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A SHARP LIFE: Calvin and Hobbes continues to deliver decades later - Odessa American: Editorial

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A SHARP LIFE: Calvin and Hobbes continues to deliver decades later

Aaron Sharp is a former Odessan who fixes computers by day and solves the world’s problems writing by night. He met his wife, and occasional co-author, while they were both working on master of theology degrees. He is a father of four adorable children, and their family lives in the Metroplex. Occasionally he even gets to sleep.

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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2018 3:00 am

A while back I decided it was finally time to introduce our seven-year-old Zoologist to one of the treasures of my childhood — Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin and Hobbes, drawn by Bill Watterson, was the greatest comic strip ever drawn, and it says in this column that this isn’t even debatable. If you don’t think so I’m sorry, but you desperately need help. And honestly you may already be too far gone for any type of professional intervention.

Watterson gave life to the young Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes for only a decade, from November 1985 to December 1995. But what a decade it was. And for me, and I would wager a lot of my contemporaries, Calvin and Hobbes was an essential part of childhood. Those comic strips hit newspaper comic pages when I was 8 years old, and they would last through my first semester in college. Any list of the important pieces of pop culture from that era has to include Calvin and Hobbes.

So, it was with great pride and a sense of history that I handed my son, a burgeoning reader, my copy of The Essential Calvin and Hobbes. Here’s how it’s going so far.

Surprisingly, it has increased his understanding of basic anatomy. The first night he had the book he came running into our bedroom to read the Wonder Woman and I one of the comic strips. In this particular one Calvin hits Susie, his frequent nemesis, in the mouth with a snowball. Calvin refers to his strike as hitting her, “Right in the kisser.” This was a new phrase for him, and he thought it was so funny, he could barely stand up. This is also where he learned the term “knuckle sandwich.”

Unsurprisingly, it has helped him to develop his vocabulary. For the last couple of weeks I have been fighting through a cold/sinus infection/near death experience and as a result I have been blowing my nose loudly and frequently. The Zoologist heard one of the loud nasal explosions the other day, looked at me, and said, “Well, that was trumpety.” At first I was offended because I thought I was being compared to the President, then he told me it had something to do with a T-Rex in Calvin and Hobbes so I let it go.

It has not been all good, however. There has been at least one major drawback that I didn’t see coming. This morning at breakfast a scuffle almost broke out because the five-year-old Ballerina said something that the Zoologist felt his stuffed bear, which he has renamed Hobbes, would find offensive. So now his siblings can’t offend his bear, and if they do he comes out ready to give them a knuckle sandwich – right in the kisser.

I might’ve introduced him to Calvin and Hobbes a little too early.

Odessa, TX

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