The Year We Took a Family Photo with The Incredible Hulk

She took his head clean off.

My wife Erin had given him to me and he sat proudly atop my computer monitor at work, glaring down at me with rage. When I shuffled the wrong way and hit my knee against the desk, he was the one who got hurt as his head swayed to and fro, his chin knocking against his chest and back.

“WHY HULK’S HEAD SO MUCH BIGGER THAN HULK’S BODY?” he asked in protest. “HULK IN CONSTANT FEAR OF TOPPLING OVER. THIS WHY HULK SO MAD!!”

But my daughter Elora loved him. The attraction was immediate and deep. When she came to visit at work, it was the first thing she reached for. Was it the bright green color  of his head and body standing out so spectacularly against my drab cubicle? Or was it his big teeth ready to chomp on her finger at anytime? I don’t know. But she hugged that HULK bobblehead to death. Then she let go and he hit the ground and his head and body parted ways.

I wanted to cry. My love for HULK didn’t run as deep as hers, but it was pretty spectacular. Who among us, at one time or another, wouldn’t want to, in the words of Tony Stark, “turn into a green rage monster?” You could actually teach a lesson to that bugger cutting you off at the light. That dude needs to be thrown a few city blocks and we all know it. HULK knows it. HULK understands our pain.

Elora was barely one year old. I’d wanted a boy and that wasn’t her. Though I got over that desire long before she was born, I wasn’t gonna not jump at the chance to further indoctrinate my baby girl into the ways of the Marvel Superheroes. She loved HULK? Fine with me.

One HULK had passed away, decapitated for the sake of her lust. Could not another HULK rise in his place?

Cue Wal-Mart. The Ang Lee Hulk movie (terrible) had just come out and the toy aisle was littered with HULKs. Big ones, small ones, even ones that were just HULK Hands. That you could punch things with and they’d make a roaring sound. Nothing would have made me happier than if Elora had chosen the HULK Hands. I wanted to play with them.

Instead, she chose a foot-high, plastic HULK doll with about 17 points of articulation and a look on his face that signified either his constipation or hunger to eat us. I was so proud. Our little girl was growing up so fast, recognizing the superiority of fully articulated playmates to the barely moving My Little Pony garbage she was supposed to care about.

From that moment forward and for the next year, there was nowhere Elora went that HULK didn’t go with her. He was her friend, companion, snuggle buddy and teddy bear at night. She carried him around by the arm, the leg, the head, whatever. He was HULK. HULK can handle anything. Even the mountain of abuse only a toddler could throw on him.

When the Fall came and it was time to take our family picture, there was no way HULK wasn’t coming with us. Elora would scream if he weren’t there and my wife and I had grown to love the big guy. He was one of us. Part of the family. Like Elora’s angry little brother.

But HULK doesn’t just stand by while HULK’s family take picture. HULK insist on being in picture with family.

Who were we to argue?

Sorry for the softness. I guess they thought we were in the Robert Redford version of the Great Gatsby.

The people at the photo place gave us some funny looks. We must have seemed completely insane to them, but we wanted to do something a little different. Nothing wrong with that, right? To this day, it’s our favorite family photo. It marks a specific time in our lives and now, 8 years later, the presence of HULK in that picture conjures far more happy memories than seeing myself with 35 extra pounds ever could.

Elora has since moved on from her love affair with HULK, but she is still quite fond of him. Recently, the pair were reunited. Here’s that little girl with him today:

Cute, right?

What about you? Did you have a toy you were particularly attached to as a kid? Admit that it wasn’t as awesome as HULK and please share below!

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22 comments

      1. So ich mich recht erinnere, steht doch die Grundrechtepartei auf dem Standpunkt, dass die Wahl des dgeteiziren Bundespre4sidenten Wulff aufgrund der nicht korrekten Konstituierung des Landtages in NRW am 09.06.2010 ebenfalls nicht korrekt gewesen ist, Wulff somit auch gar kein Bundespre4sident ist. Was nun he4lt die Grundrechtepartei von dem soeben ans Licht gekommenen Privatkredit in Hf6he von 500.000 Euro zu 4% von der Ehefrau des mit Wulff befreundeten Unternehmers Geerkens, fcber den Wulff gegenfcber dem nds. Landtag kurz vor seiner ja wohl illegalen Wahl zum Bundespre4sidenten zumindest nicht die ganze Wahrheit gesagt haben soll, andere Zungen sprechen auch von Unwahrheit oder Lfcge. Immerhin hat Wulff sich von Air Berlin kostenlos umbuchen lassen und erst auf f6ffentlichen Druck hin hat er den Mehrbetrag dann nachbezahlt. Es erinnert hier an die Person Johannes Rau, der auch mal Landtagspre4sident und schliedflich Bundespre4sident war und an Helmut Boegers Buch Kaufen Sie sich einen Minister und andere Satiren aus dem oeffentlichen Dienst . Auszugsweise heidft es darin:„Kaufen Sie sich einen Minister. Greifen Sie rechtzeitig zu, dann ist er billiger. Das ist wie beim Pferdesport. Traber, die einige Trophe4en geholt haben, sind teurer. Fangen Sie deshalb rechtzeitig an! Das kommt billiger und Sie haben mehr davon.“ Spe4ter schreibt er. „Minister muss man zfcchten, dann sind sie billiger und haltbarer.Dazu bedarf es intensiver Brutpflege.“Wird die Grundrechtepartei sich der Causa Wulff noch einmal annehmen, jetzt ?

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  1. Oh, gosh, um… This could be different at different intervals of my childhood. But I guess there is one… Although not nearly as AWESOME as the Hulk, which embarrasses me a little, but – hey! – I was a kid and that’s cool, right? lol

    A plush toy of Buster Bunny from Tiny Toons. Took him around everywhere until he had to be thrown in the wash due to mud stains. His hair was never the same again.

    In my younger days (4 years old), I could have said maybe a plush of the Staypuft Marshmallow man. Or the Ecto-1. I pretty much loved everything Ghostbusters back then. And after that, but before Buster, I’d say maybe an action figure of Raphael of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I did take Raph around a lot… I lost him in the surf at Kure beach, NC.

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    1. I had a Staypuft! I loved that thing.

      But I had completely forgotten about Tiny Toons. Wow, that takes me back.

      Michaelangelo was always my favorite Ninja Turtle. Him or Leonardo.

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      1. Wow, a Staypuft lover! Honestly, I still have mine. I found him in a box in my basement last year.

        My favorite was always Michelangelo or Leonardo as well. Especially Mikey. I’m not sure how I came to like Raphael during that point of my childhood. Today I think he was the most poorly represented character in the 80’s cartoon. He wasn’t the moody turtle with anger issues like in the comics and movies. He was just kind of … mildly snarky. And that’s it. That’s all he had going for him, lol.

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  2. this was a fun article Brock! And I’m certainly smitten with Elora for going for what she likes, naturally. My favorite toy & show of all time was Thundercats for sure. I thought I’d be Cheetara when I grew up. Here’s a picture of me with the first 2 figures I had (ignore the fact that it appears I am drinking Milwaukee’s Best Light at the age of 7… hey, at least it’s Light.)
    From Childhood

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  3. This is great! Thee dissonance between a sweet little girl and an angry green monster makes it even cuter. I’m not sure that I had a single toy of interest as a kid, but I was pretty obsessed with Breyer horses and My Little Ponies (yes, there’s a definite equine theme there).

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    1. Typos are the bane of my internet existence. Forgiven.

      My wife was into My Little Ponies as well. Needless to say, I never quite got into them. Thanks for reading!

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