Monday, May 13, 2013

Spaceships and Deadmen

Since last fall, I've been drooling over the potential realization of Chris Roberts' next, greatest computer game opus--Star Citizen. And while I've promised an in-depth post about that in the past, this isn't that article. This is about my bedtime routine and my son's bedtime routine.

You see, one particularly excellent early trailer for Star Citizen has gripped my fevered brain ever since I first discovered the game on Kickstarter last year. It's the trailer for Star Citizen's single-player campaign, Squadron 42, and it makes me feel like a dopey Louis Rogan from The Last Starfighter gawking at the real gunstar every time I see it. Of course, it didn't take long for my son to stagger in between my and my widescreen tv and then plop himself down onto my lap--even with a limited grasp of Newtonian physics, my spawn knows a good space sim when he sees it. Cuddling in front of the soft strobing glow of Vanduul pulse lasers, he'd cuddle against me and softly narrate the trailer:

"Big spaceshi'...Bengol car-yer..."

"Steroid...bad spaceshi'..."

"Yessir! Saloot!"




It was great. Getting him to recognize the capital ship by class was a particularly proud point for me as nerd-pater. There were only two sticking points. The first was that my son's enunciation of the word "spaceship" leaves a little something to be desired. He'd clip off that last syllable so it sounded rather ambiguous. And, being an intolerable grammarian terrorist even to my own loved ones, I would insist he say it again:

"No, Bucky--it's pronounced space... ship."


"Space. Ship."

"Spaaay...shit. Puh."

"No, no. No. Buddy, look at my lips spaceship. Space. Ship."

"Spayshit. Puh."

The more I tried to coach him, the farther little Mr. Doolittle got from saying what I wanted, and the more incidentally profane our talks became. Mom, appreciating the casual toddler swearing even less than I, insisted we shift away from this particular English lesson, and I relented readily. The other problem was that by the time the trailer would end, both my blonde micro-facsimile and I would be just a little worked up. So then I'd transition him into a more sleepy frame of mind with Ashtar Command's song "Deadman's Gun" from the soundtrack of Red Dead Redemption:

Your hand's upon
A deadman's gun and you're
Looking down the sights
Your heart is worn,
And the seam are torn
And they've given you reason to fight

And you're not gonna take what they've got to give
And you're not gonna let 'em take you will to live
Because they've taken enough and you've given them all you can give
And luck won't save them tonight
They've given you reason to fight
And all the storms you've been chasing
About to rain down tonight
And all the pain you've been facin'
About to come into the light

Being a shriveled wussy myself, I'd sing the uber-sappy father-son song into his ear and lull him to sleep while hoisting him up in my arms and carrying him down the hall to his crib. Plus I find the lyrics a heck of a lot easier to remember when they're man-tearing rage images than say the sappy randomness of "Lulla-loo" from Lady and the Tramp, my son's preferred lullaby.

I think Clint Eastwood should try making some kid's nap time music, specifically marketed to awesome dads.

Only one problem with this, according to my wife's exacting standards of what's cute coming from our two year-old. Apparently, she doesn't appreciate it when our little guy wakes up in the middle of the night and moans out "Deadman gun. Deadman gun. Fight."

Psh. Women.

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