Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The simple joys of being a middle-aged dad: Flash Gordon theme edition

Somewhere in my past the chorus to the theme (by Queen) from the 1980 Flash Gordon movie got quasi-embedded in my brain--particularly that couplet: 

Flash! A-ah!  
Savior of the universe! 


Over time my brain changed the second line to "Defender of the universe" (which I think works better in the meter, but that's another topic) but the melody remained, and the key (of course) was the "A-ah!" vocalization after the hero's name. It's not as though I was a huge fan of the movie (I was not) nor a huge fan of the song (it's fine); but that part was just an earworm that was in me permanently.

For no good reason other than my own amusement, occasionally I'd adapt it and substitute another single-syllable word where the "Flash!" was, to elevate the term in a ridiculous way; e.g., "Cheese! A-ah! Defender of the universe!"--although I have no recollection of using that one in particular. It's always spontaneous, tossed out in the moment when an appropriate word comes up in our conversations, as a jocular interjection, so they never stick with me.

As a parent I have done this in front of my now 7-year-old son just to be silly more times than I could recall, but it's not like I do it daily or weekly. Again, it's never premeditated nor meant to make any larger point than some dumb attempt at humor, so I genuinely could not say how often it has occurred. But apparently it has happened enough to make an impression. 

The other day we were playing outside and when we went in the house he went to the bathroom to wash his hands (a habit we have drilled into him through intentional repetition). At the sink, completely on his own, he burst out "Ice! A-ah! Defender of the universe!" (based on a word that came up in our play adventure just before we came inside). He then repeated that when he came out, with an accompanying dance move--a nice addition that I don't recall ever including.

There’s no reason anyone else will get this, and that’s as it should be, but I find it immensely amusing to see how I’m ruining my son while he’s still young.
It’s not my proudest moment as a parent, but I won’t lie: it’s up there.

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