The boy is with his father this weekend, which means his room comes under my jurisdiction and is thus included in my daily round of sweeping things up and trying to prevent the house too closely resembling a tip. The Paw Wars poster fell from the wall above his bed on Wednesday and lay at an angle at the centre of the room for several hours. Junior would have picked it up but had been busy with his game. 'What's it doing on the floor?' I asked.
'I have no idea how that could have happened,' he explained at an angle to my question.
The Paw Wars poster is printed on thick card and is probably marketed as suitable for framing, so my five blobs of blu-tack just weren't up to the job. I don't know what Paw Wars is supposed to be. It doesn't even fucking rhyme properly.
The poster shows a squirrel and a groundhog, both cut out from existing photographs, apparently battling with light sabres like you would see in Star Wars.
The thing has always struck me as being a very special kind of lame, and I have a hunch I know how we ended up with it, which doting relative sent it our way on the grounds of it being both a real hoot and just the cutest thang you ever did see; but why Paw Wars specifically? Both squirrels and groundhogs have paws, it's true - but then you might argue that so do humans, albeit by a different name, and Game of Thrones was presumably called Game of Thrones because the title made a fuck of a lot more sense than Hand Wars - in reference to most of those involved being in possession of said appendages. The majority of mammals also have a colon, but perhaps Colon Wars was already taken. I don't know and I have no intention of finding out.
Anyway, having googled Paw Wars, it turns out to be a series of short YouTube videos recreating scenes from Star Wars using footage of domestic pets and a relentless stream of creaking puns, the sort of thing which is probably funny if you're thirteen or thereabouts. That said, I'm not convinced the Paw Wars poster is even directly related, at least not beyond the shared theme. Not that it matters because I'm replacing the bastard with a Pokémon poster. I bought it at Michael's yesterday whilst looking for something by which to organise all of the nuts, bolts, screws, washers, and nails in the garage. The poster shows a host of peculiar looking Japanese cartoon monsters all lurching towards the viewer wearing the usual determined grimaces of children's entertainment taking itself too seriously. I roll up balls of blu-tack, then stand on the bed and press the poster to the wall.
'What?" She comes in from the other bedroom.
'What do you think?'
I step down from the bed. Behind us on the other wall is a poster of Marvel superheroes, similarly purchased from Michael's a month or so earlier. Having once had a heavy comics habit, I know who most of the characters are supposed to be, but I'm out of my depth with this Japanese stuff. 'Bulbosaurus is the only one I know, but I don't think he's on there.'
Bess points to a thing resembling a cross between a turtle and a flower right at the centre. 'That's Venusaur. He's evolved from Bulbasaur,' and she gets the name right too. In this regard I've turned into my own grandmother indulging me and my boundless enthusiasm for that Captain Thunderbirds show.
'I don't know any of them.'
'Well, I don't know all of them,' my wife admits.
As a fifty-one year old man, I was able to identify most of the characters on the superhero poster, even setting the kid right on a few points.
Actually, I rather think you'll find that's Medusa from the Inhumans. The Scarlet Witch is over there next to Hawkeye.
I feel my ignorance of Pokémon characters redresses a balance, handing something back to the kid. He will return on Sunday afternoon and the poster will allow him to once again lecture us on subjects for which we care nothing, beyond that it obviously makes him happy; which has been the whole point.