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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Kindergarten Cop

Drug Dealers Have Cool Names: Kindergarten Cop is about a cop, John Kimble (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger), who is out to prosecute a drug dealer named Cullen Crisp. “Cullen Crisp”: very cool name. “John Kimble”: not so cool. I decide that I need to seek out a cooler name. I don’t really want to sell drugs (though I consider selling my stash of Bayer aspirin). Instead I simply co-opt the name of the villain from Kindergarten Cop. My new name is Apple Crisp. It positively reeks of coolness.

Move to Astoria: A bulk of this film, if not every frame of it, is filmed in a place called Astoria. I have no idea where Astoria is. I guess it’s somewhere in California since Mr. Schwarzenegger is president or something there. Astoria seems to be an idyllic place to live. There is a lot of affluence—everyone seems to be gifted with a luxury car such as a Lexus or an S.U.V. I told my neighbor I was going to move to Astoria and he told me to get out of his fucking clothes closet.

Fighting Crime Is a Great Way to See The World: John Kimble is a New York City cop. He gets to travel to the West Coast. Not only that but he gets to be a kindergarten teacher. It is decided: I will move to Astoria and fight crime in my spare time, kind of like a superhero. “Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s Apple Crisp!” This means I need a costume. I return to my neighbor’s clothes closet and find a brightly colored poncho and a baseball cap that says “Dodge” on it. I will “dodge” things like bullets, criminals, and traffic cones. My outfit is complete.

Get a Sidekick: John Kimble gets to know one of his kindergarten students very well. The student says cute things and is instrumental in saving the day. This prompts me to seek out a sidekick. I go around to all of my neighbors and ask them if any of their children would like to help me fight crime in Astoria. I don’t get any takers. Perhaps my multicolored poncho, Dodge hat, and Saran Wrap mask (I added that to protect my identity) intimidated them. I try a homeless shelter to see if anyone there wants to be my sidekick. I have just about convinced a man named Mickey when the police come. I do manage to sell Mickey a baggie of aspirin before escaping out the backdoor. Go Apple Crisp!

Bulk Up: Mr. Schwarzenegger is a fairly buff guy. He was a circus strongman at one time I think. I begin a regime of eating huge breakfasts and pumping iron all morning. Unfortunately, this regime is broken up when my neighbor insists I stop eating his food in my underwear and to please honor the restraining order or he’ll call the police.

Seek Out Serendipity: In the end, after he catches the criminal and realizes how much fun he had in his pretend job, John Kimble decides to stay on as a kindergarten teacher. When I am evicted from my apartment for harassing my neighbors and not paying rent for a few months, I decide that I will begin my life as a superhero. Of course I need something to fight for. This is a bit of a serendipitous no-brainer—I will fight for the homeless. I don my Apple Crisp costume and look up my new sidekick, Mickey. We break into my former neighbor’s apartment and fill it with as many homeless people as we can fit.

Apple Crisp (and Mickey) strikes again!

Russell Bradbury-Carlin gave up his corporeal existence long ago. He now exists only as a series of bytes and electrical impulses distributed through out the internet. You can visit aspects of him (the humorous parts, anyway) here at Yankee Pot Roast and at McSweeney's, Science Creative Quarterly, The Big Jewel , as well as other sites. But if you are interested in visiting with him in his most condensed form, check out his Web site, All My Shoes and Glasses. Please note: if you visit his site between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., please be quiet--that is when he sleeps.