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Thank You, Godzilla

When I became a father for the first time, I thought fatherly wisdom would just fall from the sky. I thought I would  have all the answers, my patience would be unlimited, and every moment with my son would be an excerpt from a Hallmark special. It was quite a rude awakening for me when I realized that wasn’t going go happen. In fact, I really didn’t handle the first five years very well. The screaming, crying, tantrums, sleepless nights, and days of cleaning up poop, piss, and barf really took a toll on me. I was starting to wonder when the bonding moments between father and son would finally kick in. I knew it had to happen eventually. I just didn’t expect it to happen thanks to Godzilla.

If you haven’t heard the Blue Oyster Cult song Godzilla, then you haven’t heard perfection. It’s one of those rare songs when you think to yourself that no other band could possibly sing the song and get away with it. In this case, B.O.C. went out of their way to write cool lyrics about Godzilla and make their guitars sound like the gigantic lizard himself was in the room. Sure, there are times when I think for a split second that Guns N Roses or maybe Alice in Chains could have done it, but it wouldn’t have been the same. Maybe good, maybe great, but still different.

Understanding my love for Godzilla, imagine my excitement when I realized my now five-year-old, Andrew, loved the song as much as I did. I found out one day when I was singing it around the house, and when I got to the line, “He picks up a bus and he throws it back down” and Andrew burst out laughing. He thought that line was absolutely hilarious. I’m not even sure why, but I’m pretty sure it’s not important. What I do know is I finally had one of those rare moments that I mistakenly thought happened every other second. I sang the song a few more times, and every time I got to that line, he laughed like it was the first time he heard it. For me, it was pure magic. Andrew still asks me to sing the song a few times a day. If I sing just the lyrics and leave out the sound effects, he’ll reprimand me, “No, Daddy, with the noises please.”

One day I thought it would be fun to watch a video on YouTube of Blue Oyster Cult singing our song. So I entered “Blue Oyster Cult Godzilla” and got about four or five solid hits. I clicked on one that looked like a cartoon version. It started off innocously enough, but quickly shifted to disturbing images from the actual movies of Godzilla knocking over buildings and people screaming bug-eyed and running for their lives. I quickly hit the stop button, and Andrew asked, “Is it over?” He was disappointed, but I knew I made the right decision.

You see as a kid I had horrific nightmares of Godzilla. They would always start off the same with Godzilla’s signature wail, natch. I would look out my bedroom window and the giant lizard would be wading through the buildings directly toward my house with the singular goal of flattening 40 Stillson Place and crushing me and my family. My only recourse was to jump out my bedroom window onto the garage and run for my life. For whatever reason, I usually made it, but I would always wake up with my heart racing, sweating profusely, and wondering why the fuck my night light wasn’t on. I didn’t want that to happen to Andrew.

So I clicked the stop button. Of course a little piece of me felt bad, so later that week I went to the local electronics store and bought Guitar Hero Smash Hits for the XBox 360. It contains the original master track of Godzilla. Andrew and I love playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band together, so I thought this would be perfect. Of course I didn’t actually plug in his guitar because he plays like shit, and he would have ruined the song, but he didn’t need to know that. I’ll tell him when he’s older when he can handle that kind of truth, along with scary videos of giant lizards demolishing entire neighborhoods without causing recurring nightmares. Thank you, Godzilla for that. But thank you also for helping me bond with my son and giving me that elusive moment that I was looking for.

20 responses to “Thank You, Godzilla”

  1. Avatar tee says:

    🙂 Thanks for my morning smile with coffee! That was awesome… Reminded me of my bonding moment with my Dad… although I don't think Godzilla would have cut it with Daddy-Daughter time.
    …. good call on not scaring the kid yet! lol

    • Will Will says:

      Glad you liked it. The moments are coming slowly but surely. Andrew already has enough nightmares just from Scooby-Doo, so I felt no need to aid the process!

  2. Who invited this guy to the posting party?! Buy 'em a beer! Great piece, Will. Very touching – and not in the way that I normally enjoy.

  3. Avatar Matt T says:

    The closest memory I had of such destruction and mayhem at 40 Stillson Place was when, for a brief period of time, your mom was hitched to that guy who had a doberman that everyone forgot to tell me about. Low and behold, when I came sauntering in through the screen door like I'd done 1,000 times before, through my peripheral vision I heard the growl and saw the array of teeth blurring their way toward me in mid-air, leaving behind a long stream of canine spit…I just barely slammed the door shut in its face and lived to tell the tale. Godzilla? Hah, child's play. The true terror at 40 Stillson Place was the unannounced doberman, I say. (Good article, though.)

    • Will Will says:

      Oh, man, lol. That dog's name was Crunch. He would respond to the word "guard" which would send him flying toward to the door in full bark.

  4. Avatar llxt says:

    I love the honesty in the line: "I really didn’t handle the first five years very well." Most parents are willing to go to about 4 months, before they feel bad that they're not experiencing every moment with their kid as Complete Euphoria. So, thanks for your honesty. 🙂 You have a new {blogging} home. NATCH.

    • Will Will says:

      Thanks for letting me into the fold!!
      Also, Bill Bryson was my first exposure to the word "natch" and I've been in love with it ever since.

  5. Avatar Susan says:

    Oh this makes me smile. Reminds me of the kids watching J Lo in Anaconda with Bill and me coming into the room and realizing Bill is letting them watch it! I insist he gets shut off immediately lest they be scarred for life and they insist, "'Nake Daddy, 'nake Daddy!". And so begins the love affair with violent flicks with odd creatures.
    I love the use of the word natch. I was just thinking the other day that my grandmother used to say that word all the time and why doesn't anyone use it anymore?! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Will Will says:

    I'm with your husband, 🙂 Anaconda is a highly underrated movie! I thought it was great.
    Glad you also like the word "natch." See above for the origin of my love of the word "natch."

  7. Jason Jason says:

    So glad to have you a part of our writing community, Will. Lots of important, fun, meaningful, memorable parts to your story, all of it resonent with lots of audiences. Can't beat that. Early February request: can you weave in some awesome Mothra shit?

  8. Avatar Karen says:

    My brother and nephew had a similar bonding experience with "Spaceman" by The Killers. But Godzilla is way cooler.

  9. Avatar angelatav says:

    "Of course I didn’t actually plug in his guitar because he plays like shit, and he would have ruined the song, but he didn’t need to know that. "
    Oh, man. Dad's really are all the same, aren't they?
    Welcome, Will!

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December 2010
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On My Honor
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Witch Hunt
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If, Then.
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Small Crimes
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"It's Complicated"
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