A couple of weeks ago, our son spotted the absolutely terrific first volume of Scarred for Life on the shelf and asked me what it was about. So I breezily said it’s about all the things from the seventies – movies, TV shows, comics, weird games, books – that freaked out kids and left them remembering nightmares. He said “I don’t think anything’s scarred me for life. I don’t remember anything that gave me nightmares.”
I said that Land of the Lost wasn’t in the book, because it was never shown in the UK, but that would be an example. And he said that he didn’t remember it. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t disappoint me and break my heart just a little. We poked and prodded and showed him pictures of the Sleestak, those tall and green lizard men which caused him an awful lot of trouble when he was five, and he shook his head firmly, emphatic that he didn’t remember them at all.
This is what I was getting at when I wrote about rewatching the Doctor Who serial “Carnival of Monsters” the other day. He’s revisited several favorites and enjoyed lots of old shows we’ve watched together again and again, but he’s always said no to trying LOTL again because – at least for a while – he remembered that it scared the absolute tar out of him several times and he’d be just fine forgetting about it. And in time, he did just that. I don’t know how he manages to completely and totally forget the things he doesn’t want to remember, but if I could borrow that talent from him, I’ve got a memory of a bad meal or two that I’d like to expunge.
Refreshed, he found a lot to enjoy in the first two episodes’ dinosaur chases and near misses. He said that overall, these were pretty good and he particularly enjoyed Grumpy getting smacked in the mouth with our heroes’ handy “flyswatter.” And as for the Sleestak, he said “Eeuggh! No wonder I was scared of those things! They’re terrifying!”
He doesn’t want to watch these in order because he wants to see the fire-breathing dimetrodon again next. I was glad to hear it. I said we’ll dust that one off one afternoon next week.