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Movies that suck

Graduation is just around the corner. That means millions of kids across the country are looking forward to the future with starry eyes, hearts filled with hope and nerves tingling with the anticipation of moving out of their parents’ basements, ready to go off to college and become productive, important members of society by finding new and exciting ways to drink beer while standing on their heads.

Of course, once they sober up, clean the Sharpie markers off of their faces and find their pants, they’ll need to figure out a plan for their lives, something that they want to do when they grow up. And by growing up, I mean not showing up to work at noon, hung over and wondering why their hair smells funny.

Some of them will learn to become doctors. Others might devote their studies to becoming a lawyer. The students who major in English, Esperanto and government will be of no use to society whatsoever.



Just don’t embark on the path that I did before I left the nest. I wanted to be a ghost buster.

Now, first of all, let me emphasize the fact that, at the time, I was 5, and I firmly held on to this dream of mine until I was 9. OK, how about, 12. All right, 15 – happy?




When you’re that young and impressionable, you’re naíve enough to think that the impossible could be slightly possible. That was my possibility. I honestly believed that one day ghosts would try to re-inherit the Earth, and it would be up to an elite squad of wisecracking paranormal exterminators to stop them. I also read the Book of Revelations about 30 times by the time I left elementary school.

The first time my parents let me watch Ivan Reitman’s “Ghost Busters,” I was hooked. It was the first slightly grown-up movie I was allowed to watch (if you can call four adult men running around New York City in pajama suits with toy space guns strapped to their backs “grown-up”), and my parents finally let me stay up late one night and watch it with them. It wasn’t because they thought I was mature enough to handle it or because the movie wasn’t as bad as some of my old man’s, who hates it when I call him my old man’s favorites like “Alien” or “The Thing.” They just figured it would zonk me out. They hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep since 1980. You’d be that dumb, too, if you couldn’t keep your brain on for more than five seconds.

Needless to say, their evil little plan backfired. I didn’t go to sleep that whole night because I kept replaying the movie in my head. It charged me up like a Hummer trying to jump-start a Yugo. That’s what I knew I wanted to be. When I woke up the next day, I wanted to practice being a ghost buster with all the kids in the neighborhood. When I went back to school, my friends and I used sticks and pine cones as training protron blasters and ghost traps. When one of my friends got his eye poked out with a “positron glider,” I plotted my strategy for the final battle against Gozer with pencils and an art gum eraser in after-school detention.

Then came my internship. The movie became such a colossal success that they created a Saturday morning cartoon version of it. It came on so early in the morning that I started drinking coffee by the time I was 8. I studied every episode, every ghost they battled, every piece of equipment Egon Spengler could pull out of his bag of tricks. I could replace a faulty timing wire on a fully automated, eco-containment unit by the fifth grade, but I still couldn’t figure out what elements made up water.

Then came my graduation. On Halloween, I was allowed to become a ghost buster or at least rent the uniform for one night. My old man, who hates it when I call him my old man, took an old water gun and taped it to the end of some tubing, which formed the gun. Then he would stick it to a backpack that was covered in foil. It looked like I was trying to bake potatoes on my back.

Then when I grew up, the dream died. Of course, I’m chasing a very fulfilling dream, but that’s what your future is all about – having dreams and fighting for them. So go out there and fight for them. Just know that some of them will come true, some of them may turn into other things and some, like mine, will remain just that – dreams.

Still, they had me at “He slimed me.”


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