Last weekend my sons discovered pure American art. Now, they are cultured. They are civilized. They are, dare I say, enlightened.
Last weekend, I introduced my sons to MacGyver.
They were pretty excited when I told them that we were going to watch MacGyver. They didn’t know why but that didn’t matter. The older you get, the more reasons and explanations you need to get excited. These boys are very young. That’s another way of saying that excitement still comes easy for them.
“Boys, we’re watching MacGyver.”
They gave me a weird look.
I struggled with the best way to answer that question. I’ve been asked a lot of tough questions. What are you doing out at this hour, sir? Are you on something? Did you lose a bet? You know, tough questions. But I’ve never been asked to explain MacGyver. I struggled with the best answer. Finally, it came to me.
“It’s a show about a guy who blows stuff up with paper clips.”
My sons danced around as if they had just hit the lottery of television viewing.
Forty-five seconds into the pilot episode, I realized something about MacGyver. If it came on today, that show wouldn’t last, well, forty-five seconds. Here’s why.
- MacGyver is a man who solves problems. He solves problems without the aid of a government organization or a feminist. In that respect, MacGyver, if aired today, would be the most offensive show on television. It shouldn’t but this keeps me up at night. I just know that, because they’re all out of ideas, Hollywood will remake MacGyver. In the updated version, she’ll drive a Prius and use paper clips to prevent people from wasting energy.
- MacGyver looks kind of normal. An argument could be made that he has a mullet but other than that, MacGyver looks like your neighbor who likes to run marathons. Sure, he’s in good shape but he’s much too small for today’s hero. If you want to save people on TV theses days, you need to be 315 pounds with 0% body fat. And that’s just for the ladies.
On our first episode, MacGyver disarmed a bomb with, you guessed it, a paper clip. On the second episode, he took down a drug lord and his entire army with a few snakes and rice powder. My kids were hooked from that moment on.
I checked their book bags Monday morning to make sure that they weren’t packing any paper clips. Or snakes. They were clean, as best as I could tell.
When our MacGyver viewing was over, we did something else that puts us up there with only the elites of our time.
We played Monopoly.
Forty-five seconds into our game, it was pretty much over. One of my sons had already quit and was doing something to the toaster with a paper clip and a snake, another son was wondering why he had to pay a luxury tax and my wife was giving me that Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self look for telling my son, “Welcome to the Obama presidency.” Oh, and by the way, my wife, who also happens to be a math teacher, was beating us soundly. She somehow managed to own Boardwalk, Park Place and all of the railroads. Draw your own conclusions on this but she also happened to be the banker.
At one point, the son who remained in the game landed on one of his mother’s properties and was quickly informed that he would be owing $1600 in rent. She made a deal with him to keep him in the game. Shortly after that, I landed on one of those same properties. My wife told me that she could help me out so that I could stay in the game.
I declined the offer and started making breakfast. I used a few eggs, a paper clip, some rice powder and an old battery.
I introduced my sons to MacGyver because I wanted them to see a television show that gives a somewhat positive portrayal of manhood. Sorry for my insensitivity but the cast of Teen Mom 2 just isn’t doing that. I mean, who would you rather have disarm a bomb in your kitchen?
Anyway, both of their experiences over the weekend will help to prepare my sons for manhood. Monopoly is a lot like life. It doesn’t always go your way and taxes come at you from out of nowhere. You can either cry about it, or you can look for a paper clip and work your way out of it. Sometimes, even the paper clip method won’t work. Plain and simple, you’re just beaten.
In that case, you just cut your losses and cook everyone some breakfast.