Et tu Brute? Stories of betrayal and why you shouldn’t lose sleep over them.

I can remember the first time I felt deeply betrayed.  It wasn’t by a friend or a family member, but instead by a toy company.  The early 1990s  was a heady time for me.  I was fully immersed in the cartoon masterpiece that was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT).  I have not bothered to rewatch this show for fear that I would not currently share the opinions of my 5-year old self.  Being a prepubescent boy living in the suburbs of New Jersey, I considered this high art.  In a bid to further monetize the show, Playmates Toys released a line of TMNT action figures and accessories, which they advertised relentlessly on television at the time.  My obsession for the summer of 1990 became the “Mutant Module.”  Commercials showed a massive drill bit smashing through a nondescript countertop to break into a supposed gold vault.  In rewatching this tv spot, I’m not exactly clear on why I figured this thing could actually drill through table tops.  Nor am I certain about why I would want to destroy the various surfaces in my home, but at the time this seemed like a really desirable activity.  I was deeply disappointed to open the box though and find a collection of plastic and stickers, which wouldn’t drill through a paper bag let alone a countertop.

I further lost faith in corporate America when I begged my parents, for a straight month, to buy me a pair of sneakers known as LA lights.  It was my desire to “own the night,” as the ad campaign used to say.  I felt like every kid in third grade had them and I needed shoes that spit red hot LED fire, Continue reading