Questions unanswered

There are some things you just can’t prepare for. For example, when was the last time a man with mutton chops for sideburns turned to you at a New Year’s Eve party and said, “You know how people used to lick toads to hallucinate? Who do you think was the first person to try that?”

But that was only the beginning. Everyone was trying to outdo each other with bizarre tales and questions. Being of unsound mind, I was able to win.

I told a tale about the horror I remember feeling as a second grader while watching the Superfriends, an ABC Saturday morning cartoon.

It was an exciting day. New characters had arrived on the scene. Purple-clad twins, a girl and a boy, armed with superpowers that appeared whenever they clinked their hands together and said “WONDER TWIN POWERS ACTIVATE!!!” They were way cool. They even had a monkey named Gleek.

During the course of the show, the boy wonder twin, in the heat of a desperate situation, uttered (in batman-like style) the five words that would haunt me for years to come.

“Must … get … to … Jayna’s … hand.”

“Can you imagine what it’s like to have the same namesake as a Wonder Twin?” I asked all the philosophizing drunks at the party. No one could even think of something on the same level of humiliation.

Yes, the girl Wonder Twin in her tightfitting purple suit from the planet Fashioncrime shared my name. Never in my life did I ever expect to be taunted by my classmates, asked over and over if I could change myself into a bucket of water. I can’t. I can’t suddenly become an eagle either. I have never owned a monkey that wasn’t filled with stuffing, and probably from some cheesy hometown fair where the most commonly heard utterance is “You wanna go FASTER?”, with the plus of bad heavy metal music and a third grade dropout named “The Ripper” at the controls of the Cyclone.

But yes, there is an underlying point to this story. There are many “Questions O‘ the World,” as I like to call them. Why did they name the twin Jayna? In second grade I knew it was obviously a secret plot concocted by a letter the vile John- down-the-street had sent to the cartoon people. But, now I realize it’s just one of those things that is unanswerable.

Of course, it’s not on the level of “Is there a God?” There are just many things that should bother the general public. I guess it dates back to the old question about why 7-11s have locks. Questions like, what happens to the forth bun in a Big Mac? Why don’t psychics ever win the Lotto? Why are women, and men in some spine-chilling instances, still wearing blue eyeshadow? If I’m four inches taller than my mother, who is 5’10”, does that mean that my poor daughter will be a walking giraffe at 6’6″? Did Generra really believe that Hypercolor would ever become a big seller? (Honey, are you hot? Your underarms are changing colors.) At what point exactly do you stop wanting to stay up late all the time because you’ve fallen in love with sleep?

Sure, there may be a great answer to each question somewhere, but like our extra tuition money, it probably isn’t in DeKalb.