Meet the Flintstones
I loved that cartoon as a kid. Seems silly now, but times were innocent then, right? The characters were innocent enough, too. Mostly. Well-meaning goofs kept in control by sensible-but-snickering wives. An adorable, perpetually cooing daughter and the impossibly strong adopted boy next door. It was only when the show got a little stale that they broke down and added an alien to the cast.
For now let’s stick close to earth and talk about feet.
The stodgy Flintstone feet were amazing. Patriarch Fred could start and stop his car with them, and then turn around and twinkle his toes across a bowling alley on his way to committing ten-pin terror. Actually, every character walked around barefoot. Talk about leather soles!
My wife has often joked about the blocky feet in her family. There are no shoes designed for these things. One running joke is that they throw away the shoes and wear the boxes. The other joke is that these are Flintstone feet.
I will not argue.
Naturally, my first son Zach inherited these podiatrical nightmares. Getting him into shoes as a toddler was an exercise in futility. Not only were his feet rectangular, but thanks to us allowing him to go barefoot often, he developed arches that would make St. Louis envious. Guess what? You can buy shoes for this situation. They just cost twice as much as others. The increase in price is proportional to arch height.
And sticky. You never saw such adhesive feet. I used to dream of Teflon socks.
But even before he was shoved into shoes, and it was obvious that he had inherited a mutant variety of the Larson slabs, Zach was compared to the Flintstones cartoon. That first half-roll in the hospital had been the indicator we dared not consider.
Our son was Bamm-Bamm.
No baby should have been as strong as this kid. If your hair was unfortunate to land in his tiny grip, you might as well cry out for scissors. And when he pounded on something, it was toast. Don’t ask me about the anole lizards we raised in a tank with a loose screen top. Don’t. Ask.
Zach flexed his legs a lot. This started in the womb, much to the distress of his poor mother. By the time he was born, he had thighs like a linebacker. And he loved to show them off.
He got me into frequent trouble with this:
“Don’t make your baby stand up yet! He’s too young!”
Tell him that.
When the Flintstones were resurrected in 1971, the new short-lived show focused on Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm. Oddly, the latter had lost his unusual strength. Too many haircuts? Or did they have green Kryptonite in the Stone Age?
We prayed our son would follow suit. Or, don a suit with a flowing red cape and inflict painful justice on bad guys.
He could always use his feet of strength.
excerpted from a planned book, Aliens Stole My Baby!
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