the show: 08-08-06

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[Sugartits theme song plays while various Sports Racer box designs are shown]
Oh, wow! Sugartits!
Breakfast time is always fun
With your favorite cereal, it's number one!
Fortified with eight essential nutrients and vitamins. . .

Good morning Sports Racers, it's Thursday, August 8th, and this is the one hundredth episode of the show.

Knowledge sat down in a big field and started picking dandelions.

(sings) Mama had a baby and her head popped off. (whispers) Pop!

And knowledge started getting sleepy, so it took a nap.

S-s-s-something from the comments. Unappropritly writes, "Is that white facial hair I see? Must be getting older; you, not me." It's weird, right? My body's starting to do stuff without my permission.

In August, the summer starts feeling old. Around here, pretty soon things'll start changing color and falling. And I remember the excitement of looking forward.

In Montessori, I was the chubby little German boy who couldn't speak English very well. The school put on a production of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," and, owing to my lack of vocabulary, the teachers gave me the part of the mouse. The one that wasn't supposed to be stirring. They allowed me one snore, and I practiced it until the inside of my nose hurt. That night, when the lights came up in the gym/cafeteria/auditorium, underneath my homemade mouse costume, my little body all hopped-up on Kool-Aid shook with excitement when I saw the reindeer file in. I wanted to be a reindeer so badly, all I did was watch them. And I forgot to snore.

In the summer before second grade, no doubt bored out of my mind, I stumbled across my parents' collection of 45s. For some reason, I found myself identifying very strongly with Elvis Presley and particularly "I Want to Be Your Teddy Bear." My parents obliged my obsession, taking me to Salvation Army to buy a tiny, but ill-fitting, white polyester suit. In my mind, all that was left was the hair. That September, I undoubtedly became the first kid in over thirty years to walk through the P.S. 16 doors with Dippity-Do valiently trying to prop my thin, blonde hair into a pompadour. I'm pretty sure—no, positive—the other kids didn't get the reference. In fact, looking back, I would say that there was very little about that day that was Elvis. My parents, of course, were complicit in this, and there's a certain cruelty in the supression of laughter.

But I'm sure there were times where it came in handy. Like when my first relationship of two days ended in a breakup, I'm thankful for my parents' composure when I distinctly remember telling them that I "finally understood what all those love songs meant."

Later that year, I completed my homage to Elvis, becoming chubby while I waited for a growth spurt. The normally-exciting back-to-school shopping at Sears ended with me crying in front of a rack of husky jeans. Who the hell names their jeans "husky?" It didn't make me feel manly.

I don't mind these little white hairs. I kind of even like them. And, for the moment, I don't even really wish I was younger. But I do miss that excitement of anticipation. Standing in front of the mirror fighting gravity with Dippity-Do. Imagining myself leaning up against a desk, legs crossed with a little alley-cat grin. Math homework, right? (snickers) Pretty hard. Not sure who I was talking to, but they were as cool as I was.

Over time, I've been confronted by the difference between these anticipated moments and the realities of what actually happens. Sometimes it's worse, sometimes it's better, but it's always different. Because of this difference, the little future vignettes that I play in my head don't carry the same excitement and terror that they used to. And instead, slightly amused, I watch them as the strange little fictions that they are.

This is Ze Frank, thinking so you don't have to. Happy 100th, and thanks!

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