At Diana’s dad’s house, there is one of those old nylon airline bags filled with toys. Now, this isn’t to be mistaken for the identical old nylon airline bag filled with toys at my dad’s house. Ancient Matchbox cars. A few army men and decrepit Happy Meal plastic things.
Don Jacklich’s toy bag has one unique item. It’s a The Rock action figure. You know The Rock? He was a professional wrestler before becoming a big fancy movie star and revealing his real name is Duane. Anyhoo, The Rock figure is bulging and shirtless and clad in leopard patterned pants.
A year or so ago, Luca was playing with it and Diana mistook it for another wrestler and Governor of Minnesota, Jesse The Body Ventura. Luca latched onto the name and ran around the house shouting, “Jesseeee The Bodeeeeeee” over and over. I’m not sure how Diana could confuse Duane and the Governor of Minnesota, but I you’ve seen one HGH abuser you’ve seen them all.
His love of Jesseeee The Bodeeeee followed him back to our house and every once and a while he’ll break into his Jesseeee The Bodeeee thing while he’s playing with Spider Man or something. It’s as cute as you’d expect.
Over the course of my recent odyssey across this great nation of ours, I got to work with a director named Jesse (last name withheld). On a conference call, I filled an awkward silence with the story of Jesseee The Bodeeee. It got a big laugh. If you could find the exact physical opposite of Jesse The Body, it would be our director.
We landed in LA and met Jesse The Director and his crew. His producer presented me a gift: a Jesse The Body action figure for Luca. This particular action figure hilariously depicted Jesse as the Governor, with a black three piece suit and plastic wing tips.
I flew back home with it packed away in my backpack. Elijah was on his trip to Florida with Grandma Connie and Grandpa Ed, so I thought this would be a nice special treat for Luca.
On that Saturday, I really built up the present. I kept telling him I had a big surprise and he was going to be super duper excited. At long last, I sat Luca down and said, “Hey Luca. Remember Jesse The Body? You know, Jesseeeee The Bodeeee? Well take a look at this.” And then I dramatically extracted the toy.
Now, it didn’t occur to me that Luca had no idea who the real Jesse The Body was. Or that I was paying homage of The Rock toy he loved. Or why I would think a bald man in a black suit would remotely be good thing to play with.
Luca took one look at it and said, “I don’t like him. I hate him.” And then he started to cry.
Diana mercifully tossed the toy into the garbage and I took Luca to the fireman exhibit at the Children’s Museum to make up for my stupidity.