Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hulk Smash!

Lets talk Incredible Hulk.
When I was a kid The Incredible Hulk was my favorite comic book character, and then he became a television show that I insisted on watching every week. For me, the Hulk was more than a lumbering beast. He is the modern day version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The nice doctor, trying to create something good for humanity, but in his desperation to prove his theories his vanity and pride take him over the edge creating an alter ego that is his antithesis. Unlike Hyde, the Hulk is not a murderer. The Hulk in the comics has changed a lot and I personally liked the original. I like the idea of the inner fight we all have with good and evil. The fine line we all walk everyday to control our emotions when we are pushed to our breaking point. For me that is what this story is basically about, controlling our darker side so that we don't let our anger get the best of us. I am sure that I am not the only one who somedays wish I could let that monster out to have a heyday with someone who is being mean to myself or others. For me, I will let people walk all over me, but pick on other defenseless people and I flip out. When I was in school, I would see kids picking on other kids and I had a bad habit of getting angry and stepping into the situation. Needless to say, I got into many fights that my inner Hulk won in trying to help others.

We can all associate with Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk. We all have something we try and hide from the public, a part of us that we don't like, yet every once and a while it comes roaring out and no matter how hard we try we can't stop it. We all get angry, stomp around, say things, or do things in anger that we regret once we calm down. We all have a little bit of the angry Hulk in us, a bit of the super human Hulk strength that pours through our muscles as adrenaline when we need it most. How many times have you heard about people performing super human deeds to save someone. Most of the time we are all regular Bruce Banners, but when it counts, I mean really counts, our Incredible Hulk comes out of all of us. Sometimes we are embarrassed because of the mess our Hulks made and sometimes we praise our inner Hulks for saving us once again. In the new Avengers movie Iron Man says, "But we have a Hulk." And so do you. We all have a Hulk inside us waiting to be let out. Some people are really good at keeping it in and others let The Hulk out everyday while driving on the freeway at rush hour. For most of us it is finding a way to channel that anger and use it towards something productive. I like to think that if my world were to be threatened my Hulk would take over and there would be a lot of "Hulk Smash" followed by lots of ... well.... Smashing. I believe that we all like to think we have a dangerous side, mine is green and filled with gamma radiation. I even have a photo of my Hulk that my parents took.

When I was 12 one of the local newspapers was having an anniversary party. They invited kids to come dressed as their favorite comic character. So I went as The Incredible Hulk. My parents did not have a lot of money, my father was a teacher and my mother a teachers aide, so I made the costume myself. I colored the wig, dyed the t-shirt and stockings, ripped the clothes, and stitched the stuffing into the shape of muscles. I insisted on having green make-up on my face and hands, so I made some with green witch make-up and baby powder to tone it down. Then topped it off with ripped shoes, and dental tablets to make the inside of my mouth pink. I remember I was so proud of this costume as I would make my muscle man poses. Then I got to the anniversary party and saw all these kids dressed in costumes parents had bought them. They all looked so perfect and I looked so ... home made. My parents taught me to finish things and they made me stay for the competition. The judges split the children up into boys and girls. So I went and stood with the girls. A judge came over and said to me, "we want the boys over on this side of the room," and started to move me, at which point I said, "but I am a girl!" I took off the wig and my pigtails fell down. Some of the other kids started to titter. I don't think anybody realized that a girl had dressed herself up as The Incredible Hulk. My mother came over and helped me put the wig back on and I went over to stand at the edge of the girl section totally dejected. Lucky for me the judges only took a couple minutes to pick 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for both boys and girls. I already knew I was not going to win and just wanted to go home. The boy who won first was dressed as R2D2, the girl who won first was dressed as The Incredible Hulk! The judge who told me to stand with the boys came and got me and pulled me into the centre of the room. The newspaper had brand new ten-speed bikes for the first place winners. I had wanted a five or ten speed bike, but new my parents could not afford one. Here they were giving me a bike for free. The humiliation of my simple homemade costume and the gender confusion was suddenly totally worth it. I went home the happiest kid in the world. I wore that costume with pride and won every costume competition I entered that year. For me, The Incredible Hulk has the ability to represent the best and the worst in all of us. I only hope that my worst still fights for what's good in this world.

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