DAILY PROMPT : When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?
Funny how, at 47, I still have memories of when I was 5 and even 4. So even if this is a lifetime away, I still remember.
My hero… it’s not all that difficult to think about. When I was 5 my life revolved around the grown ups around me and what characters I came across on our black and white TV set. I had Popeye the Sailor man who tried to make eating spinach appeal to me — but we don’t really do spinach in the Philippines. Yet he always saved his precious Olive who was a girlfriend and had a baby. Was that the first iteration of media talking about single parenthood?
I watched Popeye over and over again, memorizing the theme and waiting for that moment when Brutus the villain gets his due and Popeye knocks the day lights out of him. That’s when Popeye gets his can of spinach which, mind you, he pops out of a can and then devours with gusto. And he suddenly grows muscles and saves the day.
He was two-dimensional compared to the superheroes of today and his story lines were silly by today’s complicated plots. He was a kid’s hero– the one you outgrow. It was back in the day when cartoon characters did not have to be deep. It was a time when they were easier to understand from beginning to end.
They were silly but easy enough to understand. When my now 9-year-old used to watch episode after episode of Spongebob, my son delighted in my befuddled expression as I tried to figure out the show.
Popeye was simpler and easier to understand. He’s still my hero.