What If Our Favorite Fictional Characters Aged and/or Kept Up With The Times

 

I’m going to take a break from my regular writings and post something just for fun this time.  I always wondered what would happen if cartoon characters aged.  So I’m just going to do some speculating and take a few wild guesses.  Here goes:

1) The ‘Peanuts’ characters would all be grandparents by now.  Snoopy would definitely be dead, but his descendants would still be acting like flying aces, except the doghouses would be probably F-14 Tomcats in Operation Desert Storm instead of Sopwith Camels in World War I.  Charlie Brown’s grandson probably wouldn’t be as wishy-washy as Charlie Brown would have no doubt married Lucy or Peppermint Patty.  About the only difference would be Charlie Brown the third would be able to kick a football.  

2) In Looney Tunes, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam would probably be in jail for hunting endangered species like talking rabbits and Tasmanian Devils.  In the Road Runner and Coyote, the Coyote would probably be using Acme Predator Drones to try and catch the Road Runner.  Sadly, Foghorn Leghorn would probably be living on a factory farm in a small cage.

3) In ‘Superman’, Clark Kent/Superman would have recently celebrated his 100th birthday and probably have a 75th anniversary party with Lois Lane.

4) In ‘Batman’, Bruce Wayne would probably be long since retired.  The Joker and Riddler would have long since been given life sentences in prison.  And Bruce Wayne would probably be a trillionaire by now.  With inflation being what it is, a single billionaire won’t go as far as he could fifty to sixty years ago.

5) ‘Sherlock Holmes’ would no doubt be much like modern day CSI shows.  But he’d still be on Scotland Yard’s hit list even in 2014.

6) In ‘The Simpsons’, Bart and Lisa would be in their early to mid thirties.  Bart would probably be finishing up a five to ten year stint in Springfield State Prison or beginning a career in politics.  Lisa would probably have 2 or 3 PhD’s and well on to a Nobel Prize winning career. 

7) The ‘South Park’ kids would be in their mid 20s.  Stan would go on to be a star college quarterback and married to Wendy Testaburger.  Kyle would probably have become a lawyer.  Cartman would probably be in prison or running ponzi schemes.  Kenny would have either gotten out of poverty or died for the 500th time.

8) Futurama hasn’t happened yet as it takes place in the 31st century.  So it could face the most changes of any cartoon between now and the year 3000.

This list was only meant for fun.  I’m sure I’ve forgotten many other popular cartoons or fictional characters.  I hope it was enjoyed.

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Social Mistakes

We’ve all had those times when we committed ‘social mistakes.’  These are also called ‘faux paus’ and ‘social gaffes.’  It can be that moment when someone takes what we’ve said wrong.  It can also be that moment when we said something without completely thinking through the consequences.  It is also that moment when we fail to properly acknowledge our thanks and appreciation for what someone close to us means to us (think the spouse who forgets an anniversary or the boss who doesn’t always acknowledge the hard work his/her employees put in everyday).  We often do these without thinking or intending any harm.

For those of us with mental health differences from the ‘norm’, socializing can be really tough and even daunting.  This is often because we don’t always pick up on social ques such as body language, inflection and tone of voice, or are as aware of social situations as the ‘chronic normal’ or neurotypical people do with such seeming ease.  I have committed numerous social mistakes over the years without even knowing what I was doing.  I have lost friendships, alienated myself from coworkers and bosses, thought things about others that were not true, and made myself to look like a fool many times as I had no awareness of social rules and norms that I was breaking.

I never broke these norms or unspoken rules just to make life difficult for myself or others.  I was simply unaware of the boundaries I was crossing.  Maybe these boundaries are always known for most people, but I never picked up on them to a degree to make myself an extrovert.  As the years went by and I was committing more and more social mistakes, with the price of such social mistakes going higher and higher as I became an adult, I had no idea why I was offending people that I had no intention of offending.  I had no idea why I was reading people wrong.  I had no idea why I wasn’t advancing in my former work or why I wasn’t making lots of friends.  The reason was, because of my mental health issues, I simply was missing many unspoken and unconscious social signals that most people take for granted as being ingrained from birth.  I didn’t understand how the social game was played by everyone else.  I still don’t to a degree.

As I was losing ground socially, I gradually withdrew from most people and most social situations.  That was a mistake.  I thought that people simply didn’t me because I was different from everyone else.  That was not only part of my natural paranoia, but also because I hadn’t sufficiently learned to socialize on a level where most people could.  What resulted from me isolating with the exception of family and close friends was my not learning the social skills that are needed to adequately socialize as an adult.  So I was falling even more behind than I normally would have had I ignored my paranoia and kept socializing.

I have now had an official diagnosis for over thirteen years.  I have made many mistakes in my life with the diagnosis and being different than most people.  I have, and continue to, pay for the mistakes I have made socially.  Yet I am optimistic about right now and the future. I know the mistakes I have made as I have made them plenty of times.  I can now advance in my life and see what’s next to be learned.  If I, or anyone else, had everything learned and completely figured out, then there would be no point to keep going and striving.  

Goals, Past Regrets, Looking Back on 2013 and Looking Ahead to 2014

2013 has come and gone.  We have recently celebrated the beginning of a new year.  With new years come, for many people, resolutions.  I personally have never been big on setting new year resolutions as most people I know never follow through.  Yet I feel different about this year, the year 2014.

The reason I feel different about setting goals, rather than calling them resolutions, is that I have been essentially drifting with whatever way the winds of my mental illness toss me ever since I left a good job over a year and a half ago.  The job I had, while hardly high paying or even full time, gave me a sense of purpose and a reason for leaving the apartment every day.  Leaving that job was one of the dumbest decisions I ever made.  I may have not made much money from it, the job may have been simple and low prestige, but it gave me a reason for getting out and mingling with people.  In fact I was doing more creative writing while I was working than when I left.  Having all the time in the world free often leads to not doing anything with that time, or having a lack of direction or purpose.  

I trace many of my problems with depression in 2013 directly to not having much direction in my life.  While there are many people out there, mentally ill or not, who don’t need a job or volunteer work to have direction in their lives I’m not one of them.  I know now I need something outside of myself to allow for some sort of structure in my day to day life.  Otherwise I’ll just rot from the inside out, physically and mentally.

My first goal for 2014 is to find a part time job.  I would prefer something where I could work in a small group or even alone without much interaction with the public.  I never did very well at customer service jobs, fast food jobs, etc.  After a dozen plus years of working with a mental illness I have figured out what kind of work I’m not good at.  I would like to find a job by the end of February, but with my checkered work history this may be pressing it.

My second goal for 2014 is get to the gym more often.  Sure I go once or twice a week as it is now, but I want to go more often.  I always feel good after going.  I don’t know why I don’t go more often.

Finally, I want to write more in 2014 than I did in 2013.  I didn’t get much finished last year.  I want to change that this year.  I am going to change that.  The only way to make any goals stick is to go after it whole heartedly and without regret.