoon that’s a phenomenon where?…you guessed it.
Thanks to you, Britain (and you, too, YouTube), my son wants to be “Zoe Zebra” for Halloween.
Who? Peppa’s zebra acquaintance who only rarely pops up in episodes. She’s probably picked last for the cricket match during recess.
Oh, no, wait. He wants to be Danny Dog; another background character.
Oh, no wait. He wants to be Rebecca Rabbit, a slightly more frequent character.
So for Halloween I need to construct a chubby zebra/dog/rabbit wearing a colored leotard.
Thanks, Britain, for making my kid the weirdo who only likes British entertainment. Eventually he’ll learn the accents just seem high-brow.
Oh, and also: thanks for making my son aspire to background work.
Finally, Peppa has greatly influenced Ellison’s pronunciation. When he asked to be “Zoe Zebra” for Halloween, he pronounced it zeh-bra.
And words like “there” comes out “the-a”, “where” as “whe-a,” and “aluminum” becomes “a-loo-MIN-ium.”
Ok, I’m exaggerating. He he doesn’t have r’s yet, so “the-a” and “whe-a,” probably just sound unintentionally British.
(And he has yet to proceed beyond hydrogen and helium.)
Further, when traveling, Ellison asks, “are we there yet?” Not like, “are we there yet?” But “are we THERE yet?” Ok. I can’t write with an accent. But trust me. He emphasizes “there” with a lilt so the sentence inflects down, not up. (Is this a British trait to avoid offending with something as obscene as a direct question?)
So thanks Britain, for influencing my son to communicate indirectly and setting him up for a life in the theatre faking a British accent.
Originally appeared on Daddy Coping in Style.
Photo: Flickr/Bianco Andrea