February 27, 2006

Two Ways In Which The Internet Scared Me This Weekend

Not only did the Internet scare Mia this weekend. It scared me too.

We have a friend - let's call him Gunter because I've always wanted to have a friend named Gunter - who ran off and joined the Army a while back. Now, he's a great, smart guy who landed a history degree with me in college but, after he graduated, never really found his thing. Okay, that sounds dirty. He never really found his niche. So, he joined the Army. It's been a while since we've heard from him and, to be honest, it's mostly our fault. Neither Beth nor I are particularly good about staying in touch. Beth dropped Gunter an email recently, and, fairly quickly, we heard back. He's halfway around the world now and expecting (and hoping, the crazy bastard) to be in the desert in about a year. As terrifying as that is, that wasn't what scared me. No, it was the picture he attached that did it. There he was, the Gunter we used to get terribly drunk and skip classes with, in full Army uniform. And he looked old. Not just grown up, but a little old. And I realized, I'm actually a couple years older than the guy.

There were a few of us who formed a really tight group in college. We did some crazy shit, most of it involving alcohol and skipping classes. It's a wonder any of us actually graduated. Now, one is a rocket scientist (literally), another's recently hitched, one's a teacher, another is halfway around the world in a uniform, and another is home with a baby girl. I know alot about that one because I married her. People grow up. Watching it is scary. Experiencing it first-hand is even scarier.

As for the other scary thing, well, remember how I discussed Small Wonder, the worst thing to ever air on television? Well, I've seen a lot of weird, scary shit on the Internet but nothing could prepare me for the existence of Small Wonder fan sites. Or the Small Wonder webring. Scariest? The grassroots effort to bring the damn thing back to television. Okay, maybe that's the second scariest. The first has to be this quote - Have fun playing Small Wonder at home with your very own doll in the image of everyone's favorite robot! Some of you people hitching rides on the information superhighway are just weird. No one who reads this site, of course. But they're out there. Watch your backs.

Posted by Chris at February 27, 2006 08:04 AM

OMG! Now my paranoia is in full alert status. Thanks for the warning!

*hides behind chair in cubicle with back to wall*

Posted by: Red at February 27, 2006 08:10 AM

You get a chance, Tell Gunter I said Thank you for serving, and that he has my prayers during his tour. You wouldn't happen to know his MOS would you?

and well I think bringing Small Wonder back would be great. A great reminder of what good television is... and it's not small wonder.

Posted by: Angelia at February 27, 2006 08:28 AM

If it's scary, it can be found on the Internet. It's how you found me, right? lol. Or I found you actually, but that's not as scary... And all these other crazies!!! I just noticed something REALLY frightening, we give it so much power that it's referred to as the Internet with a capital "I" :-O

Posted by: JuJu's Mom Linda at February 27, 2006 08:48 AM

Of the wierd too...last night while watching Family Guy. Peter goes to an 80s TV convention with his buddies dressed as the A-team. Low and behold they walk by the Small Wonder booth. Too funny!

Posted by: Jay Wilkins at February 27, 2006 08:57 AM

Ha! I'd never HEARD of the show, but being the TRUE Internet junkie that I am, I had to immediately go looking for it... I even found a site with had full episodes to download...

Fortunately the links were broken, because that would have been YOUR fault... Totally...

Posted by: Deepblue at February 27, 2006 09:12 AM

Gunter's name isn't Casey, is it? He sounds surprisingly like a friend of mine, except mine was in the Army a few years back. He got out, but I haven't heard from him in long enough that he might have been crazy enough to go back in.

I used to watch Small Wonder. I knew i was bad, but I guess I must have felt compelled to watch. Or it was the only thing on in it's time slot. Maybe that was it.

Posted by: Becky at February 27, 2006 09:25 AM

A small wonder doll of my very own? Would freak me the hell out. I probably wouldn't sleep with that thing in my house. That is scary!

Posted by: Jessie at February 27, 2006 09:26 AM

Not only haven' I seen it, I don't even know what it is.

Thought for your friend. My son, now almost 38, still stands a chance of being sent. It's been off again on again for over a year. I hope it's permanently off.

Posted by: ann adams at February 27, 2006 09:47 AM

OH. MY. SWEET. LORD. The return of Small Wonder would definitely be one of the definitive signs of the apocalypse. I freaked out when I glimpsed the character in a booth in the background of a Family Guy scene last night.

Posted by: Nicole at February 27, 2006 09:48 AM

I know about the old thing. I got one of those Christmas photo cards from a friend and my first reaction was man - she looks like a middle-aged mom. Then I realized she was 38. Then I realized I'm not that far behind. Yikes!

Posted by: Heather at February 27, 2006 10:01 AM

Since I am a few years younger than you (26), I would need to go back to see what my high school friends are doing. After doing a google search, I learned that one of my goofy "theatre geek" guy friends who always seemed to live on some other planet, is now a high school drama teacher. Freaky.

Posted by: alfredsmom at February 27, 2006 11:05 AM

It's no small wonder that the internet is a scary place, they'll let anyone on here. (did you see what I did there? 'it's no small wonder'. Funny, right?)

My oldest is in the Army, stationed at Fort Irwin, California (yes, I was a baby when I had him). He's with the 11th ACR (Calvary), Black Horse Regiment.

We don't know yet if or when he'll be deployed.

Posted by: Contary at February 27, 2006 12:02 PM

Oh dear God. Small Wonder did seriously suck. People want to bring it back? That IS scarey.

Posted by: Lisa B at February 27, 2006 12:05 PM

I hate seeing people I grew up with. They're always so much OLDER than they used to be, which only means one thing.....

....THEY are older than they used to be.

Posted by: Queen of Ass at February 27, 2006 12:23 PM

Ditto the Queen...I loathe seeing people I went to school with. They look like (gasp) grown-ups!

And hey thanks for adding the Small Wonders link. I think my tic is starting again.
If I can find a Doodlebops episode to download, it's coming your way.

Oh, and LOVED the Mia clip from yesterday.

Posted by: fauve at February 27, 2006 12:43 PM

AHHH!! Awesome entry Chris! I loved the mini video over at Beth's blog too! What a wonderful idea!! I am inspired now and I have you to Thank!! I am going to take some short clips of Drew so I can share too, hehehe

Mia Bean... You're Beautiful!!

Posted by: Tammy at February 27, 2006 01:45 PM

That is wrong.. on so many levels..

Posted by: Molly at February 27, 2006 02:07 PM

I thought it was "Gunther", but with an ignorance of the "th" sound in favour of a more European-esque "t".

Posted by: Gavin at February 27, 2006 02:55 PM

My co-worker's toddler grandson is named Gunther. Seriously. Poor kid.

Posted by: KathyK at February 27, 2006 04:54 PM

I thought my younger brother looked old at his wedding a few months ago (he just turned 30). I guess that makes me ancient!

Posted by: Beth in StL at February 27, 2006 09:10 PM

Life in the military tends to age people prematurely (kinda like parenthood.)

When I was in the Army my platoon sargeant was a year short of retiring. After 20 years in the service, he was only 38 years old but he appeared to be much closer to 58 then 38.

Posted by: Chris at February 27, 2006 10:41 PM

I have never known ANYONE that (outside of Germany) had a friend GŁnter! That's my husband's name and everyone mispells it (including the Germans) to be Gunther. I would offer him as a friend, but it seems your Army buddy is enough for you! I know your post wasn't about the name, but since you mentioned it...

Posted by: Krista at February 28, 2006 07:04 AM

I graduated from high school back in 2002, and several of my classmates have been getting engaged recently, and that makes ME feel old. And don't even get me started on the fact that I have health insurance and a 401(k). I'm way too young for that!

Posted by: Stephanie at February 28, 2006 07:12 AM


Posted by: That Girl at February 28, 2006 07:35 AM